Remedies for an Oil Seal Leak

Updated February 21, 2017

Numerous remedies are available for the problem of oil seal leaks on automobile engines. Since the engine is a combination of metal parts that are bolted together, various gaskets are used that over time, and with heat and normal wear, can begin to leak. This can cause unsightly oil drips on the driveway and may potentially lead to engine damage. If you have an oil seal leak, you can approach repairing it in several ways, depending on where the leak is located and how bad it is.

Rear Main Oil Seal Leaks

The rear main oil seal is a rubber gasket that sits between the engine and the transmission. It prevents oil in the engine from escaping via the crankshaft, which extends through the engine and into the torque converter in the transmission. The only way to fix this oil seal leak is to unbolt the engine from the transmission and replace the gasket. Oil seal leaks at the rear main seal can be particularly messy and may cause the loss of a considerable amount of oil very quickly.

Valve Cover Gasket Oil Leaks

Valve cover gaskets keep the oil that is pumped up to the valves and cylinder heads from escaping while it trickles back down through the oil passages after lubricating the valves. If you have an oil leak from a valve cover gasket, you can sometimes fix it by tightening the bolts on the valve cover or by adding a bit of silicone gasket material from a squeeze tube to the area of the oil leak. If this doesn't work, you will have to replace the valve cover gaskets.

Head Gasket Oil Leaks

Head gaskets go between the cylinder head and the engine block. These gaskets keep the oil separated from the coolant as the fluids pass through the engine. A head gasket can leak either oil or coolant, and the only way to fix it is to replace the gasket. If the leak is allowed to continue, it may damage the engine or become worse than it already is, causing overheating, oil mixed with coolant, exhaust smoke or other problems.

Oil Leak Stop Products

Most bottled products that promise to stop oil leaks are merely thicker engine oil, according to These products generally will not stop a leak for more than a brief time, if at all, and thus are not a viable remedy for oil seal leaks.

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About the Author

Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.