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oil or petroleum stains on ground


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AGC
User

May 15, 2017, 6:36 PM

Post #1 of 16 (823 views)
  post locked   oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Not replacing a broken muffler...will that make my car a 96 Chevy Impala put some kind of oil or petroleum on the ground? I had my oil changed late last year. Mechanic didn't mention my worn out muffler. Which I've neglected to replace...whoops. :)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 15, 2017, 6:45 PM

Post #2 of 16 (816 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

No, there is no oil in the exhaust system, a little soot maybe but no oil.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



AGC
User

May 15, 2017, 6:51 PM

Post #3 of 16 (805 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Hanks for the quick replay Hammer. :) Or should I call you Mr. MC? :))

No oil possible from the exhaust pipes/broken muffler. At least you've ruled that out.

I live in a condo and got a complaint from management about "oil or petroleum stains" on the ground where my car sits. Any ideas what leakage could be dropping stains of any kind?

Will be getting my car looked at tomorrow morning anyway. Muffler replaced "soon". Don't know why I've managed to forget to deal with that. :)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 15, 2017, 6:55 PM

Post #4 of 16 (798 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

I didn't say you don't have any oil leaks. That's entirely possible. It just isn't coming from the broken muffler.
You said you had your oil changed. Something they did is a possibility or it may just have formed a leak on it's own.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



AGC
User

May 16, 2017, 10:34 AM

Post #5 of 16 (770 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Brought my car to the shop this morning. Mechanic had to "clean" the oil from the outside of the oil pan and close by ($68.00 Tax incl.). Said there wasn't enough "pressure" for him to tell. So I had to drive my car for roughly an hour. And will be taking the car back to him tomorrow morning.

Said it could be the transmission or something else. Couldn't give me an idea of what it could be. Hate when guys do that..giving them leeway to say what they like. Though, this guy I have been seeing for years..don't think he's that dishonest (did over charge me for a replacement battery..no idea if it was refurb or new)...with him I could see him at a moments notice. And is cheaper than a dealership.

If there's oil all over the oil pan..can you (Hammer) maybe name one or two things it could be? If it's not serious--to serious? Rough cost guess..

Thanks!


(This post was edited by AGC on May 16, 2017, 10:36 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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May 16, 2017, 11:37 AM

Post #6 of 16 (763 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Not Hammer but he'll be by. Sport - oil leak with gravity so anything up that controls oil could be the source and since it apparently didn't show itself clearly what do you expect a mechanic to do? It may NOT be an item under oil pressure but rather just a seal that allows entire crankcase area to maintain a vacuum - it there's pressure in you crankcase it can come out up top and drip down.


Let the mechanic find it. There's nothing I can say just allow it to show itself to it can be fixed. There's no crystal ball working because you ask on the web and a price too!


T



AGC
User

May 16, 2017, 11:46 AM

Post #7 of 16 (755 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Hello Tom,

Thanks for your reply. I understand you're just taking a wild guess. I was thinking possibly the gasket for the oil pan might have come loose? Cracked? Who knows...till my mechanic has another chance to take a look tomorrow morning.

All I was told was there wasn't enough pressure for him to see what was wrong after cleaning the underside. And was asked to drive my car for 30-60 minutes and return. Didn't have time today so...

Any how...thanks again!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 16, 2017, 12:16 PM

Post #8 of 16 (751 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

OK - Told not enough oil pressure? It has full oil pressure quickly upon start up so that part is goofy. It's not necessarily going to actively leak all the time as of now nobody knows where the source is and a mechanic is looking right at it, I'm not.


Places could be a lot of things and you might find it and just point it out.


Gaskets for crankcase sealed things include valve covers which by rights along with oil pan gasket shouldn't really leak easily because they should be under a slight vacuum not pressure with oily yuk blowing around that the PCV pick up and burns. It those gaskets are under pressure overwhelming the PCV system you check that it's correct and can work. A bad case would be "blow-by" past rings of the pistons far exceeds limits and it's pushing out oil even up high then drain down.


It's not always clear so give this person a chance. One thing you could do that's pretty damning of engine condition possible is if the dipstick tube is pulled and draws in smoke (find a 1/2 spent cigarette if nothing else) there's pressure not vacuum. You would then check PCV system out on to blaming a worn engine beyond what a normally operation PCV set up can handle.


I know you are frustrated that it isn't quick and easy to fix or even know just yet. A serious active oil pressure leak should show up quickly and you would probably have a soaked underside of the car too.


Sorry to come on strong. We are techs/mechanics of 100s of years of experience watching this thread. There isn't always one fast way to find something like this.


It's just reality for most mechanics they can't just spend all day pharting around with just this or some might if not busy and own the shop take all the time they want.


If you aren't satisfied with a fix or explanation it's time to try another shop,


Tom



AGC
User

May 16, 2017, 12:49 PM

Post #9 of 16 (739 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Tom. I appreciate your answers. Especially being that this is an educated guesstimate. Basing your opinions on some one that's never put together or taken apart an engine. :) Not being able to give you exactly what you need to hear...or be able to actually have hands-on.

And my car is a 96 but hasn't been driven as often as normal. Only has less than 40 km on it. Most people put I believe 10-15k /yr on their engines and other parts.

Thanks again.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 16, 2017, 1:10 PM

Post #10 of 16 (734 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

! OMG - you mean this has just 40km or 24,000 miles on it from new? That's either good or bad still depending on how cared for maybe very little thinking such low use not to change oil also by time and so on.


Other is rubber products still age. Lots of short trips it's going from cold to hot multiple times vs just stay so gives me ideas.


If not rusted many engines just need things like valve cover bolts and oil pan bolts just snugged up about the force of a screwdriver. They can be so loose the PCV is sucking in air thru those gaskets or others too while running and turn a corner the oil splashes and you just shut if off then it leaks. Just an example.


Oil pressure switches either gauge type or plain red warning light switches can leak from up high, be intermittent and drip down.


Sorry for the novel on this. If given to me first check would be wipe all oil off I could and do that smoke test plus see if despite low miles if it's sludged it might not have an operational PCV system. Just clean that up so it works again. Then if that I'd do full oil and filter changes almost every month will sometimes clear out the sludge slowly - fast causes problems with that.


Other: Oil or leaks of anything the source if a mess will near always be the highest spot on engine and most forward as fan/air blown over engine head toward the rear.


Of course you need to know a few more things and also know what items have seals or gasket plug what has any chance of leaking at all.


That could be found in minutes or just be so messy doesn't show up?


That means this is just plain unsolved what is leaking and where from so far. Next visit if no ideas it's time for another tech to check it out.


If your tech really thought this could only be from oil pressure you should be looking into another shop or tech,


Tom



AGC
User

May 16, 2017, 5:23 PM

Post #11 of 16 (717 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Again. Thanks Tom for your tips. Noted.

The mechanic/part-owner of the shop...just said "...there's not enough pressure for me to test...you'll have to drive your car for an hour and come back...". Was a little vague. But I didn't question him. Not having an auto mech background. :) So I did. And will return tomorrow morning.

If he doesn't solve it...then obviously I have to try another mech. Hoping I find a competent one. Haven't written this guy off yet..just would have liked a few thoughts from him along the lines of what you first suggested. Anything but he said nothing. :P Made me wonder about the guy...will see how it goes tomorrow. :)

So hard to find the right tech/mechanic. One that's truly "qualified" and has spot on diagnosis skills. Not every one does. Knowing only the routine (e.g. oil changes, while alignment, tire change...etc.).

Will comment again tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again Tom.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 16, 2017, 5:34 PM

Post #12 of 16 (715 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

There is nothing wrong with what the guy told you except maybe the terminology of calling it pressure. He cleaned all the old oil off and now you have to drive it until it leaks some more and how long depends on how bad the leak is.

What he is doing is exactly what he should be so he's not guessing at things that turn out to be wrong.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



AGC
User

May 17, 2017, 7:08 AM

Post #13 of 16 (698 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

Ok. thanks Hammer. From where I stood he just sounded too vague. Would have liked to have heard him suggest at least one possiblity even if it's wrong. Finding out after testing.


I'm off to see him again now. Hope he can find the problem and fix it so he's not wasting our time and my money.

I would have thought "oil leaks" are routine. Like a water leak under the counter in a home.

Will comment again later. Thanks Hammer.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 17, 2017, 9:37 AM

Post #14 of 16 (688 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

You would have thought wrong. Oil leaks can range from anything from a $40 pressure sensor to a $1000 rear main seal. We don't like to guess at anything. Customers tend to hold us to wild guesses on prices so a professional will never do that until he is sure about what he is suggesting.

Oil spreads when it leaks so it is impossible to find the source until it is all cleaned off and starts to leak again.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



AGC
User

May 17, 2017, 11:14 AM

Post #15 of 16 (677 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

I can see your point Hammer. But, one could say "it could be THIS...but, since I haven't had a look..it could also be a, b or g...". To each his own in conducting biz.

This guy was unprofessional. Got upset over having to drive my car into his garage. Many garages as you know PREFER that the customers DO NOT drive their cars inside to avoid possible accidents or law suits.

And this guy know me and my younger sister. More my sister. Still came off rude over nothing.

This guy turned out couldn't see me today. Usually he can but I guess I caught him at a bad time. Not a big deal. Drove to a version of Pep Boys. They laid everything out clearly. Letting me view the invoice line by line. Explained what they wanted to do. All costs up front (after they did the wash and immediately found out what was the problem). Offered to pay for a cab to take me home and bring me back to the shop later since I work from home as an IT consultant. Polite.

If I didn't know any better it would be as if I was at a Benz dealership (assuming they would be super professional/courteous). Upfront.

Had to do a wash. Was $15 cheaper. :) Found out it was the "crankcase seal" ($20.00). The cost is in the labour $400.00. And there would be a guarantee of their workmanship. Didn't ask me to drive my car for an hour or say they couldn't test because of "..not enough pressure".

As mentioned before...this guy in this mom & pop shop...overcharged me by almost $100.00 for a "replacement battery". No clue if it was a refurb or brand new.

He's the kind of person that gives you a bad feeling just by talking to him. Sort of sounds nervous. Like he's up to something.

So, from now on I'll be frequenting this franchise shop...which is actually part of a department store in Canada called Canadian Tire.

Thank for your input Hammer. Tom.


(This post was edited by AGC on May 17, 2017, 11:25 AM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 17, 2017, 11:25 AM

Post #16 of 16 (670 views)
  post locked   Re: oil or petroleum stains on ground  

I am quite familiar with the PepBoys and I certainly put all my faith in them either.

You appear to have made your decisions so I will close this now as finished.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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