How to Pinpoint an Oil Leak Source (VIDEO)

How to Pinpoint an Oil Leak Source (VIDEO)

The key is to follow the trail to the farthest forward and highest up point that you can find. Sponsored by Bar's Leaks.

Whenever you’re trying to narrow down the source of a leak under the hood, you may find a coating of oil on a number of components. The key is to follow the trail to the farthest forward and highest up point that you can find. As the fluid leaks out, it will be pulled down by gravity, but it’ll also be pushed rearward by the air passing through the engine bay as the vehicle is driving. This means that just because oil is dripping down in the area of the rear main seal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the source of the oil leak. It could in fact be leaking down from one of the valve covers, then dripping down the engine block. These days it seems like engineers are trying to cram as many components into an engine bay as possible. There are so many obstructions. It can be difficult to see where the leak is really coming from, and that makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual leak source.

Be creative in your search. Use flashlights, mirrors, even the camera on your cell phone to gain access to those hard-to-reach areas around the engine bay. If you’re really having trouble, try adding a fluorescent dye to the oil and use a UV light to pinpoint the leak source. You may find that you need to clean away all of the engine oil residue from the area, then run the engine and recheck for leaks. Again, this can help you to better pinpoint the source of the leak. Don’t overlook the positive crankcase ventilation or PCV system. The PCV system prevents crankcase gases from being emitted into the atmosphere. These crankcase gases pass through an oil separator, which separates the liquid engine oil and allows it to drain back down to the engine oil sump. Then the gases alone will continue through the rest of the PCV system and into the intake system to be burned.

This system is vulnerable to a number of potential issues. The rubber hoses that carry the gases can degrade over time, becoming hard or even brittle. If one of these hoses begins to leak, a customer may notice a rough idle, hard start, or an illuminated check engine light. A system scan might reveal fuel trim or mass airflow codes. This is because the ECU may flag codes related to air metering. If the PCV system is faulty, crankcase pressure may become so high that oil will be forced leak past gaskets and seals. This is why it is so important to inspect the PCV system and ensure that it is working properly. Adding Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal Engine Oil Burning & Leak Repair will revitalize worn out seals and gaskets, restoring them to like new performance. Safe and easy to use, this universal oil additive is guaranteed to stop engine oil loss with just one treatment. I’m Brian Sexton. Thanks for watching.

This video is sponsored by Bar’s Leaks.

You May Also Like

Charging for Diagnostic Time

Diagnostic work is more sophisticated and your techs’ time is worth charging for. This video is sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.

How many times has this happened to you: your customer drives up in a car with the check engine light illuminated. Naturally, as an experienced service advisor you ask about what the car is experiencing. The driver says, “I know it just needs an oxygen sensor – I have a buddy with a code scanner and that’s what comes up on the internet.” 

Understanding Stretch Shrink Belts

Andrew Markel uses an old school toy to describe how these belts work. This video is sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.

Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaners

What can you do both for maintenance and for service and diagnostics to confirm a mass airflow sensors functioning properly? Andrew Markel shares the secret in this video sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.

ADAS Calibrations: Limited Space

Babcox Media’s Joe Keene provides a quick overview of many examples that demonstrate ADAS work should be in play for almost everyone.

Vacuum Pumps and Parking Brake Actuators

As the car parc evolves, so do service opportunities. This video is sponsored by Standard.

Other Posts

Gasoline Direct Injection Technology

Gasoline Direct Injection technology has been a key part of improving fuel economy and reducing emissions since the early 2000s. This video is sponsored by Standard.

Software Focus: Efficient Diagnostics

Discover how to quickly retrieve codes, access exclusive repair information, and develop a strategic plan for optimal diagnostic results. This video is sponsored by Bosch.

Clutch System Components

By adopting a systematic approach and utilizing quality kits, the longevity and efficiency of the timing system can be maximized, ensuring a smoother-running engine. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

Timing Components

By adopting a systematic approach and utilizing quality kits, the longevity and efficiency of the timing system can be maximized, ensuring a smoother-running engine. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.