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2016 Can-Am Outlander Max XT 650
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning fellas,

I was greasing my ATV on Friday and I was inspecting it thoroughly like I always do and I found oil seepage (no drops) at the bottom of the engine. I went under it and peeked through the holes in the skid plates and I could tell it's coming from the area where the engine connects to the gearbox. It is most likely engine oil and not gearbox oil based on color and smell.

I took some photos which I will share below. I also searched the forums and found two related threads which talk about this: Oil Leak Between Engine/Transmission and Outlander owners, gasket oil seepage on bottom of engine at case split?

Based on the two aforementioned threads and the photos I posted, can we safely assume that this is the problem? How common is this? Must I take the engine out to fix this if the leak gets much worse?

My plan for now is to continue monitoring and to see if it gets worse.

Any input and insight would be highly appreciated.


Photo taken from the CVT side through the front wheel well


Photo taken from the engine oil cap side which shows the leak inside


Photo taken from the front wheel well shifter side looking into the front of the engine
 

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Nobody Special
2020 Outlander XMR 1000r Max
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I rarely see a high mileage engine that does not have some king of seepage from it's seals. If it is not dripping on the floor, I would not worry about it. If it buggs ya too much, may as well get a crankcase seal kit, pull the engine, tear it down and change out the seals. While it is apart, check bearings and rings. Maybe put in new and give it a new oil pump too. Front main seal on my Chevy Duramax started leaking a month ago. Good winter project.
 

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Super Moderator
2015 Outlander XMR 650
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I'm (unfortunately) 🤷‍♂️ also of the same mindset, as above ^

From what I know of that repair job, it's just not worth it, to me, if you're just dealing with a minor seep.
 
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Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot guys for chiming in.
I rarely see a high mileage engine that does not have some king of seepage from it's seals. If it is not dripping on the floor, I would not worry about it. If it buggs ya too much, may as well get a crankcase seal kit, pull the engine, tear it down and change out the seals. While it is apart, check bearings and rings. Maybe put in new and give it a new oil pump too. Front main seal on my Chevy Duramax started leaking a month ago. Good winter project.
So far, it's just seepage and I believe the dirt beneath it on the skid plate is absorbing the oil. As long as I can make sure somehow that it's just engine oil and not gearbox fluid, I'm fine with it since I can top off engine oil every now and then.
I guess I'll have to remove the skids and inspect to make sure whether it's engine oil or not.
As annoying as it might be to have an oil leak that is what I would do too.
My days of riding BSA and Triumph motorcycles gave me a high tolerance to oil leaks.
I'm (unfortunately) 🤷‍♂️ also of the same mindset, as above ^

From what I know of that repair job, it's just not worth it, to me, if you're just dealing with a minor seep.
Thanks guys for calming down my OCD. I'm willing to tackle anything short of pulling the engine or gearbox out. In addition, since I'm in Lebanon and can only order parts from the US which means 1.5 months of wait time, this job will prove complicated and lengthy. I'll continue monitoring, ensure it's engine oil and not gearbox, report back, and go from there.

My question to you though, how common is this on these engines? Why does it feel like BRP does not bother much to fix these recurring quality control issues. I read posts as old as 2007 and 2013 reporting the same problem. My ATV is a 2016.
 

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Nobody Special
2020 Outlander XMR 1000r Max
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Unfortunately gasket material degrades over time.
 

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Super Moderator
2016 Can-Am Outlander Max XT 650
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately gasket material degrades over time.
Yeah oh well. I am sure the heat generated by the exhaust which ends up warming up the engine and warping the valve covers and gaskets contributes to this. Heat is deadly for plastics and gaskets.
Any idea what the chances are regarding the leak being engine oil vs gearbox fluid?
 

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Nobody Special
2020 Outlander XMR 1000r Max
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Yeah oh well. I am sure the heat generated by the exhaust which ends up warming up the engine and warping the valve covers and gaskets contributes to this. Heat is deadly for plastics and gaskets.
Any idea what the chances are regarding the leak being engine oil vs gearbox fluid?
Chances are it is engine oil. The engine goes through bigger tempurature changes than the gearbox.
 

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@xsever, I'm thinking of the repair job where the engine's leaking oil out of the rear through-shaft seal, which requires pulling the engine to fix.

Meh, if it's just a little weep, I'mma just keep an eye on it and ride on, until such a time comes that something else necessitates pulling the motor, and/or gearbox, and then address it then
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chances are it is engine oil. The engine goes through bigger tempurature changes than the gearbox.
Well noted. I will remove the side panels this weekend and maybe the skid plate and inspect closely and ensure it's just engine oil which I can top off from time to time very easily.
View attachment 103268

@xsever, I'm thinking of the repair job where the engine's leaking oil out of the rear through-shaft seal, which requires pulling the engine to fix.

Meh, if it's just a little weep, I'mma just keep an eye on it and ride on, until such a time comes that something else necessitates pulling the motor, and/or gearbox, and then address it then
Yes that's what it looked like when I peeked through the opening behind the engine oil dipstick. Like I said above, I'll take a closer look soon and pinpoint the leak's source. Hopefully it's a little weep that I can ignore for the time being.

Thanks a lot guys for the valuable insights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can confirm the oil weep is coming from the area circled below. The area is between the engine and gearbox and I believe it's the area circled in the 2nd photo below which BombardierBomb posted above. It's still a little weep and not an actual leak, but what I am most worried about is whether it is engine oil or gearbox fluid. If it's the former, I can rest my mind by topping it up halfway through each engine oil change interval (6 months for me) since that's easy, but if it's the latter, then that would be a hassle to top up gearbox fluid.
What do you guys think? @BombardierBomb @CanAmRancher1 @Freewill

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That sure looks to me like the leak is on the engine side, @xsever
 
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There are three places oil can leak from. One it can leak through the through shaft seal and fill the gearbox with engine oil. This would obviously not leak fluid to the outside of the gearbox so this is not your issue.

Number two gearbox oil can past o ring you can see in the picture of the bearing carriers sitting side by side.

The third place it can leak from is engine oil from between bearing carrier and engine cases. There should be a nice layer of rtv on the upside of the single bearing carrier picture.

What can happen is they didn't get enough rtv between cases and bearing carrier. This was more common on the early v twins though. Can you tell if it looks like the oil comes from front or backside of the bearing carrier? From your picture it looks like it is leaking from rtv side of bearing carrier so it would be engine oil.


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Super Moderator
2016 Can-Am Outlander Max XT 650
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can you tell if it looks like the oil comes from front or backside of the bearing carrier? From your picture it looks like it is leaking from rtv side of bearing carrier so it would be engine oil.
With the difficulty of not being able to see very clearly due to the presence of the skid plate, all I can say is that the seepage looks to be coming from the front side of the atv which means backside of the bearing carrier right? The little oil I could see was at the base of the opening that bolt (circled in red) is in.
 

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With the difficulty of not being able to see very clearly due to the presence of the skid plate, all I can say is that the seepage looks to be coming from the front side of the atv which means backside of the bearing carrier right? The little oil I could see was at the base of the opening that bolt (circled in red) is in.
Yep that is correct.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep that is correct.

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Alright. Would you advise I top up the oil every now and then? And if yes, how often given the small seepage so far?
 

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Well that all depends on your dipstick, doesn't it? It could be such a minor seep you make it PM interval to interval.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well that all depends on your dipstick, doesn't it? It could be such a minor seep you make it PM interval to interval.
You're right. I'll double check my dipstick reading for an actual value but when I checked a couple of days back, I remember I saw nothing worrying and the oil elevl was between the max and min marks.
 
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