Why Your Car is Leaking Oil When Parked? Causes & How To Fix It?

In this article, we will learn why your car is leaking oil when parked along with causes & how to fix it? As you pull out of your driveway, you notice that there is a deep dark spot that was not there before. You have a car that leaks oil, and this means that you have a problem with it.

Your car is not only giving you a warning that something is wrong with it, but you can also see the evidence of the problem in the form of motor oil stains.

Oil Leaking When Car is Parked: Definition of Car Oil Leaks?

You can fix the oil leak yourself and save some money in the process. You can both take your car to a garage and pay a big mechanic’s bill or you can fix the leak yourself and save some money in the process. The good news is that you can actually fix an oil leak in your car by yourself if you have the knowledge and know how to go about it. This guide will walk you through all the steps you need to follow to get started.

There is no way you can afford to ignore oil leaks when they occur. In most cases, figuring out what causes engine oil leaks does not require the assistance of a trained mechanic. Just a little bit of hunting can turn up plenty of clues, so do not wait if you want to avoid damaging your engine if you don’t do it right away.

Also Read: Types of Cars

Why Oil Leaking When Car is Parked: Causes

It is possible for oil leaks to occur in cars for a number of different reasons. There is a possibility that you have a bad seal or a damaged gasket. You might have suffered some damage to your vehicle as a result of an accident. It is important to remember that depending on how much oil is spilt, the following factors can cause an oil leak to occur.

Substandard Oil Filter

There is no doubt that oil filters do what they sound like; they filter out contaminants that are present in engine oil. It is important that the oil stays clean so that there will be no clogging or wear inside the engine as a result. It is also important to remember that the oil filter does get clogged if it is not changed on a regular basis. A rupture in the oil filter could occur as the pressure builds up, leading to oil leaks when the filter ruptures.

Oil leaks can also be caused by a loosely fitted oil filter, which is another reason why oil leaks can occur. It has been observed that a little space inside an engine can cause a leak in the oil since the oil inside an engine moves under a certain pressure. The mechanic may not have installed the oil filter correctly after an oil change, so you should be on the lookout for this situation after an oil change.

The use of the wrong oil filter can also result in oil leaks from the oil filter itself. There might be a problem with the oil filter seal, in this case, resulting in problems with the oil pressure and the oil leaking out of the engine.

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Overworked Valve covering Gasket 

The valve cover gasket is a rubber seal that is used to seal the upper portion of the engine’s cylinder head to the valve cover as well as the upper portion of the valve cover. During the course of time, a gasket hardens as a result of heat and pressure, while cracks in the gasket develop. When the oil pressure rises, this causes unexpected and sudden leaks in the system. If you drive your car every day, you may be able to do it slowly.

Your car may have one gasket or multiple gaskets depending on the type of engine it has. There are two valve covers on a V-6 or a V-8 engine if you drive one of them. You only have one cylinder in a straight four-cylinder engine or a single-cylinder engine with six cylinders.

As a general rule, valve cover gaskets last between 20,000 and 50,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Due to the heat produced by the oil leak, if it is not repaired, the leak can cause fumes or a fire if it is not repaired. In addition, the wear and tear caused by the continuously depleting oil can ultimately ruin your engine.

Not properly attached Draining Plug

The drain plug is a plug that is used to drain the engine oil from the engine. The oil filter is located under the car and it is attached to the oil pan at the bottom of the car. Unless you are in the car, it’s hard to miss it if you’re looking for it. A loose drain plug can cause oil leaks if all of the engine oil gets accumulated in the oil pan due to the accumulation of engine oil.

There would be oil stains around and directly under a leaking drain plug if it were leaking. You may want to inspect your drain plug if you have just had an oil change, which is even more of a reason to do so

Defective Oil Pan

When not in use, the oil is stored in an oil pan, which is a facility for collecting all the oil when it is not in use. If you are not driving or if you have turned off your engine, then that is what you are doing. This is also where the surface of the oil pan is cooled by the air passing over the surface as it passes over it.

In general, it is rare for oil to leak from oil pans due to the fact that they are tightly fitted. Any sort of damage to the pan or a loose-fitting pan can result in an oil leak, however. Oil leaks can also occur if the oil pan gasket wears out, just like the valve cover gasket wears out when it comes to an oil leak.

Also Read: What is Governer

What are the Common Causes and Signs of Oil Leaking When Car is Parked

Degraded engine gaskets and oil leaks from the oil pan are some common causes of oil leaks, as are improper or worn out seals and worn out gaskets. Besides loose oil pan drain plugs and deteriorated valve cover gaskets, it is also possible to have an oil leak caused by an oil leak in the engine.

You can use a dipstick to measure the level of oil in your engine’s vehicle to determine if there is an oil leak in the engine, and this is one of the easiest ways to tell if you have an oil leak. When your oil level is outside the minimum mark on the dipstick, which can be seen by the crosshatching, an L, MIN, or a lower pinhole on the dipstick, you have a low oil level. An oil leak can be detected by low levels of oil in the engine. There are other common signs of an oil leak in your vehicle which include the presence of blue smoke coming from the hood or exhaust or the smell of burning when your engine is running.

Also Read: What is Engine

How Can You Tell that if You Have an Oil Leak in Your Car Engine?

There are some obvious and direct symptoms of an oil leak in an automobile. You can find the symptoms by looking around, which include:-

Spilling oil

There is no doubt that oil spills are the most obvious indication that there is an oil leak. If you have a leak in your car, there will be some sort of spill or a splatter underneath your vehicle as a result. It is possible to see a few drops or a small puddle of water depending on the intensity of the leak.

The fact that there is an oil spill right under your car indicates that there is a leak in your engine oil, whatever the cause may be. This is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Check The Engine oil light

A check engine oil light on your dashboard is another sign that you have an oil leak, as it indicates the presence of an oil leak in the engine. Due to the fact that the oil leak indicator only lights up when the oil level is too low, it is the perfect indicator for finding leaks in the oil system. If your vehicle’s light comes on while you are driving, you should stop and inspect the vehicle as soon as possible. Whenever you turn on your car, if you see a light on the dashboard, you should check for oil spills

It is important to check the oil level whenever the check engine oil light comes on in any scenario

Any kind of smoke that is coming out of the engine

A malfunctioning cooling system, faulty wiring, or a fluid leak can all cause smoke to come from the engine as a result of a malfunctioning cooling system. There are several fluids that can cause smoke when they leak onto hot engine components, such as transmission fluid, brake fluid, and engine oil.

Pull over where it is safe to do so if you notice that your engine is smoking when you are driving your car. The engine should be turned off and allowed to cool for a few seconds after it has been turned off. Once you have popped the hood, you will be able to see what is causing the problem.

Additionally, do not use the fire extinguisher unless you can see flames coming from the fire. The extinguisher will end up ruining more than saving in the event that it is used in an ineffective manner.

Overheating of the engine

Apart from the fact that engine oil is also a lubricant and a filter, it also serves as a coolant for the engine. The coolant flows through the various components of the engine and cools them down as it passes through them. There is a reduction in the cooling effect as a result of an oil leak, as well as a decrease in the oil level when there is an oil leak. If the engine overheats due to this, it can cause damage to the engine.

The smell of Burning Oil

It is possible for oil leaking from the valve cover to fall onto other parts of the engine. Due to the fact that they are piping hot when they are in motion, they emit a burning oil smell when they are driving. You will probably notice an acrid smell coming from under the hood if you detect any burning oil.

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How Can You Spot if an Oil Leak has Occurred from Your Car?

It is relatively easy to identify the cause of an oil leak, despite the fact that there are multiple reasons for it. The cause of the oil leak can easily be found by inspecting a few areas.

The things you need to look out for and do to check if there is an oil leak from your car these are the following steps:

Checking out the symptoms

If you are experiencing any symptoms, you should start by looking for them. You will need to locate the source of the oil spill as well as the intensity of the spill. Alternatively, you even have to make sure that, if there are no oil spills, are there any smokes or smokes coming from the area It is possible for both of these to occur as a result of an oil leak in the engine compartment. If your engine overheats, it could be caused by heavy oil leaks or a low level of engine oil, which can be caused by excessive oil leakage.

Look beneath your car

 In the event of an oil spill, check underneath the vehicle. Make sure your oil pan and drain plug are not leaking. If this is the case, a quick way to confirm it would be to clean the oil and check in a few days later. There is a possibility that the oil pan or drain plug is the cause if you see more oil.

Looking out under the hood

The engine is another place that needs to be inspected. If you open up your hood, you should be able to see any oil stains that may be there. Make sure that you look around the valve cover or the oil filter if it’s located there, to see if it is there. There may be a little bit of oil under the filter, and if that’s the case, then that’s the cause of the problem.

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Is Driving a Car with an Engine Oil Leak Safe or Even Possible?

It is important to note that, although a few drops of oil may appear to be a minor problem, it may actually be a sign of something more serious. In the event that you notice a spill of oil on the engine, make sure the oil level is correct. Before operating the engine, you may need to add oil if it is needed. In case the level is OK, then you should take your vehicle to an auto repair shop for maintenance. There is a possibility that you will need to have your car towed to the nearest mechanic if you notice that there has been a lot of oil spilt.

What could be the dangers and damages that can occur due to oil leaks?

It is unsightly to have oil stains on the driveways or garage floors, not to mention that they pose an environmental hazard. The used engine oil contains many toxic substances that can be poisonous when ingested, including lead, zinc, arsenic, and even pieces of metal that have flaked or been shaved off of metal engine components as the oil is being disposed of. In the event that used engine oil is washed away by rainwater or irrigation water, these substances can seep into water and sewage systems if they are washed away by water. Eventually, these contaminants will make their way into other waterways in the form of run-off, which can be toxic to both plants and animals that live in those waterways.

It should also be noted that oil leaks in your vehicle can have a major impact on the engine, radiator, and air conditioning systems of your vehicle, in addition to their environmental impact. In these components, the accumulated oil can cause the rubber hoses and seals to wear out prematurely as a result of degrading and degrading from accumulated oil.

In addition to being a fire hazard and a safety concern, oil leaks are also a fire risk. You or others may be injured if oil from a leak catches fire, or if the engine seizes and fails while you are driving, or if the oil from the leak catches fire. In the case of a seized engine, the damage caused by it can, at best, be repaired. The damage may be so severe that the engine must be replaced in some cases, in which case the engine must be replaced.

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How to fix Your Car if it is Leaking Oil When Parked?

It is time to roll up your sleeves and learn how to fix an oil leak after you have completed your oil leak inspection. If you want to learn how to fix a leak in your house, you do not have to read a whole book about it or to watch long and complicated video tutorials. Despite the fact that some oil leaks cannot be fixed other than by expensive repairs, there are quite a few that can be fixed in your garage or driveway rather easily.

As far as the tools required, you will only need a car jack, jack stands, torque wrench, and a few special additives or replacement parts (such as a new oil pan, for example). If you are experiencing an oil leak in your car, you can choose between two main approaches in order to fix it.

Fixing the oil leak with the usage of different tools

You do not need any kind of reason to take any worries. There is no need to worry if you have an oil pan leak, or if you are in other situations where you may need tools to handle the situation. A few hand tools, a torque wrench, a car jack, and some ramps or stands would be all you need to perform the task

To begin with, you need to jack up your car in a safe manner so that you can access the oil pan safely. It is now time to check the oil pan for loose bolts. When these bolts are not tightened properly over time, they can loosen, which can lead to leaks. It is now possible to move onto the timing belt cover and the valve covers after you have tightened all the bolts on the oil pan.

There are certain car models that require you to tighten bolts in a particular pattern according to a specific tolerance level depending on the car model that you own. It is recommended that you consult a service manual or repair guide for more information.

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Using a type of additive in order to stop a leak

Using a stop leak additive or a high mileage oil blend is one of the easiest ways to take care of the leak yourself. It is possible to soften and condition your car’s rubber seals in order to stop and prevent further leaks that may occur in your car.

Depending on how far you drive, it could take you up to a few hundred miles before you are able to completely seal the leak. The next step is to learn how to deal with an oil pan leak and other situations in which there may be an oil leak. Before resorting to using a stop leak product, you should generally try to fix the leak by replacing the components that are causing it first

Once the oil leak is fixed then you have to test the car

In order to determine if you have solved the problem, you should test everything out once you think you have fixed it. It is important that you top off your oil level with about a quart of oil. As soon as the engine has been started with the hood up, you should turn on the engine. While the car is running, check the top of the engine to see if anything is wrong.

If the gasket or the oil cap is leaking oil, you may find out that your engine will smoke because it is burning oil. This happens as a result of oil leaking from the gasket or the oil cap. If you have an oil leak from any part of your vehicle, it’s important that you find out what is causing it.

It is recommended that you move the vehicle around five feet away from where it was parked previously after you have run the vehicle for a few minutes. Ensure that the driveway does not have any oil leaks accumulating on it by checking for any leaks. If you still see an oil puddle when you tighten the bolts, then you will need to go back and recheck whether the bolts are tightened properly

How regularly should you change your car’s engine oil?

Thus, all of this raises a question: how often should you change your car’s oil? What is the recommended interval? When it comes to visual inspection, there is no way to know whether your car’s oil needs to be changed, because pure black oil will become brown, “dirty” appearing almost immediately after it is put into your car, which makes it impossible to tell whether it needs to be changed.

In order to prevent a major oil leak in your vehicle, the best solution is to change your oil as often as required by your manufacturer as soon as possible. If you would like more information about the manufacturer’s recommendation, it can be found in your owner’s manual, on the manufacturer’s website, or by contacting the service desk at your local dealership. This recommendation is designed to keep your car running for a long time.

Fortunately, there is no harm in getting your oil changed too frequently as long as you follow the instructions on the label, although this can take a toll on your wallet. Oil changes should not be done more frequently than what the manufacturer recommends as there is no need to change the oil more frequently.

Other tips on Solution for Your Car is Leaking Oil When Parked

It is always a good idea to change your oil before it has leaked, or if you see the “low oil” light come on and if you do see that light, make it a top priority to have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. Your engine has probably lost much of its capability to function properly as a result of whatever oil was left in the engine. This means that your engine has been subjected to a great deal of wear and tear due to the lack of oil.

What is the average number of miles between oil changes on your vehicle?

Please be aware that your manufacturer’s recommendation will most likely be based on mileage, which is a better gauge of reliability than a timeframe, as a rule of thumb. A majority of car owners just take their cars to the mechanic every five to six months to have the oil changed, but this does not take into consideration the season in which the vehicle is driven more or less than it usually is.

The specific mileage of each car varies, so it is impossible to give a general estimate. In the past, older cars could often be expected to get 3,000 to 5,000 miles out of a single oil change, while newer cars are often able to get over 7,000 to 10,000 miles out of a single change. Once again, the important thing to keep in mind is to keep an eye on the oil changing recommendations of your manufacturer, and to not delay getting your oil changed when necessary, hopefully before your light comes on, or if you notice a leak staining your driveway.


There are a number of car problems that can occur in the course of time, and oil leaks are one of them. If the vehicle has an oil leak, learn how to fix the leak yourself before taking it to the garage for a hefty repair bill. Be sure to check all the parts, from the oil pan to the gaskets and the oil cap, before you turn off the engine

Ensure that you double-check your repairs and that you have fixed the leak properly after they have been done. You will be able to handle any oil leak problem on your car with a little bit of know-how and a little more patience if you follow these steps.

Frequently Asked Questions on Car Leaking Oil When Parked

When it comes to fixing an oil leak, how much does it cost?

This depends on whether you have a major oil leak or a minor oil leak because different solutions are available for dealing with different kinds of leaks. As well to the type of vehicle, the engine, and the location of the leak, the type of leak will depend on other factors as well.

Is an oil leak considered to be a serious issue?

An oil leak in a vehicle depends on a number of factors, such as the location of the leak on the vehicle and the size of the leak, in order to determine its severity. Obviously, if you have a major oil leak in your car, you are going to have lower oil levels sooner, which will also lead to other, more serious problems. When it comes to small leaks, the location is all that matters, as a leak between the front crank seal and the timing cover is most likely to shorten the life of the timing belt and engine drive belt, while a leak between a valve cover gasket and the exhaust manifold is likely to cause smoke and even fire when it gets onto the particular part of the car.

Is it worth fixing an oil leak if it is causing a lot of problems?

A low oil level due to a leak is one of the quickest ways to damage your engine and end up with a much higher repair bill because you end up having to replace the engine. As oil leaks can cause such severe damage to your car’s engine, it is almost always worth it to repair the leak so that your car can stay running and you don’t have to worry about being stranded or worse.

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