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View Full Version : What could possibly cause a MAJOR oil leak in my car


TechHead87
02-22-2007, 06:58 PM
What else besides a seal could cause my car to basically vomit 4 quarts of oil PER WEEK? The oil is definitely NOT burning out, because I can see the trail of oil that my car leaves behind on my route to work

I just sent my car to a shop. The guy that runs the place grew up with my dad, and has done all of our vehicle repairs, but I'm hoping that this fix isn't too expensive.

Anyone else dealt with a major oil leak before?

JulesMaximus
02-22-2007, 07:00 PM
What kind of car? When you get underneath it you should be able to see where the oil is...it should be all over the are area directly behind the leak.

TechHead87
02-22-2007, 07:04 PM
1995 Buick Regal Gran Sport

The leak comes from the right side of the engine. Somewhere close to the oil filter.

EDIT: The motor is a GM V6 "3800" (3.8litre)

msi1337
02-22-2007, 07:11 PM
gasket leak from oil pan?


oil filter loose or seal broken?

tfinch2
02-22-2007, 07:11 PM
Pan gasket?

Hyperlite
02-22-2007, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by: tfinch2
Pan gasket?

gets my vote, shouldn't be too pricey.

TechHead87
02-22-2007, 08:22 PM
If worst comes to worst, what should I expect?

pyonir
02-22-2007, 08:24 PM
eek...the 3800 engine...i had a car with one of those...*flashbacks...nightmares resume*

imported_weadjust
02-22-2007, 08:30 PM
Have you changed the oil recently?

I had a oil filter gasket stick to the block one time so when I installed the new oil filter I had two oil filter gaskets causing a major leak.

EagleKeeper
02-22-2007, 08:31 PM
Worse case, the leak is from the head gasket - $$$

thehstrybean
02-22-2007, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by: weadjust
Have you changed the oil recently?

I had a oil filter gasket stick to the block one time so when I installed the new oil filter I had two oil filter gaskets causing a major leak.



You got lucky if a leak is all you had. I had a friend who changed his oil, left the old gasket on accidentally, and while he was driving down the road, heard a loud pop. Filter had popped off and oil was gushing out. Luckily he shut the engine down in time. He's more careful now...:P

skyking
02-22-2007, 08:33 PM
I've had two different cars leak massive amounts from a failed oil sender. It taps right into the pressure oil, unlike any pan or valve cover gasket. Both of them were pumping oil right out of where the wire attaches.

LordUnum
02-22-2007, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by: pyonir
eek...the 3800 engine...i had a car with one of those...*flashbacks...nightmares resume*
I thought the 3800 was a fairly "bulletproof" engine? :confused:

OP, if it's just a (oil pan) gasket, and you don't have to remove any exhaust components in order to get to the pan, it should run you about $10-20 if you do it yourself. Be prepared to undo/tighten at least 20 bolts on the pan before you get the job done. Don't torque too much.

TechHead87
02-22-2007, 09:12 PM
FWIW, the Buick has 112K miles on it. My previous car (1989 Olds Ninety-Eight) had close to 210K HARD miles on it before it blew a head gasket.

iamwiz82
02-22-2007, 09:15 PM
I've never seen a pan gasket do anything more than seep. The only time I have seen oil loss like that was a head gasket, two oil filter gaskets on top of each other, and a rotted line to the oil cooler.

deerslayer
02-22-2007, 09:18 PM
My buddy drives one of those. One day we decided to go on a road trip, about an hour away to pick up some CDs. It had been running bad, not sure about using oil, but it seemed to be running good that day. About halfway there it started smoking and running really bad.

He decided to turn around and try to make it back. Five minutes later, the engine "blew". We rode in the tow truck the rest of the way back.

I've heard those cars are supposed to be great too, but his has been a nightmare. Even after he got a new engine put in it, he's still having problems with it constantly.

TechHead87
02-22-2007, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by: deerslayer
My buddy drives one of those. One day we decided to go on a road trip, about an hour away to pick up some CDs. It had been running bad, not sure about using oil, but it seemed to be running good that day. About halfway there it started smoking and running really bad.

He decided to turn around and try to make it back. Five minutes later, the engine "blew". We rode in the tow truck the rest of the way back.

I've heard those cars are supposed to be great too, but his has been a nightmare. Even after he got a new engine put in it, he's still having problems with it constantly.

I hate hearing about that. Especially when the person can't afford to buy something "better".

I hope to God that I'm not gonna come out $500+ in the hole because of a freakin oil leak. I JUST paid this car off (bought it out of desparation at a Mom/Pop "sold-as-is" place because my Oldsmobile crapped out on me).

iamwiz82
02-22-2007, 09:24 PM
Take pics of the leak and post them.

deerslayer
02-22-2007, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by: TechHead87
I hate hearing about that. Especially when the person can't afford to buy something "better".

I hope to God that I'm not gonna come out $500+ in the hole because of a freakin oil leak. I JUST paid this car off (bought it out of desparation at a Mom/Pop "sold-as-is" place because my Oldsmobile crapped out on me).

I thought I had the worst luck in the world until I met him.

He's broke as a joke too, he can barely afford to eat let alone keep fixing that car. It's hard to feel sorry for him though, because it's his own fault.

Brutuskend
02-22-2007, 09:39 PM
Valve cover gasket or oil pan gasket is always a good place to look.

Shawn
02-22-2007, 09:47 PM
I think I replaced my head gasket for $70 or so. My buddy helped me replace it so I also bought him dinner.

flyfish
02-22-2007, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by: TechHead87
1995 Buick Regal Gran Sport

The leak comes from the right side of the engine. Somewhere close to the oil filter.

EDIT: The motor is a GM V6 "3800" (3.8litre)

On that particular model I would say you have a cracked block. 99% sure.

Shawn
02-22-2007, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by: flyfish

Originally posted by: TechHead87
1995 Buick Regal Gran Sport

The leak comes from the right side of the engine. Somewhere close to the oil filter.

EDIT: The motor is a GM V6 "3800" (3.8litre)

On that particular model I would say you have a cracked block. 99% sure.



If that's the case - game over.

TechHead87
02-23-2007, 02:23 AM
Originally posted by: flyfish

Originally posted by: TechHead87
1995 Buick Regal Gran Sport

The leak comes from the right side of the engine. Somewhere close to the oil filter.

EDIT: The motor is a GM V6 "3800" (3.8litre)

On that particular model I would say you have a cracked block. 99% sure.



What makes you so sure of that?

iamwiz82
02-23-2007, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by: TechHead87

Originally posted by: flyfish

Originally posted by: TechHead87
1995 Buick Regal Gran Sport

The leak comes from the right side of the engine. Somewhere close to the oil filter.

EDIT: The motor is a GM V6 "3800" (3.8litre)

On that particular model I would say you have a cracked block. 99% sure.



What makes you so sure of that?

Call it a hunch (http://www.infinitemile.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=2751) ;)

I kid I kid...

ViviTheMage
02-23-2007, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by: pyonir
eek...the 3800 engine...i had a car with one of those...*flashbacks...nightmares resume*

exactly what I have heard from others about the 3800!

rstove02
02-23-2007, 08:58 AM
Hmm....several years back I had a 1990 Buick Skylark that all of a sudden would go through oil like no ones business. Added to the fact that the oil tended to get all over the various parts of the engine. Took it to repair guy and at first he suggested that maybe I left the oil cap or oil check line not secured.

Told him it was not the case and had him clean the engine and refill the oil and check again. He found that a component on the engine (belt IIRC) had worn a hole in the side of the oil pan and it leaked out from there and threw the oil all over the engine. Having him clean the engine allowed him to better spot the leak since oil was all over the place.

funboy6942
02-23-2007, 09:08 AM
Crank seal or valve cover gasket or oil pump filter housing.

Update and lmk what I won.

WinXP
02-23-2007, 09:17 AM
sorry error on my part with double post.

WinXP
02-23-2007, 09:31 AM
Has the pcv valve ever been replaced on the motor ? On top of the intake manifold there is a small black cap with 2 bolts in it. You will need a needle nose pliers to pull it out to replace. When these get plugged up cause oil leaks all over the motor. A motor is like a air pump, when the pistons travel up an down builds pressure inside the block. When the pcv (positive crankcase venalation valve) gets stopped up, the internal pressure build up causing blew by thru gaskets an seals. I would replace this before starting any major work an see what happens. Cost about 5.00 for one which most people an place do not replace.

RU482
02-23-2007, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by: pyonir
eek...the 3800 engine...i had a car with one of those...*flashbacks...nightmares resume*


lemme guess....upper intake manifold?