How To Stop Engine Oil Leak: Definitive Guide for Beginners

​Just as you are about to drive your car out of the garage and head to work, a small pool of oil forming underneath the car suddenly catches your eye.

What do you do in this type of situation?

Well, you can just pretend like it’s nothing and keep driving! Right?

That’s not a bad idea actually until the engine decides to fail, oil catches fire and everything EXPLODES while you are still inside the car!

If you are yet to grasp the severity of an oil leak and wondering whether you should drive around like this, then my one word of advice to you would be “DON’T”.

Even if you are lucky enough to avoid any kind of fire hazard, this will still leave a massive impact on the motor and decrease your car’s performance by a great margin.

Want to know how to stop engine oil leak?

Well, first, let’s give you a brief idea about why this type of occurrences take place and how you can identify the location from where the fluid is leaking easily.

Let’s go!

What Are The Causes Of An Engine Oil Leak?

Ever wondered what’s the culprit that’s been causing your engine to leak oil?

Turns out, there are several ways your car’s internal system might be affected and causing it to malfunction.

Let’s take a look:

1. Damaged Gasket

No matter how windy it is, you are always safe inside your car. But have you thought what it means to your vehicle?

Windy days, rough roads and dusty environment affect the fuel gasket of your car big time!

While you are driving through a road full of gravels and potholes, the sharp edges of the rocks might create a hole in the bottom part of your vehicle and cause a leak in the oil pan quite easily.

2. Cheap Engine Oil

Everything comes with a price and you must face the consequence for it!

While you are substituting the regular oil for a poor-quality fuel which doesn’t contain the necessary additives in it, you are literally asking for trouble in your life!

Not only the wrong fuel type decreases your car’s overall performance, but also, it's guilty of putting a faulty fuel pressure on your engine, which in turn cause an oil leak.

3. Broken Seal

The main seal of your vehicle is responsible for preventing the oil leak between the crankshaft and the block. As the seal is located at the rear side of your car, it can get damaged for a number of reasons including getting sanded by the roadside grime, salt and debris etc.

Once the main seal is broken, it will most likely start draining the fuel supply in a rapid movement.

4. Bad Installation

Did you know your car’s motor has several types of gaskets inside it including head gasket, valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket, oil pan gasket, intake manifold gasket etc.?

Yep! And it’s extremely important that all of these gaskets are properly installed as each of them play important roles in terms of keeping the fuel inside.

For instance, if the fuel pan gasket and the valve gasket happen to be overtightened for some reason, then it might cause damage to the oil seal. Similarly, if the fuel filter isn’t attached properly, it will also result in a possible leakage.

5. Worn-Out Plug

The fuel drain plug is located at the underside of the car and therefore, is susceptible to a lot of abuses.

Over time, the drain plug gets worn out and torn in places. The faulty drain plug is one of the reasons the fuel might start leaking at times.

Engine Oil Leak Symptoms

The doctors always say that, if you can catch the disease at an early stage, it's much easier for them to treat that particular condition, right?

Well, the same theory can be applied here as well!

However, in order to do that you have to keep your eyes open and look for the signs that are related to fuel leakage problems.

Let’s get to know the symptoms before it’s too late, shall we?

1. Puddles Of Oil Under The Car

This is probably the most obvious signal of fuel leakage out there!

Oil deposits found underneath your car is never a good sign. It means the fuel is leaking out from the inner components of your vehicle.

One word of advice would be to make sure the fluid is indeed the engine oil!

Check the color of the fluid and tell me if its Dark Brown or Yellowish in color.

If the answer is Yes, then it’s engine oil!

If the color is Pink, Red, Green or Orange, then it’s probably the liquid of an Anti-Freeze Coolant or transmission fluid.

2. Noise And Burnt Oil Smell

“Szzzz”.

Hear that sizzling noise that almost resembles the sound of a chicken being fried on the pan?

Or what about the petroleum smell that’s also has a fishy odor in it?

Well, my friend, you have just discovered how it sounds and smells like when the fuel is oozing out of your car’s motor and dropping onto some hot components of the engine!

Watch out for these signs and try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

3. Overheated Engine

It’s never a good idea to run your vehicle with an overheated engine.

However, any kind of fuel or transmission fluid leakage will cause your car’s coolant system to get all messed up!

As a result, you will not only get an engine that gets overheated quickly but also, the pistons will get damaged due to not getting enough lubrication and cause your car to degrade or become unusable altogether. Follow this article if your Car Starts Then Dies

4. Smoke From The Engine

While it might look cool when your exhaust pipe is producing blue smoke, it’s actually a red alert for you!

Blue smoke is a clear indicator that the fuel of your car’s motor is burning hot. So, as soon as you notice this smoke, park the car ASAP and try to find the exact location from where the fuel is leaking.

Common Engine Oil Leak Locations

I know you are getting a little bit impatient and want to dive straight to the solution part!

However, there are several compartments in your car’s engine from where the fuel might possibly leak and you should get to know them as the solution to each case is different from one another.

Inspect the following locations in your car to find out which one is responsible in your situation:

Crankshaft

The end of the crankshaft is sealed with the help of the rear main seal and this component is located at the back of the engine.

If it’s been a while since the last time you drove your car, then the crankshaft tends to stretch out the seal over the time and doesn't get back to its previous form afterward.

So, if you happen to have an idle car sitting around, then it’s a good idea to check the crankshaft before you start its engine.

Oil Pan Gasket

Between the fuel pan and the engine block, there exists the oil pan gasket, which is responsible for sealing the pan from the bottom portion.

If you are guilty of changing the car fuel after the recommended time period, then it's a good idea to take a look at this component as soon as you notice leakage.

Drain Plug

The drain plug is located at the base of the oil pan that we previously mentioned.

The plug is there to ensure the pan keeps all nice and sealed.

However, due to improper installation or the pressure of the motor, the cap might get broken or missing, which will, in turn, result in fuel discharge.

>> Know more about Iridium and Platinum Spark Plugs

Timing Cover Gasket

This component is located on the front side of your car’s engine. It's responsible for protecting the chain, gear and the crankshaft.

If you see fuel oozing out around the drive belt and accessories of your vehicle and notice that the leakage is relatively slower, then it’s possible that the timing cover gasket has gone bad and it’s time to replace it.

Different Ways You Can Stop An Engine Oil Leak

Most fuel leaks are easy to fix and you are more likely to do it all by yourself!

To help you along the way, we have gathered some of the common repairs here:

1. Check For Loose Components

  • Inspect different locations and find out if any loose components are hanging anywhere.
  • Tighten the nuts and screws that may have been loosened and follow the instruction on your car manual for the torque value.
  • Do NOT overtighten anything as that might damage the components even more.

2. Check The Oil Filter

  • Check the fuel filter of your vehicle with the help of a flashlight.
  • Remove the filter and see if it’s the installed filter is the right type for your vehicle.
  • Check to see if the rubber seal is intact and replace it if it's damaged or leaked.
  • Use a knife to get rid of the dirt around the sealant.
  • Reinstall the filter and tighten it by hand to make sure it’s screwed properly.

3. Use A “Stop Leak” Additive

  • If the problem still persists at this point, then use a chemical solution to stop all types of minor leaks.
  • Remove the top off the fuel filler.
  • Pour the content of the “Stop Leak” additive inside the filler.
  • Put the filler cap back on.
  • Drive around while the solution is still inside the reservoir and the leak will automatically repair itself!

4. Inspect The Oil Filler Cap

  • Check the fuel filler cap and see if it’s installed properly.
  • Take a piece of clean cloth and wipe the dirt and excess fuel off the cap.
  • Turn the cap counter-clockwise, lift it up, inspect it to see if it has any defects and replace it if necessary.

5. Change The Gasket

  • Remove the valve cover with a wrench.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the gasket. Make sure to remove all traces of the old gasket.
  • Replace the old gasket with a brand-new one!
  • Use a good-quality sealant to prevent any future leakage.

6. Replace The Camshaft Seal If Necessary

  • Remove the timing belt and gear of the camshaft.
  • Remove the seal and use a clean towel to clean the surrounding area.
  • Replace the camshaft seal.
  • Reinstall the belt and gear and you are done!

Tips And Caution

  • Make sure to disconnect the car’s battery first before you do any kind of repair.
  • While purchasing the oil leak repairing products, go for the reputed brands even if they cost a little extra!
  • Wear protective gloves and goggles while fixing up the faulty components. Follow this guide to avoid garage accidents.
  • Make fuel change a top priority to prevent any leaky situation in the future.
  • If the problem still persists even after trying out the methods mentioned in our article, then take your vehicle to the nearest garage without any further delay.

Final Words

“A stitch in time saves nine”.

We have all heard this proverb since our childhood and it’s so true!

While it’s tempting to ignore the occasional leaks here and there, it has some serious consequences.

The fuel is responsible for keeping your vehicle in its best condition and it also allows it to run smoothly without any kind of mishaps.

However, once the fuel starts leaking, the temperature begins to rise rapidly, the internal component dries up and the decreased lubrication results in severe damage to the engine that might even be irreparable in some cases!

Hopefully, you have gained some ideas about how to stop engine oil leaks from this article and will be able to find the source of the spill, diagnose and repair the leaks successfully all by yourself!

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