How to Fix an Oil Leak


The marks of oil which are seen when driving are not something to take lightly, it can be a possible dangerous oil leak. Oil leaks not only cost bog money in refilling the car with oil but they can also cause grave damage to the engine. Apart from that, oil is extremely flammable and can go ablaze when exposed to any ignition.

Most of the engine oil leaks can be stopped without any need of mechanic. It only takes 5 to 30 minutes.

Here is how to check and fix oil leaks in the car’s oil line. Follow the Directions:

Tools Needed

  • Degreaser
  • New oil pan gasket
  • New valve cover gasket
  • Silicone sealant
  • Socket wrench or adjustable wrench
  • Flashlight
  • Dolly
  • Jack, elevated ramp, or platform
  • Oil

Oil Leak

Directions for Checking the Leaks

  1. The car should be parked on a flat surface with the engine turned off. Wait till the engine completely cools down before the bonnet is opened
  2. Jack up the car and it should be in an elevated position.
  3. Open the bonnet, check the engine and oil pipes and any leaks. A leak would be easily spotted if the if the area has wet oil marks around. The valve cover is the place where the leaks are most likely to be spotted.
  4. If the leakage is in the pipes, then some heat-resistant silicone can be temporarily used for fixing it. If the engine block has the oil leak, then the whole engine block would have to be replaced.
  5. Look under the car and check if there are cracks of leaks on the oil pan gasket or the oil pan.
  6. All the oil from the car would have to be drained if repair is needed.

Directions for Replacing the Valve Cover Gasket

The valve cover gasket is the place where most of the oil leaks occur. Mechanical stress and heat damage from a running engine can reduce the life of a factory installed gasket. For repairing the leak, the gasket would have to be replaced with a new one.

  1. The breather hoses and spark plugs have to be removed from the valve cover.
  2. The bolts holding the valve cover have to be loosened. The bolts and nuts should not be loosened.
  3. The valve cover has to be carefully pried off from the engine block. Be sure that the gasket material pieces don’t get stuck in the engine block. It will take some time to remove the pieces of gasket with a blade.
  4. The rim of the valve cover has to be cleaned completely for allowing the new gasket to stick.
  5. Prior to sticking the new gasket, use a coating of high temperature silicone sealant to prime the rim, then the new gasket can be applied to the rim.
  6. The valve cover to the engine block can now be secured. Use an engine degreaser to remove any grease and oil from the engine block

Directions for Replacing the Oil Pan Gasket

There can also be oil leaks under the car as the oil drains. Heat stress and age can cause the seal between the oil line and the oil pan to break. Here is how the existing oil pan gasket can be replaced with a new one:

  1. First, the oil pan has to be checked for any cracks and holes. If it is heavily damaged, the best option is to replace the oil pan with a new one. However, the minor leaks can be repaired with silicone.
  2. The bolts holding the oil pan have to be loosened and pried down gently. The pan should not be tilted so the oil will not go in your eyes.
  3. The oil pan would have to be cleaned by removing the gasket material that is stuck in the rim. A non-serrated knife or a blade can be used for this purpose.
  4. Apply a thin layer of heat-resistant silicone on the inside surface to prime the rim of the oil pan. Then the new gasket can be applied. Now the oil pan can be propped back to the chassis.

Finally, the car can be re-filled with oil and then take a test drive for checking that the leaks have vanished. These tips will surely be helpful to fix the leaks. There is no need to pay a big amount of money for this kind of repair.