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Engine Oil Leak

Shashank Nakate
The engine oil leaks, their detection and repairing could be a time-consuming activity. The following information and tips would help in easing out these tasks, in case you face an engine oil leak.
The detection of oil leaks can be frustrating. One would be lucky to find oil leaks in the first go because it takes a lot of time to find out the exact location of the leak. Once you detect the engine leak, it becomes quite easy to take further steps for repair work. The following paragraphs would provide information about oil leak detection and its repair.


The car should be examined for oil leaks by putting it on a rack or by making use of a mechanic's creeper. A flashlight provides better visibility and one would be able to find out the leak easily. It is not always possible to get clear evidence of the oil leakage.
Generally, a wet oily area is the only sign/indication for finding out the leakage. Drain plug is the most common area of oil leakage; it is situated at the bottom of the oil pan. The oil pan gasket and fiber gasket are other areas to look out for a leak.

Repair Cost

The cost of repair of engine oil leaks cannot be stated in an outright manner. Repairing cost for leaks depends on the part to be repaired. For example, if there is any leakage in the front seal or oil pan, you have to bear a high repair cost.
The oil pan leak repair work is costly because it requires the oil pan gasket to be replaced; the cost of replacing the oil too is added to the total figure. By adding the labor costs and other minor expenses, you would have to shell out at least $150 to $1200 for the repair work.
Fixing the problem of rear main seal leak is even more costlier. One would have to spend at least $150. The seals present in cars are of different types like the trans-axle seals, front trans seal, etc. It is only your dealer who can answer the questions related to exact cost of the repairing these parts.
It won't cost much if the oil pressure sending unit is detected with leakage. Also the valve cover oil leaks are cheaper to fix. Most of the car owners are not interested in getting into the technicalities of engine leak repair work.
Only if they are ready to study a bit about engine parts and won't mind getting their hand dirty, engine oil repair can become a less costly affair. However, one shouldn't meddle too much in the repair work if expensive parts of the car are involved. There is a possibility of the costly parts of the car getting damaged.


Once the source/origin of the leak is found, it easy to carry out the repair work. In most cases, the leak can be repaired by removing the old gasket and fixing the place of leakage with a sealant. If a large portion of the bottom of motor is covered with oil, there is a possibility that valve covers are leaking oil.
One should ensure that the bolts of valve covers are tight enough to prevent leakage. Many a time the gasket is changed without knowing that the reason behind leakage were just a few loose bolts. Thus, the above advice would come in handy to deal with this problem.
The parts other than the gasket are checked for leakage by spraying and cleaning them with a carburetor cleaner/degreaser. One should also check if the drain plug bolt is tight. Also, a hole in the oil pan may be the reason behind the leakage.
Such holes are generally created if the vehicle runs over a rock or other such hard material. Screwing a bolt with proper size is the solution to fix this car problem. Cracks, if any, in the engine block or oil pans should be fixed by applying putty.

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The reason for oil leaks could also be the improper installation of oil filter. In rare cases, off road driving causes the oil filter to bend. Thus, fixing such problems takes less time and one won't have to spend anything for the repair work. Engine oil leak detectors can also be used to detect and then fix the leakage problems.
The information about engine oil leaks, their detection and repairing and most importantly the cost incurred is presented in short, in this post. The problem should however, be referred to experts if it is complicated. One shouldn't fiddle with the expensive engine parts without having proper knowledge of how to handle them.
Thus, engine oil leaks can be a simple matter of tightening bolts, or a complex procedure requiring replacement of parts. It is always advised to let mechanics or expert personnel deal with such repairs, as they are able to perform a quality job in least amount of time.