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bobo 03-22-2007 04:27 PM

thin film of oil on left front wheel

my gf's 2003 ford focus has a thin film,of what looks to be oil, on the left front wheel/rim. i haven't had time to jack it up and look under it yet. but just curious. could this be from the transaxle? i noticed also, that when traveling at speeds 50mph+, u can hear a slight rumble that resembles that of a worn wheel bearing. any ideas what i should look for?


manyhobies 03-24-2007 06:56 AM


How many miles on the Focus? Which side of the rim is the oil on? Lug nut or break rotor side? The oil could be coming from the car or from some other item. I would clean it off and watch it. Does it have an oder?

As for your "rumble", does it change sound for differnet speeds? How about slight turning the steering wheel while driving (this would be for the front wheel bearing)? Is the noise in the front or rear?

bobo 03-24-2007 10:33 AM


the oil like substance is on the outside of the rim (lugnut side). it smells something like oil. the rumble is hard to pinpoint. i will wipe off the rim and see if it returns. the car has about 58,000 miles on it. the front end doesnt clunk when accelerating from a stop, or while turning, so i would say the cv joints are ok. come to think of it, i first noticed it when we got home from having the oil changed. i wonder if the mechanic spilled oit near the wheel well while changing the oil??? i will look under the hood. i am going to rotate the tires monday, so i will have a look around then...ty for your info...bob

slickshift 03-24-2007 11:20 AM

Very possible it's slopped oil

Also possible it's cv/bearing lube or brake fluid from the wheel cylinder
...or transaxle fluid

A closer 'wheels off and flashlight out' inspection should at least rule out most of these (some are long shots, but possible), if not actually answer your question

Clutchcargo 04-06-2007 11:39 AM

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Most likely brake fluid... Just an FYI, brake fluid eats paint.

bobo 04-07-2007 05:58 AM


ive been laid up for awhile, havent had a chance to pull the wheels and look at it closer, but now ive noticed that it is on both front wheels, and is more like a dust. i think its just normal dust from the brake pads stuck on rims from road grime. now i have yet another problem! altho i couldnt pull the wheels of last week, cause of my edema acting up, i did manage to change the spark plugs. the plugs i got from napa at first, were WAY too short in lenght to be the correct plugs. i brought em back and the plugs they gave me seemed to be too LONG at first inspection. but after i put a new plug next to an old one, and checked the distance from the tapper on the plugs to the ground electrode, they did match up. what made the new plugs look longer was the fact that they were threaded completely from the base of the plug to the tapper, where as the old ones were not, they had a section of the plug that was solid, no threads. now, the car hesitates and misses, coughs under a load, usually going up an ingrade. this sounds like a fuel problem. maybe filter? pump? dirty or faulty injector? it just seems weird that this has happened so soon after i changed the plugs, but if it were the plugs, i believe the miss would be there all the time. it idles very smooth, even in gear with the brakes applied, so i dont think its the ignition. it could be a ton of things, i know, but just want to rule out the plugs!!! thanks again for any advice u can give me...bob oh, its a 2003 ford focus wagon, and has never had any maintence/service done to the engine, except oil changes at 3000 miles...bob

Clutchcargo 04-07-2007 10:03 AM

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Don't count on it not being one of the plugs. Often times one of them is bad. Remove the entire set and bring them back for a premium plug. Buy the best plug you can afford, I usually go for the split fire because I bought the cheap ones at first and had the same problem as you. While you're at it swap out the wires, cap and rotor (if it has these), again don't buy it cheap, it's not worth it.
Good Luck

bobo 04-07-2007 11:38 AM


these plugs were the top of the line napa platinum plus plugs, $20 for a set of 4! i could have bought autolite plugs from wal mart for $8 a set! im going to replace the plugs again with plugs from FORD parts shop. not that they may be any better, but if another set of plugs dont resolve the problem, i feel that the plugs are not the cause. i plan on replacing the plug wires too. the car ran fine before i changed the plugs, but the gas milage was not as good as it should be, so i figured changing the plugs and air cleaner couldnt hurt. boy was i wrong!!!:no: of course the wife tells me that the reason it runs bad is because i didnt use ford plugs! another reason to try a set of them! i suppose NAPA plugs should only be used in NAPA automobiles!:thumbup: ...bob P.S. i used to us genuine delco-remy plugs in my 71 torino, 302, and it ran great!

bobo 04-08-2007 03:40 PM


thinking maybe water in gas, so yesterday when the car was at about 1/4 tank, i brought it up to about 3/4 full with some premium gas, and added a bottle of dry gas. ran it most the day with the spitting and spuddering, on and off. on the way home tho, it started running close to norm, with only a spit and spudder now and then. i pulled the plugs today just to see if they all looked like they had been firering, and they all looked fine, clean, with no carbon, or sign of fouling. hoping it was the gas now:thumbup:


Clutchcargo 04-08-2007 07:30 PM

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Could still be a bad plug in the batch. Does the tachometer jump around a bit when you spits and spudders? Strange that it would coinside with the install of new plugs if it is water in the tank.
Before you toss the old wires, do an ohm test with your multimeter on each one. It would be nice to know for sure what was causing the trouble.

zel 04-08-2007 11:30 PM

Did you properly gap the plugs and are they the correct heat range? Also, what was the condition of the spark plug wires and other ignition parts? It could be coincendence, but most likely not.

bobo 04-09-2007 02:46 PM

hi folks,

i gapped the plugs at 1.3mm (.051) as stated on the emission label affixed under the hood of the car. the car ran fine for about a week, and thats about the time the wife filled the car up, from empty, with wal mart gas. i realize that u can get "DEFECTIVE" new parts. i worked on cars quite a bit, but not alot on newer cars. i am going to change the wires soon also. when i used to tune up cars, it included points, condencer, rotor, cap, plugs, wires, and pcv valve if needed! but now, plugs, wires and cap, is about as far as i can go, without special instruments!:mad:

bob P.S. too many sensors, make me senseless!!!:furious:

Clutchcargo 04-09-2007 02:59 PM

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I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.
If you have a local Autozone, many of them have the code reader to pull the codes from the computer. The best part is that they'll do it for free.

bobo 04-09-2007 03:55 PM


thanks for the info!!! i called autozone, and they will check engine codes for free! only problem is, the "check engine" light came on one time, and went off, after we put the preminum gas in it. autozone told me the light has to be on when they check it! oh well, if it comes on again, i know where to go! car manual says, one of the things to do if the engine light comes on, is to remove gas cap, and reinstall cap, maybe thats why it went off.


Den69RS96 04-11-2007 05:45 PM

You probably put in bad gas which will cause it to run bad. Fill up with a quality gas and try running some seafoam in the gas. The seafoam will help clean your injectors if they are dirty. Couldn't hurt to replace the fuel filter as well. Generally dirty fuel filters, dirty air filters, and older 02 sensors will all effect gas mileage. Also before replacing your wires, check the resistence on them with a ohm meter. They should all be very similiar. I think factory wires are around 500 ohms per foot of resistence. If the gas doesn't clear the problem, you might want to start looking at the ignition coil. It may produce enough voltage at idle, but not went its under load. I think it was a case of bad gas.

Todays cars with the ODBII computers are really sensitive. If you don't turn your gas cap three clicks on GM cars, it will set off the check engine light. Uncle sam doesn't want gas fumes escaping. Some emission stations check the gas cap as well.

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