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Oily Puddle Under Your Car Truck or SUV How to Diagnose Oil Leaks

Created on: 2020-03-06

Check out this video for some tips on how to diagnose an oil leak in your vehicle.

Hey, friends, it's Len at 1A Auto. Today we're gonna be working on our 2012 Nissan Altima and I just wanted to show you how to check out for an oil leak. I noticed a little puddle underneath the car and I wanna see what's going on. Let's check it out. Let's pop this hood and get under here. Now that we're under the hood, let's just lift this up. Of course, there would be some mounting bolts but I already took them off. Now we have a clear view of the valve cover. That's this right here. Generally speaking, you'll see oil coming right along this area right here if you have a valve cover leak and this, of course, goes all the way around. You might see oil along the backside. If you did have oil coming from here, that would be one of the first places I would start to fix the oil leak. Of course, you can wash down the engine and then double check it, but generally speaking, when oil comes out, it's gonna run down.

Gravity pulls things down. So if you don't see any oil here but you see it down that way, obviously, this isn't the issue. Since I don't see any oil from up here, let's go underneath and see if we can find oil under there. Okay. So we're under the vehicle and I can see a little bit of oil coming down around here. Here's your oil pan, and right along here, that's where the gasket is. Generally speaking, if you had an oil pan leak or an oil pan gasket leak, it would be right along here. As you can tell there is oil, but the oil is coming from above it. So we're gonna come right over this way. You can see right along here plenty of oil, but it doesn't look like it starts here. It looks like it's definitely coming from above that axle area. So we'll come over this side. If you look right up along here, you're gonna see that there's oil coming from this oil cooler. It's coming running right down this and then down the engine and just making a big oil mess. Gravity's pulling it down. So this is where I'm gonna start.

I'm gonna start at the highest place that I can find oil and I'm gonna clean it down after I fix it and then we'll double check it and make sure that it's good. But definitely the highest place where the oil is coming from is where you would start when you're trying to fix a leak. So we grabbed a brand new set of oil cooler gaskets here. We're gonna go ahead and put those in. We're gonna clean up our mess. We're gonna do a quick oil change, take it for a road test, bring it back in, and double-check for another oil leak. If it's good after that, then we know we fixed the leak with the oil cooler set here.

All right. So we did the oil change. We took it for a nice road test. Now let's go ahead and get underneath it and double check to make sure everything's still dry. Okay. So we're back underneath the vehicle. We're just gonna take a peek and everything looks fairly dry. Of course, there's still a little bit of oily residue, but there's no puddles, there's no drips, there's no anything that we need to worry about. This looks great.

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