Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: It started an oily substance leak but oil level reads full. It soaked a piece of cardboard and gravel underneath in one night.

asked by on

It started an oily substance leak but oil level reads full. In one night it totally soaked a huge piece of cardboard and gravel underneath. Oil pan and other parts of car are wet as well but as I said oil level reads full. What other things can cause an oily substance leak?

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Even though the level reads full, it could still be an oil leak. It only takes a very small amount of oil to make a huge mess. Even just a few ounces would make a huge mess, but would be hard to distinguish the loss of it on a dipstick. It could also be transmission fluid, power steering fluid, or even potentially brake fluid. I would check all of your fluid levels, and make sure that they are full.

Next time leave a white napkin on top of the cardboard, to help determine what color the leaking fluid is. Red to dark red fluid is usually automatic transmission fluid, golden brown to dark brown is usually engine oil or potentially power steering fluid, and light amber fluid is usually brake fluid, though could also be power steering fluid.

Since it seems as though the leak could be severe, it should be diagnosed by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They can then also evaluate the severity of the leak and provide a repair suggestion and if you can wait or not.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  • Home
  • Questions
  • It started an oily substance leak but oil level reads full. It soaked a piece of cardboard and gravel underneath in one night.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Driver's side tire not turning

It sounds like you have a broken tie rod. There is an inner, and outer tie rod on both sides. Obviously, you can not drive the vehicle. All of the related parts need to be inspected for damage. This is...

Q: I think I got ripped off by my auto mechanic

From what you've described you may have blown the head gasket when you overheated the engine. The shop pressure tested and repaired the leaking hose but the engine may have already gotten damaged when it initially overheated. If you want...

Q: Car started shaking, worse at slower than at higher speed, after service engine soon yellow light came on. Car after not used for

Hello there. In most cases, when a car starts to shake when you accelerate which is worse at slower speeds, can range from engine mounts that are worn out or damaged wheel bearings or suspension components. Due to the variety...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.