Oil leak and car shipment

Here's my situation: my car is 1990 BMW 325is with 190 kmiles. The car is in good mechanical and body shape, but it leaks some oil. No big deal for a car with these number of miles (I think) and I just control
the oil level and add a bit every few weeks (more in the Summer, less in the Winter as the level changes are quite different.) Also, the car has a convenient oil level (separate from the oil pressure) idiot light that comes quite handy.
In a few weeks I'll be relocating halfway accross the country and the car will be shipped via a car shipper (paid for by my new employer.) I just received their shipment instructions and they say "no leaks at all." Now, what can I do to minimize the oil leaked during transport and that I don't get in trouble with these people? I'm thinking of cleaning the engine prior to their picking up the car. Should I top up the oil or shoulkd I leave it at a lower level? Use thicker than ordinary oil? Should I use some leak-stop product (just for the transport)? Any sort of undercar "pad"? (I know they use that for towing race cars in tracks, but no idea about road cars.)
Any suggestions and experiences will be appreciated!
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Install a temporary drip tray under the engine or fix the leak
Steve

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The question is, what is leaking? If it's a front seal or something like that, just clean up engine and since it won't be running it won't be leaking and nothing will be dripping because you cleaned it up. If there is a rust hole in the bottom of the pan, then it will leak while parked.
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When an engine leaks oil it normally occurs only when the engine is running. The oil you see in your parking space has leaked past worn seals etc. when the engine was running and drips from the exterior of the engine while sitting still. You can clean the engine and it will not drip until the engine is run again. The only time it should leak oil when not running is if an old drain plug washer is leaking; install a new one at your next oil change. It is better to leave the oil level a little on the low side to minimize leakage past worn crankcase seals if the vehicle is not level during shipment.
"Ignasi." wrote:

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Mike Walsh
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
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You have gotten some good suggestions, and I am just going to suggest that you actually speak to the transporters about their policies.
Maybe they can make suggestions of what they will ACCEPT in your case.
Doesn't do you any good to fiddle with it, if you deliver the car and , at the last minute, they reject your preparations.
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Ignasi. wrote:

One more suggestion: Drive the car yourself and have a nice road trip while you're at it.
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That's what I'm doing for my relocation.
It's going to be a nice 2-day drive.
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Ignasi. wrote:

How far is "across the country". Unless it is across something like U.S., Russia, China or Australia, I would just drive the car.
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John S. wrote:

It's the US. West Coast to Midwest, Bay Area to Chicago to be more exact. Driving is really not a good option: we have two cars, and a 16 month old baby.
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Ignasi. wrote:

Oh, and we have two cats too. Two adults, a baby, and two cats in a car for four days is not something I'd be looking forward to!
Ignasi.
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I wouldn't be either, but I sure would look forward to that drive alone. Maybe the wife, baby, and cats can take a plane. ;-)
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Ignasi. wrote:

Can you ship the baby instead? Probably harder to leak proof though.
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-0700:

Leaving the oil low will reduce the amount of leakage. Also tighten the oil pan bolts if they are loose. Heavier oil might help a little.
But this company is setting you up for a scalping, I think. You need to confront the issue *before* you give them the car. Call them and warn them that the car does leak and that they should put newspaper under the engine if that is a problem. (Or more likely, reserve a spot on the *bottom* of the transport truck where it will drip on the road rather than on other cars.)
Do they need to run the engine at all, for example to drive it onto their truck? If not, you could duct-tape some plastic to the bottom of the engine, when it's cool.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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Ignasi. wrote:

Try a different shipper. No leaks at all seems unreasonable for a vehicle of that age and milage. What penalty if it does leak ?
I used a shipper years ago and they specialized in the "snow birds" moving from Wisconsin and Minnesota to Florida and New Mexico for the winter. Cars on the bottom deck of the transporter were fitted with a car cover for the trip.
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I have shipped several non-running 40 plus year old cars across the country. All leaked God only knows what on their way here with no complaint from the shipping company. All were shipped for a reasonable rate.
I would find a different shipper that doesn't have such strict policy's.
Steve B.
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what i have found very helpful for oil leaks is the oil stabilizer products(lucas) in combination with a higher wt oil.on older engines i use 30wt.no 10w30.but before the haul clean engine and let stand for at least 24hrs over test spot and see if anything shows on ground or on engine.or just get another hauler.
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