Q: Where could this oil leak be coming from?

asked by on September 10, 2016

I have a new engine in my 98 monte carlo z34. Less than 10k miles on it. I just had the valve cover gasket changed at the dealership. Im noticing a small amount/nearly a puddle of oil that develops after I leave the car parked. It does not seem to effect my oil levels. The oil appears to be coming from an area near/under the power steering fluid resevoir (just had that hose replaced) on the lower left/passenger side of the engine. I looked and see that its not coming from the oil pan or oil pan screw or oil filter,but rather an area between the filter and the oil pan/pan screw.Where could it be coming from?I can also see,with a flashlight,the oil on the mount under the power steering resevoir. I keep the engine topped off with oil, is this leak dangerous? Where is it coming from?

My car has 10 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. You mention the power steering reservoir, so just be sure it is oil and not power steering fluid which of course would change the nature of the repair. To answer one of your concerns, if oil leaks onto the exhaust manifold or hot exhaust pipe(s), it is always a potential fire hazard. At minimum, it is unhealthy because you will be breathing in oil vapors. However, if the leak is, more or less, straight to the ground and only drips down the engine block such is not considered "obviously" dangerous. But it is always unwise to drive with a known oil leak, especially one that leaves a puddle of oil on the ground. "A" possibility is the leak is around the intake manifold (this was actually common on the 3.4 version of this engine). Another possibility is a leak at the head gasket. But there are other possibilities that have to be examined first hand and one course available to you is to simply let YourMechanic pinpoint it for you and let you know what repairs might be needed.

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