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Don’t Wait On Repairing An Oil Leak

Published on September 13, 2012 under Humble Mechanic
Shop Shots Automotive serivce pictures

This is a swollen seal on a coolant flange, caused by an oil leak

We have talked before about repairs you can wait on. Things that are not safety items or are not vital systems are the most common. There are a few repairs that seem like they can wait. But may have consistencies to waiting. Let’s take an oil leak for example.

Let me set the scene for you. A customer brings their car in for a service. During that service the tech finds the car has an oil leak coming from the valve cover. The customer did not see any oil leaking onto the ground. The customer declines the repair. A month later, the customer has their car towed in because it is over heating. On further inspection the car has leaked all the coolant out. Now the car has an issue with the coolant leak.

So what in the world happened? Well, the oil leaking from the valve cover leaked on to the plastic coolant flange. The oil causes the rubber gasket to swell. That makes for a heck of a coolant leak. Now the car has a coolant flange that needs to be replaced, on top of that oil leak.

Times like this is when having a great service advisor and mechanic team are vital. They can fully evaluate the leak. Mechanics can not predict the future. What we can do is tell what might happen if a repair is not made. Valve cover gaskets leaking on the coolant flanges is a really common example.

If you are not seeing oil leaking on the ground, or smelling oil burning doesn’t mean oil leaks are not serious. That is one of those repairs that can cost a lot more if put off too long.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeremy

    Some times customers don’t see little things that have the potential to become HUGE things. Did this customer see the sweating around gasket? Just because it isn’t dripping doesn’t mean there is no leak. I’d rather fix it before it starts to drip

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