Troubleshooting help needed badly !
I have a 2002 24-valve 3.5L ES that over the weekend has died on me. It is about to turn up 100k and has been largely trouble free aside from replacing an oxygen sensor, a water pump three years ago, and an oil pressure incident in October when it died at an intersection, restarted, died again, and coasted into a parking lot to find the oil level had gone ridiculousy low (yes, I had been checking it periodically and never saw leaks in my driveway). A couple of hours to cool, a quart plus of Havoline 5/W/30 and back on the road with no problems since. Had the oil changed days after with a popular brand for high milage cars.
. I've had a "check engine" light come on the last several summers. The guys at PepBoys and the Quick Lube said the code was Plenum something..(I've lost the ticket they gave me with the code). The QL suggestion was their high dollar high octane exhaust cleanse. As this has gone away every winter, and yet come back the last three or so summers, I confess I was not all that concerned, and thought just a faulty sensor, maybe related to our Florida humidity.
Drove to the grocery this past Friday, all good. Got in Saturday to go mail bills, would fire up, then die. Going by my previous oil problem, checked fluids and found the oil level down to around 1/3rd on the hashmarks. Added some oil again, no change. Also added some antifreeze as it looked low also. It'll fire up, rev, then die. Tries after, no ignition when I turn the key and daytime running lights go out, and the low oil pressure light comes on (this despite having topped off off the oil). I hear a hum in the background that I'm guessing is the fuel pump, then it stops. The only other clue is moisture on whatever seal this is on the front of the engine. I confess to being somewhat "car-challenged" and know the basic maintence routine but I don't even know what I'm looking at with this, as I don't (yet) have a repair manual. The photo attached is what I'm seeing, and an image search on Google showed something similar that was referred to as a coolant leak into the manifold resulting from an O-ring being warped by heat.
Any help with this pointing me in the right direction, or at least helping me being able to discuss this with a mechanic without confirming that I'm car simple would be greatly appreciated. I haven't worked since leaving the Navy, but have some recent opportunities hinging on dependent on reliable transportation.