Car repair question: oil leak from crank case hose, but no leak found

My car’s started died one late night, I towed it to the nearest dealer to get it fixed. Of course, they found other things wrong with it. They said that there is an “oil leak from crank case hoses and pvc valve is broken, and so is a nipple with a bushing at the top of it” (that’s what he said, I was picturing someting else entirely). How serious is this? I have not noticed any oil leaks at all. My garage is spotless. It’s $217 that I don’t want to spend right now (I need an electrician to install fans, but that’s another thread, and it’s getting late, and I want to go home). Can I put it off? If I start to notice an oil leak, I guess then that would be a good time to go and take it in. Will it get any worse? The dealer didn’t seem to think so.

I know Rick will show up and correct me, but that whole job I believe (depending one the car (make? model?) should cost you about $12 and 20 minutes. It’s a VERY easy project.

What’s your make, model, year?

Oh, and it’s PCV not PVC.

Really, that easy? I wonder how easy an oil switch is? That was $60. I own a Saab 2000 9-3. Most of my repairs are done by a family mechanic, and it’s mostly less than I thought it would be. He’s on vacation, and I wonder if I can get by waiting for a bit. Like I said, I don’t see any oil leaking.

First off the stalling. There is an open recall for the ignition module Details here. Make sure this recall has been done.
Now about the PCV. It has been years since I played around with a SAAB, but do not confuse simple with easy. The replacement of the PCV may well be simple, but not very easy. The PCV can and often is buried under the intake somewhere where your arm can’t get to. Ask me how I know this. :smiley:
We used to say that when SAAB advertised that “We don’t build cars, we build SAABS” that truer words had never been spoken in advertising. SAAB dances to the beat of its own drummer and they are just a little (lot) strange when compared to other cars. Anyway back to your problem.
The system consists of several parts. On the side or top of the engine somewhere there is a box called an oil air separator. This box is generally a labyrinth that they gases from the crankcase have to pass though, that strips any liquid oil from the fumes and returns it to the engine. The gases then pass through a special hose and back into the intake system to be burned by the engine. If there is a PCV valve it will be located at one end or the other of the that hose. Probably the end closest to the intake manifold.

This is the part that scares me. At both ends of the hose there are nipples, if one of those nipples is broken, it will have to be extracted before the new parts can be installed. How long will this take? It may take 3.5. 3.5 What? That is the problem. For a pro mechanic with the right tools it might be 3.5 minutes (or less) For a DIYer it may take 3.5 hours or 3.5 days.
Overall I am guessing that there is probably about $75-100 in parts in this job (special hose, [and yes it is special, don’t try and sub in water hose] PCV valve, new nipple and bushing) the balance of the job is labor somewhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Can you ignore it till your mechanic gets back of vacation? Yeah probably. Don’t go for a smog test before you get it fixed, you won’t pass.
Oil switch? Engine oil pressure switch, or some type of oil level sensor? Oil pressure switches are easy if you can get to them. As they warn you of a condition that can ruin an engine, they are generally considered important. Oil level sensors can be a lot harder.

Wow, you know a lot about Saabs, and I’m guessing, cars in general. Thanks for all the help. I will just let you know that I did pass an emissions test recently. Like I said, I don’t see any oil anywhere. I’m praying that his repair comes in at around $100. Now I wonder if my starter really was bad. He said that he could only get one click out of it. And, it’s hard to believe that me trying to jump some guy would cause the starter to burn out. Then again, I did have some issues starting the winter, but it was so not an issue that I forgot about it until now.

Can I buy a vowel here?
Now I am really confused.
Start at the beginning and explain your car’s problem(s) slowly to me. it is early and I have not had much coffee yet.

I didn’t mention the initial problems because I paid for those already.

It started by me trying to be a nice guy and help jump start a guy. He connected the cables, while I was unplugging all the things connected to my car (iPod, cell phone charger, turned off radio). As I started to get out of the car, he said that it was connected already and I should start the car. Since it was super late (or early depending on your time frame), I turned the key. My car didn’t start, no crank out of the starter, no turn over. But, I had full batter power. None of my fuses were broken either.

I got it towed and the dude at the dealership said I had a bad starter (my Honda mechanic friend who came out to sit with me said the same thing). The dealer said that he then found other things wrong with my car: “The starter is bad, we got it to click once, the oil pressure switch is leaking which is behind the starter, and there is an oil leak from the crank case hoses, the pcv valve is broken, and the nipple with the bushing over there at the top for the crank case breathing system needs to be replaced.”

ah, OK I understand.
You got struck by the perverse law of inanimate objects which can over come good Karma.

If it’s any solace to your karma, starters often have a way of dying suddenly. They’ll work just fine right up to that very last start, then <pfft>

Actually, it’s more like <CLACK> of the solenoid engaging when you turn the key, but the motor itself’s worn out. Sometimes, repeated twists of the key and the resulting solenoid engagements might jiggle the motor enough to make contact and get you going, and sometimes it does nothing but make noise.

The leaking oil pressure sender and the this-and-that hoses and nipples were probably only noticed because they were next to the thing that was actually being looked at - namely, the starter.

If it’s still sending valid signals, the pressure sender can probably be ignored for now. Those things often seem to develop a chronic slow ooze.