How Do You Fix an Oil Leak in a Car?

John Churchman/Photolibrary/Getty Images

To fix an oil leak in a car, find the source of the leak, check the oil pan gasket and repair the leak as appropriate. Fixing an oil leak in a car takes a minimum of an hour and requires a car jack, jack stands and wrenches. A stop leak additive may be necessary, depending on the cause of the leak.

  1. Raise the car

    Place the car jack behind the front tire, and jack the car up. Place the jack stands in the exposed space. Ensure they are secure as going under the car is necessary to identify and repair the leak.

  2. Identify the source of the oil leak

    Crawl under the car, and locate where the oil is dripping from. Check the oil pan and the drain plug. The valve gasket is a common source of oil leaks. Remove the oil pan, and inspect the gasket for dripping oil.

  3. Repair the leak

    If a loose drain plug is the source of the leak, use a wrench to tighten it. Likewise, tighten the oil filter. If a small leak is coming from a gasket, add a stop leak additive to the oil reservoir after the car is back on the ground.

  4. Let the car down

    Raise the car slightly with the jack, remove the jack stands and lower the car to the ground. If using a stop leak additive, pop the hood, unscrew the oil filler cap and pour the additive inside.