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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Changed the engine oil and filter on my 2012 E11 1.4l (CR14DE) a couple of weeks ago and to my dismay found the car leaking something shortly after. A puddle appears on the passenger side, just below the oil sump each morning. It was greasy so I thought it was oil at first. Checked the filter and sump plug gasket - both were perfect and not leaking. So not oil then.

Took a camera to the back of the engine and noticed red liquid on the backside, coming from right above the oil filter.

Alright, so it's coolant then.

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The oil filter is on the left side of the photo. On the top right, that brown thing has two pipes coming from it, and is definitely well rusted and corroded. I've ordered the Haynes Workshop Manual just now, but in the meantime I'd really like to get this project going and find out what that part is. Any ideas?

All I can think of is that while changing the oil filter, I must have knocked the pipes and caused a leak here.

Oil cooler? Not sure if the CR engine has it here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It’s normally a blank core plug as far as I know. So where do those 2 pipes go? Do they appear to be original?

you can get core plugs out (with experience / skill) and knock new ones in with some sealant usually. At least we used to in the old days on Ford sierras etc
https://enginecoreplugs.com/product-category/nissan/nissan-o-e-part-numbers/
Thanks so much for the comment, you have no idea how much it helped, realizing this is not original (thus explaining why I couldn't find this part on any of the Nissan service manuals for this car.)

I followed the two pipes (d'uh, not sure why I didn't do that yesterday!) and found them circling around the engine and turning into a cable(!) going into the firewall. On the cable, I found some faint writing...DEFA. That's when it hit me. This is the block heater. Of course! Looks like the gasket on the heating element has failed, and thus it's leaking coolant when the car is sitting for longer.

I googled the engine code and DEFA together and found a picture of the block heater element (DEFA 411566), which is luckily for sale at my nearest auto parts store for around 100 EUR. I think I'll replace the whole thing instead of just the gasket - the corrosion on the installed part really is quite bad.
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Interesting never seen that before. presume you’re not in the uk? €100 not too bad price. You will also need new coolant, good time to change it. Guessing the only problem will be it could be awkward to get to / fit If lack of space.
 

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Interesting never seen that before. presume you’re not in the uk? €100 not too bad price. You will also need new coolant, good time to change it. Guessing the only problem will be it could be awkward to get to / fit If lack of space.
I'm located in Finland, so due to the cold weather almost every car has a block heater. However, they're fitted locally by the dealer. Based on my googling, seems it's not too uncommon to have the gasket start to leak after a while, being right next to a part that gets heated +100°C for hours at a time.

Thanks, good point about the coolant, I think 5 litres should be sufficient, will make sure to drain that too.
 
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