Oil leak

I have an oil leak on my car.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The most common leak on your particular car is the valve cover gasket. The gasket deteriorates over time and leaks oil over the entire engine. Before replacing the valve cover gasket, I recommend having a qualified technician thoroughly diagnose the leak to avoid replacing unnecessary parts.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

The most common reasons a Hyundai Accent is leaking oil are oil system component failure and leaking engine gaskets.
The most common reasons a Hyundai Elantra is leaking oil are oil system component failure and leaking engine gaskets.
The most common reasons a Hyundai Santa Fe is leaking oil are oil system component failure and leaking engine gaskets.
Driving a car with an oil leak can be dangerous for you and other road users. Oil can become flammable when it reaches a certain temperature and parts of your vehicle`s engine can get very hot, which may result in a fire. However, oil can also cause damage to seals and rubber hoses, which could result in a breakdown.
Common causes of oil leaks include degraded engine gaskets, leaks from the oil pan, or improper or worn out seals. An oil leak also can be caused by a loose or missing oil pan drain plug or deteriorated valve cover gaskets.
One of the easiest ways to fix the leak yourself is to use a stop leak additive or high mileage oil blend. Such products can soften and condition your car`s rubber seals to stop and prevent further automotive leaks. It may take up to a few hundred miles of driving before the leak is completely sealed.
If a larger amount of oil is leaking and burning, you will see visible smoke coming from under the hood. Not only does this suggest a leak, it can also rapidly deteriorate other components in the vehicle. If you see smoke coming from your vehicle`s engine, get it checked by a professional immediately.
Engine oil leaks are one of the most common causes of engine damage. They cause rapid deterioration of the engine and result in expensive repairs. Worse yet, engine oil leaks pose a safety threat. They may lead to the loss of control of the vehicle while driving.
An oil leak repair cost may be around $300 to $500, including the labor charge if you need to replace only the valve cover gasket. If you have to replace the entire valve cover unit, including the gasket, the cost can be up to $1,000 or more depending on the brand and model of your car.
Finding the Source of Your Oil Leak

Use a flashlight to check underneath your car and around your engine – telltale drips might lead you right to the problem. There are several common locations for oil leaks in your car, including: At your oil pan gasket. At your oil filter or drain plug.

Some folks might suggest that you simply put thicker oil in your car to treat a leak. Sounds reasonable. It is not. Sure, in theory, thicker oil would have a harder time fitting through gaps in your engine.
What does it mean when your car is leaking oil when parked? Oil leaks manifest in many different ways, but if your car is leaking oil when parked, the vast majority of leaks are due to degraded engine gaskets, oil pan leaks, or bad oil seals and connections. Your car`s oil pan is attached to the bottom of your engine.
Cracked Gasket: The Core Culprit in Most Engine Oil Leaks

More often than not, a sudden oil leak after oil change is caused by a malformed or cracked gasket. Gaskets are usually made of urethane or rubber, and they can harden over time.

If a larger amount of oil is leaking and burning, you will see visible smoke coming from under the hood. Not only does this suggest a leak, it can also rapidly deteriorate other components in the vehicle. If you see smoke coming from your vehicle`s engine, get it checked by a professional immediately.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car is leaking oil i got an oil change for it last month but it is still leaking oil what will cause my car to leak oil ?
ANSWER : Most older cars have oil leaks. Sealing technology has just not kept up with mechanical improvements to engines so much so that leaks often kill engines rather than mechanical problems. So, it is not unexpected at all to have an, indeed many, oil leaks on a 23 year old car. Oil leaks vary hugely in terms of severity and priority of repair. Oil leaking onto a hot engine manifold is the worst case (the oil can start a fire; at best, you are left breathing oil fumes in the cabin, as the oil burns off of the manifold) while de minimus seepage of oil at the oil drain plug or oil pan gasket, while annoying and messy, if limited enough is not an emergency. Some leaks are easy to repair, while others literally require the engine to be removed just to get physical access to all the leak points. In your circumstance, if you smell burning oil, oil is probably leaking onto a hot engine part such as the exhaust manifold. A certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, can perform an oil leak diagnostic and then let you know of your repair options and costs.

As far as the check engine light, that is not related to the oil leak(s). If you request a check engine light diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that have caused the check engine light to illuminate. Using those codes, the appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are then carefully tested, based on specifications set forth in your car’s Factory Service Manual, to pinpoint the cause of the fault or the reason why the check engine light has illuminated. Once the faulty part or component is identified, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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Oil was leaking, put in over 4 qts of oil and oil leak stopper. White smoke coming tailpipe,engine shakes, car dies. Oil leaking.
ANSWER : Oil additives are not recommended by any vehicle manufacturer for any reason. Additives that purport to resolve oil leaks are useless, a waste of your money, and may result in engine damage. Every vehicle manufacturer strongly recommends against use of these materials. There is only one recommended and approved repair strategy when it comes to oil leaks: fix the leak.

You can only add the manufacturer specified amount of oil to an engine. If you add too much oil, or too little oil, that will cause engine damage. You should check the engine oil dipstick to determine if there is presently too much oil in the engine. If there is too much, the excess will have to be removed to prevent engine damage.

The leak that you are referring to can be repaired if you request an oil leak diagnostic. If you have further questions or concerns as you decide what to do, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic because we want you to make the most of your repair dollars and help you get the best possible results.

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Are these oil leak problems related?
ANSWER : If the oil filter housing is integral to the oil cooler, or the housing had to be removed to service the cooler, a professional mechanic with knowledge of the limited service life of rubber seals would have absolutely (guaranteed) replaced the filter housing gasket that you are now belatedly finding leaks. However, if the leaking gasket is in an assembly that was not touched, or is not part of the cooler, they might be on reasonable grounds to have not fooled with it. These cooler configurations vary (from Mercedes Benz model to model) so, having the advice I just gave, you can just simply ask them what configuration you have and go from there. The bottom line is, if indeed, the gasket that is presently leaking was "right in front of them" while they did the warranty work, it should have been replaced simply as a matter of course. Indeed, the weak link on modern engines has become gaskets and seals. The engine will mechanically far outlast the gasket and seals but the problem is to replace all of them (once they all leak) you have to literally take the engine out of the car and take it apart just to put all new seals in. Please let us know how we can help further on this issue.

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Just noticed a huge oil leak trailing my car. It seems to be coming from below the engine. I recently had my oil changed a month
ANSWER : You might have a problem with the oil filter leaking when you rev the engine and increase the oil pressure. This can be from a collapsed oil filter media or excessive oil pressure from the engine. I recommend having the oil and filter replaced using a good quality filter and have the oil leak verified to be from the filter. Make sure to not run the engine low on oil. If you are finding you do not want to drive with the leak, a mobile technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office, and replace both your filter, and oil.

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lost all oil pressure, replaced the oil pump, low oil sensor, oil pressure sensor, oil pan gasket,
ANSWER : The fuel pump will not stay on if you loose oil pressure. This is why it is shutting off. The loss of oil pressure may be from bad crankshaft bearings or camshaft bearings. The engine oil pan should be removed and the oil pump needs to be checked to ensure that you put in the pick up tube seal to the pump and connected the pump to the block. Then remove at least one main bearing cap and inspect the bearings for excessive wear and crankshaft damage. If you need some help with this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can help diagnose the issue with your oil pressure firsthand and help you fix it accordingly.

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A mechanic at sears auto center told me I had a oil pan leak. But i have not seen any oil leak from under my car. He recommende
ANSWER : Oil leaks should be repaired because leaking oil can damage external engine components such as rubber motor mounts. If you want the source of the oil leak identified and the repair estimated, simply request an oil leak diagnostic. Your vehicle has an engine oil maintenance reminder system to let you know when it’s time to change the engine oil and filter. The allowed interval for oil changes depends on your unique driving habits and can be up to, but not more than, one year. If you haven’t driven the vehicle a lot, don’t needlessly worry about having gone perhaps 2-3 years without the required oil change. It is critical though, at this juncture, to change the oil and filter immediately. Synthetic oil is recommended. If you desire that this maintenance be performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine oil/filter change and the responding mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic.

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2006 BMW oil filter gasket keeps breaking and oil leaks from oil filter. Oil leaks only after starting car in morning. PCV valve?
ANSWER : Hi There,
It sounds like you may need to replace the oil cap o-ring. If you haven’t done this before there are two O-rings to replace; a small green one on the base of the filter cap stem and the large black one that seals the filter cap (which seems to be the one you are having issues with). The large O-ring sits in a small square-shaped groove that is at the base of the oil filter cap. It is very easy to not properly seat the large O-ring because the threads for the oil cap are quite large and will accept the O-ring if you are not careful. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle.

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Oil still leaking after I changed oil filter
ANSWER : Unless there is an imperfection (e.g., serious pitting or irregularities) on the engine mounting base for the filter gasket, the leak is probably not at the filter. There are other adjacent potential leak spots such as the oil pan gasket, oil pressure sending unit and so forth. If the leak is significant at all, merely thoroughly cleaning the suspect area and running the engine while looking for the leak should be sufficient. If you still can’t find the leak origin, a UV visible dye can be added to the engine oil which will then make the leak point visible using a detection light. If you want these steps performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an oil leak diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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