Home | Oil and Fluid | Car Leaking Oil When Parked: Solution

Car Leaking Oil When Parked: Solution

February 12, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

As cars get older, owners often face various issues, and one of them is oil leakage. If you notice that your vehicle is leaking oil while parked, it clearly indicates a problem that requires immediate attention.

Regardless of the make and model of your car, this article provides helpful information on how to identify and solve the issue.

What Causes Oil To Leak

Oil leaks in cars can have several causes, but some of the most common ones have been recorded over time. While there may be other causes, it’s important to check or consider these problems when your car leaks oil.


If any issues are identified, it’s crucial to fix them immediately. If the oil continues to leak even after these problems have been addressed, it’s advisable to seek the help of a mechanic who can diagnose the issue and resolve it promptly.

1. Incorrect Installations

If one of the gaskets that keep oil inside is not installed correctly, it can result in an oil leak. This can happen when the oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket is over-tightened, or the tightness is not well-distributed.

Another potential cause of oil leakage is the incorrect attachment of the oil filter. As the engine oil flows through the filter, if it is loose, oil can leak from this area.

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2. Damaged Oil Gaskets or Pans

Oil gasket damage is a common cause of oil leakage, regardless of the make or model of your car. Your car’s oil pans and gaskets are located at the bottom of the engine and can be damaged by road debris, leading to oil pan leaks.

The gasket of your car’s oil pan is susceptible to wear and tear, which can cause oil leaks.

3. Bad Rings or Valve Seals

If the piston rings or valve seals are worn out, oil can still leak even without holes in the gaskets. However, if the oil is burned during combustion, you may not notice the leak.

Once you’ve identified the cause of your car’s oil leak when parked, contacting your mechanic immediately is essential. Ignoring this issue can lead to more serious problems like the odor of burnt oil, blue smoke, and potentially significant engine damage.

How To Preventing Oil Leaks

One of the most effective ways to prevent oil leaking is to change your oil regularly. This will help you eliminate several problems that come with oil leaks.

1. Change Oil Regularly

regularly changing your car’s oil is crucial to avoid oil leaks because rancid oil can also be a cause. You need to consider various factors to determine if it’s time for an oil change. One of these is visually inspecting the oil – good oil should be pure black, but if it appears brown or “dirty,” you must replace it immediately.

Another way to prevent oil leaks is by tightening the bolts on your engine, which can loosen with engine use. Additionally, it’s essential to replace cracked or worn hydraulic lines and fittings before they fail, as they can wear out due to sun and heat exposure or abrasion.

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You can make a bilge sock out of oil-absorbent pads to prevent oily water discharge. Taking these steps can help prevent oil leaks and avoid any potential problems with your car’s engine.

At The Pump:

To avoid spills when refueling, it is essential to know the capacity of your tank and leave room for fuel expansion. Also, remember to turn off your bilge pump during refueling and turn it back on when finished. Keep an absorbent pad or fuel collar handy to catch any drips.

Following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for oil changes is crucial to ensure good oil quality and prevent leaks. This information can be found in your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website. You can also contact your local dealership for assistance.

Waiting for signs of an oil leak or the “low oil” light to come on before changing your oil is not recommended. The light indicates that the remaining oil in your engine is no longer functioning correctly, which can affect your car’s performance.

How Many Miles Between Oil Changes?

Following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended mileage for changing your car oil is essential, as it is a more reliable gauge than a timeframe. Many car owners schedule their oil changes every six months, but this may not account for seasonal changes in driving habits.

It’s important to note that each car’s mileage requirements are different. For older vehicles, the standard was about 3,500 miles between oil changes, while newer cars can go 7,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. You must check your manufacturer’s recommendation for your specific vehicle to ensure you don’t miss a regular oil change and avoid oil leaks staining your driveway.

Common Signs of Oil Leaks

An indication that your car is overdue for an oil change is the presence of engine oil leaks. A telltale sign of an oil leak is the sight of a brown liquid pool beneath your car after it has been parked for some time.

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However, modern vehicles have shielding that collects the oil before it reaches the ground, making it difficult to spot a potential oil leak.

In such instances, a warning light that indicates a low oil level is an indication that there is a leak. Checking under the hood and examining your vehicle’s fluids periodically is essential. You might notice oil leaking or seeping from multiple locations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oil Leaking

Can I still drive with an oil leak?

Although technically can drive with an oil leak, it is not recommended. It is best to avoid moving your vehicle if it has an oil leak, especially for long distances. If you must drive, keeping your drives short, preferably less than 10 miles, is advised.

How much did you need to fix an oil leak?

The cost to repair an oil leak in your vehicle can vary significantly. It will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the leak, the type of vehicle, the engine, and where the leak is located.

Various solutions are available to fix an oil leak, ranging from simple gasket replacements to more complex engine repairs.

Therefore, it’s essential to have a professional mechanic diagnose the issue to determine the best course of action and the cost involved.

Do I need an oil change if my car leaks oil?

Changing the engine oil will not solve the oil leakage issue from your parked car. Instead, it is crucial to identify the root cause of the leakage and conduct necessary repairs as soon as possible.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.