How Do You Repair an Engine Oil Leak?

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Raise the vehicle if necessary to inspect the underside of it, and thoroughly inspect the engine and oil pan to determine the cause of the leak. Some common causes of oil leaks include faulty gaskets, a loose or damaged drain plug, and malfunctioning oil filters. Apply the appropriate repair, and check the engine for leaks after the repair to ensure the problem is solved.

To locate the source of the oil leak, look for areas of the engine that are covered in oil, or that appear dirtier than the surrounding area, as the oil causes dirt and other debris to stick to the engine. If the area is located near a gasket, replace the gasket.

To determine whether the leak is occurring around the drain plug on the oil pan, spray lubricant onto the area around the plug, and watch for bubbles to appear. Tighten the drain plug if bubbles appear in the lubricant, or replace the drain plug if it is damaged.

An improperly installed, very dirty or loose oil filter can cause leaks. Remove the filter, and replace it with a new one to determine whether the leak is caused by a faulty oil filter. Change the oil in the vehicle while making the repairs to ensure the repair is effective.