Oil Leak Diagnosis Cost
Oil leaks tends to move in a downward and rearward direction. Therefore, oil leaking under the rear of the engine may have originated at the upper front engine area. One way a shop avoids misdiagnosing oil leaks is to use oil detection dye that helps to pinpoint the exact source of the leak.
It's normal for an engine to get quite dirty, which can make locating the source of an oil leak quite difficult. One way a quality shop addresses this is to add a fluorescent dye to the oil, drive the vehicle, and then use a special light to illuminate the leaking fluorescent dye.
There are several systems that can leak oil. Each fluid tends to be a different color, which can help to identify the leaking system.
- Engine oil tends to be brown or black. It can be an amber color if it's new oil.
- Power steering fluid can be many colors: clear, brown, green or red.
- Automatic transmission fluid is reddish in color.
- Engine coolant is green, red, orange, or clear. It has a watery consistency different from oil.
If engine oil is found leaking after an oil change, have the shop re-check to make sure that the oil filter and drain plug were properly installed.