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XC90 Oil leak from bell housing. I

guys, I think I am in trouble, I have a 2013 XC90 D5 with 81,000 KM. I have an oil leak from the little hole in the bell housing ( where the engine and gearbox come together).

For what I read online there are two possible causes:

1) core plug failure. Common on earlier engines but I would expect a 2013 built engine would not have a plastic core plug. To fix it it’s a shit job.

2) failed rear main seal, if this is the case it’s a really shitty job to fix as well.

it is a very slow leak, a small drop so often oil level went down by a very small amount.

any ideas what it could be? Any recommendations for a workshop to fix it? Or is there another component that could be causing the leak.

I have added a few pics.



  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    @elguapo whereabouts are you located (for workshop recommendations)?

  • I am in Ballan, I drive to Ballarat and Geelong now and then.

  • I ran a Volvo specialist in Ballarat and can help out.

  • It's worth checking your brake vacuum pump isn't leaking. That's the usual source of oil leaks on the gearbox area. Will be fairly obvious if there's oil on the top of the gearbox

  • agree with Timbo not very often do a rear seal so check brake pump as this is common

  • I checked the vacuum pump, top of the gear box its all clean. The only other side I have not checked thoroughly is nearest to the firewall towards the cabin as access is a pain without taking things apart.

    . Looking around the gearbox on both sides it looks clean! No oil anywhere so its not running from the sides. There is a hose running above the EGR valve that felt sticky but not dripping with oil. I could not see clearly if its leaking where it connects to the crank case. Will be worth another look, on the weekend I will take the intake off and give the EGR a clean. Ill see if the leak is coming from the top of the engine.

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