9 Most Probable Oil Leak On Driveway Causes!December 23, 2023
Have you noticed oil leaks on the driveway and you want to learn more about the causes for this oil leak? If that’s correct, look no further because, in this article, we are going to elaborate on everything you need to know.
Doing your research on a car problem is crucial because you just want to get yourself informed on the possible reasons for this problem. And that’s why we are here to help you out.
First, we are going to elaborate on the problem and learn more about the difference between different types of leaks. Then, we will cover the oil leak on driveway causes and see what could be causing this problem. So, let’s dive in.
Leaks On Driveway Problem Elaboration
Although every leak from your car might seem scary at first, you should not panic because this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a very expensive problem to fix.
You should analyze the problem a little bit and see where this leak comes from. This will help you determine the causes.
If the oil leak is somewhere close to the tire, this leak is probably caused by the brake system. The brake system has brake fluid that can leak if there is a problem. Also, the shock absorbers can leak hydraulic fluid that is very similar to engine oil when you touch it.
If the leak is at the front of the car right below the radiator and there are spots that are colored orange, red, blue, or green, this means that you have a coolant leak.
And if the problem comes right below the engine compartment and its greasy substance, this means that you have an actual oil leak. But what could be causing this problem? Let’s find out more about that next.
Oil Leak On Driveway Causes
Now let’s take a look at the oil leak on driveway causes and see what could be causing this leak.
We crafted a long list of the 10 most probable causes for this problem. So, let’s dive into them and learn more about these problems.
1. Loose Oil Drain Bolt
One simple reason why you might be experiencing some leaks on the driveway is a loose drain bolt on the oil pan.
Let’s say that you went for an oil change and the technician forgot to tighten up the bolt properly. So, a small amount of oil starts to seep from the bolt.
These bolts can also loosen over time if not tightened properly. That’s why the first thing you want to check is definitely the drain bolt of the oil pan.
2. Bad Oil Pan Gasket
The second most probable cause for an oil leak on driveway is a bad oil pan gasket. So, what is an oil pan gasket?
Well, this is a gasket material, usually cardboard or RTV. This gasket is placed between the pan and the engine block.
The gasket has the role of keeping a tight seal between the two components. In order for no oil leaks to develop.
In many cases, this gasket can fail, especially at higher miles and the oil will find a hole and will start to sip out from the engine.
A problem that can make things worse is to have a bad PCV valve. The PCV valve is the crankcase ventilation valve.
If this PCV valve is stuck, the engine has a lot of pressure. The oil pan gasket is one of the most common failure points that will allow the gasses to be released.
So, always, check the oil pan gasket for possible leaks!
3. Hole In Oil The Oil Pan
A hole in the oil pan is another main cause of oil leaks on the driveway to occur. So, what is an oil pan?
Well, an oil pan is a component that is mounted at the bottom end of the engine. This pan has a role in collecting the oil.
To this pan, there is a pickup tube that collects the oil and then with the help of the oil pump, this oil is recirculated around the engine.
Unfortunately, some owners can drive over curbs or larger obstacles and damage the pan. Modern pans are made out of aluminum or plastic and this makes them very prone to cracking and failure.
So, if you had a small accident before noticing these symptoms, it is worth considering that the pan is possibly cracked.
4. Blown Front Or Rear Main Seal
Another failure point that can lead to oil leaks is the front and rear main seals. So, what are these main seals?
Well, a main seal is a rubber O-ring that is mounted on both ends of the crankshaft. The one that is mounted on the radiator side is called the front main seal. The other ring that is mounted before the transmission is called the rear main seal.
These seals over a long time become very hard and allow oil to sip out. These leaks can become very excessive and you can lose serious amounts of oil because of this issue. So, the seal has to be replaced as soon as possible because your engine can starve from oil.
5. Bad Timing Cover Gasket
Another common place where engines tend to leak is the timing cover. So, what is a timing cover?
Well, a timing cover is a cover that covers the timing chain mechanism. The timing chain is the chain that makes the top and bottom portions of the engine synchronized.
This chain is covered with an aluminum cover that is known as the timing cover. And this component is also using a gasket.
This gasket can fail and allow engine oil to sip through. Unfortunately, this can be a somewhat expensive repair because a lot of stuff needs to be removed in order to access the timing cover.
Now let’s continue with the next oil leak on driveway causes.
6. Cracked Block
A cracked engine block is also an option that can cause oil leaks to develop. These problems happen, especially if the engine is not properly maintained and the owner puts water instead of the right coolant in the cooling system.
In the beginning, there will be cracks that will develop and allow oil or coolant to leak out from the engine.
This rarely happens though, only on older engines from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Never engines do not have these issues.
7. Loose Oil Filter
A loose oil filter can also allow oil to leak from the engine. This is a problem that happens on engines that use spin-on filters.
These filters are the ones that come with their own metal housing that you simply bolt on the engine when doing an oil change.
In some cases, during maintenance, the filter can be left loose and this will cause some oil to escape and cause oil leaks to develop. Luckily, this is a simple fix. Just tighten up the filter and you will be good to go.
8. Bad Oil Filter Housing Gasket
Another place where oil filters can leak is the oil filter housing. And this problem happens on engines that use a cartridge filter.
Usually, these are the European brands but some American manufacturers also use this approach.
The oil filter is placed into a housing. Then this housing is connected to the block. Between the housing and the block, there is a rubber gasket.
Usually, this gasket fails and starts to allow oil to leak. These leaks can be very serious and the oil can even reach the bottom of the engine and start dripping on the driveway.
Usually, engines with such a problem are the ones made by BMW. We don’t know why but their engines tend to leak from the housing very frequently.
Now let’s move on to the last on our list of oil leak on driveway causes.
9. Cracked Valve Cover
A cracked valve cover can also allow engine oil to come down to the pan and start to create leaks on the driveway.
The valve cover is the plastic cover that covers the valve train. On some engines, these covers can leak a serious amount of oil.
Either they can crack or the valve cover gasket can fail and start causing issues such as oil leaks in the driveway. Luckily, it is not expensive to fix the problem.
Oil Leak On Driveway Diagnostics & Fix
When it comes to the diagnostics of the problem, the engine needs to be checked both from the top and also from the bottom.
All of these components that we listed above have to be checked for leaks. Once proper inspection is done, diagnosing the problem is fairly easy because there will be some serious drippings around the components if there are oil leaks on the driveway.
Cost To Fix Oil On Driveway
The cost to fix this problem can vary from $50 to $500. The most serious problems that can leak and cause expensive repairs are the rear main seal, timing cover, and the oil pan gasket.
All of these components are relatively difficult to remove and will require some labor to be involved in the procedure.
Conclusion To Oil Leak On Driveway Causes
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the problem with an oil leak on the driveway.
First, we elaborated on driveway leaks and we covered the most common ones. Then, we discussed the oil leak on driveway causes and learned what could be causing the problem.
Lastly, we learned more about the diagnostics procedure and the costs involved in fixing this problem on your car.