Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Where could this oil leak be coming from?

asked by on

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.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Where could this oil leak be coming from?

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: When Should I Replace My Oil Filter?

Consistently changing a vehicle’s oil filter is as important as changing its oil. While some drivers, such as those who do deliveries or other frequent driving, may require oil filter changes more often. The general rule of thumb for replacement...

Q: My car is leaking coolant. Would I need to change the water pump?

Coolant can be leaking from any number of places. The water pump, radiator, radiator and heater hoses, etc. It would be best to verify where the coolant is leaking from before replacing parts. If you don't have access to a...

Q: Looking to purchase a car with 200,000 miles on it. The dealer said they had it serviced and can show receipts 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Hello - while it is always good to know (and verify) continuous, appropriate service on any used vehicle you might purchase, it is still a good idea to have an experienced technician look the vehicle over for items that may...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...