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 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 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: jumps and surges at 45 and 60 mph

The most likely cause for this is that the transmission torque converter overdrive lock up clutch inside the converter is chattering when it is engaging after about 45 mph. The problem may be with the solenoid that operates it or...

Q: I took vehicle in for an oil change, but mechanic declined stating there was a leak at the drain.

It is a little uncommon that a mechanic would decline to perform an oil change due to a leak near the drain plug without offering to fix it. If I am understanding correctly, it sounds like your oil pan may...

Q: How long does it take to change the gasket on the oil pan of a car?

You can get an exact quote by entering your year, make and model at YourMechanic's oil pan gasket replacement service page. To give you an approximation though, the required hours are probably in the range of 8 to 12 hours,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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.