How do you check a used car for oil leaks? Watch

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#1
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#1
Last time I viewed a used car, my knowledgable mate found an oil leak, but I forgot to ask him how to check, and now I will have to view a car myself this weekend.

How should I go about checking for leaks? eg should the engine be running first, should I check the gasket afterwards? Anything/anywhere in particular to shine a torch at?

Thanks
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Clubber Lang
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#2
Report 11 years ago
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go when its light

make sure the car is cold when u view it - i.e not recently driven

look under the bonnet for oily residue - i am not 100% sure how to specifically check for a leak tho - but ensure the levels are good - too low indicates they probably not been looking after the car properly.
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JC.
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#3
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Shine a light under the underside and have a nose for droplets of oil clinging to the car.
Also have a look at the ground underneath the car for oil patches.

Oil leaks never bothered me. Mind you, the kind of cars I drive if its not leaking oil then theres none left in the engine!
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Sync
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Land Rover owner motto - "It's not leaking oil, it's just marking its territory"

Small oil leaks are common on older cars, and providing it's not excessive they're not something I'd worry about too much.
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AT82
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#5
Report 11 years ago
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A common leak is at the rocker cover gasket, all Ford's at 10 years old or over seem to this and its not really a problem, if you really cannot live with it is a very cheap and easy repair. Have a good look at the sump underneath the car as is if the sump is leaking they can be expensive to repair.

I would be more concerned about a car burning oil than leaking oil (depending where the leak is) is though. Oil burning can be a bit harder to spot as there are things you can buy to hide it (STP Stop Smoke).
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Turtle4288
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#6
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Be suspicious if the car being shown to you is parked on gravel, and if it is then on returning from your test drive ask if you can park it on the road and look under the car 10 minutes later.
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JC.
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#7
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I dont think ive ever had a car that didnt have an oil leak.
Never bothered me to be honest. At least it reminds you to top it up from time to time.
The MGBV8 had an interesting oil leak... it leaked where the dipstick tube entered the block untill i took it out and changed the rubber.
Basically, the crank case would pressureise and squirt a tiny amount of oil past the dipstick tube and onto the hot left hand exhaust manifold.

It was particularly fun at traffic lights... you'd get a smell come up from the hole around the gear lever (never managed to sort that out) and a puff of smoke come out of the left hand wheel well.
Used to make me laugh. Theres just something about the smell of burning oil!
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