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Q: Oil on underside of engine

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The maintenance light came on so I called the dealer I bought it from. He said we need an oil change. While changing the oil husband noticed lots of oil on the underside of the engine. He put 5 quarts in and it was at the double line. Today it's at the single line and oil all over bottom of engine again. Is this just an oil leak or worse. Is it safe to drive? And how much will it cost?

My car has 222000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Thanks for writing into YourMechanic.com to...

Thanks for writing into YourMechanic.com today about the oil leak on your 2002 Acura and whether it’s safe to drive with an oil leak. There are multiple reasons why your motor is leaking oil and just as many potential locations including the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, the front or rear crankshaft seal or timing chain cover. However, the most common oil leak that can cause lots of oil to show up under your engine is due to a timing chain cover or front crankshaft seal.

When oil drips from these locations it tends to hit other belts under the car and "fling" to all parts of the motor. This is where an experienced ASE certified mechanic can properly diagnose the source of the oil leak and repair it sooner rather than later. In regards to cost, that’s hard for us to provide an accurate estimate. The best advice we can offer is to contact one of our local ASE mechanics that will diagnose the problem and provide you an accurate estimate for repairs.

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