I have a 2006 chevy aveo and it has developed an oil leak. I took it to my repair shop and they were unable to locate the leak. They said it wasn't a big deal and not to worry about. I am wondering if...
Depending on the location of your oil leak, yes, it could be something that's expensive to fix. However, the reason for that expense probably wouldn't be the parts (it's probably some rubber gasket or seal), but rather the labor required to get to the rubber part and replace it. For example, if your rear seal has developed a leak, you may have to take off quite a lot of engine parts to install the $4.95 (I just made that price up, but it's not a particularly expensive part) seal.
It is possibly worth taking the time and modest expense to figure out the source of your oil leak, just to make sure that it's either something easily fixed or something that can safely be ignored. The tried and true method for tracking down the source of your leak is to get your engine steam-cleaned, so that you can see new leaks instead of chasing down old leaks or things tossed up onto your engine from the road. Then, put a sheet of clean cardboard under your car when you park it for the night. The oil will leak down onto the cardboard, giving you a place to start looking. Note, however, that the oil may have leaked from somewhere entirely different than where it is dripping--the leak may have first fallen onto a structural member, which then permitted the oil to flow downward to the ground. Still, with a clean engine, you should be able to trace the oil drip back to its source pretty easily.
The most common oil leaks occur from an oil filter whose seal has gotten pinched and isn't fitting correctly (something that will fix itself with your next oil and filter change) or a worn oil pan drain plug gasket (also something that can be fixed for pennies at your next oil change). You might also find oil weeping from an oil pressure sensor--again, an inexpensive and relatively easy fix. Next up, you might find oil weeping from a valve cover gasket or possibly even from the gasket between the engine and the oil pan itself. Replacing a valve cover gasket is a relatively minor repair; replacing the oil pan gasket would likely be more complicated because I don't believe you can drop the oil pan on this car without first having to pull the drive shafts (a fair amount of labor). You can also check out your EGR system to see whether any of the hoses in that system have become oil saturated and are starting to drip. Once you're past those possibilities, though, you're quite possibly starting to look at seals and gaskets that are rather more expensive to access and replace.
Lots of older cars tend to start "marking their territory" with the occasional drop of oil on the ground. If it's going to be an expensive fix, you might just learn to deal with that new behavior. A bit of clay-based kitty litter under your car, for example, can absorb quite a bit of oil. Conversely, if you have a serious oil leak, it's something you'll need to address so that you don't run the risk of a catastrophic blow-out, major loss of oil, and the potential for engine damage.
May 16, 2011 |
2006 Chevrolet Aveo