I have a slow leak in my saturn 2002 sl1 (80,000miles). The mechanic thinks it is likely the head gasket. I get about a 1 or 2 inch diameter oil leak on my driveway every day. Any product that you could recommend? I the Lucas oil stabilizer any good? Or would putting a heavier oil like 10w40 be a better idea to slow down the leak, or is that bad for the engine? Or both? So far I don't see any black smoke from my exhaust. Thanks.
I recommend another mechanic, I don't see how your head gasket could possibly leak oil.
Now your valve cover gasket is a possibility, but using thicker oil won't make much difference.
"lbbss" wrote: (2002 Saturn sl1 80,000 miles)
I get a 1 or 2 inch diameter oil leak on my driveway every day. The mechanic thinks it is likely the head gasket. Would some oil additive, or a heavier oil slow down the leak, or is that bad for the engine? There is no black smoke from my exhaust. _________________________________________________________________
Ask your mechanic why he thinks it's the head gasket. A bad head gasket almost always leaks coolant, not oil.
Find exactly what the dripping material is; oil, coolant, trans fluid, PS fluid, washer fluid, AC condensation,...? If it is oil, it could come from a valve cover seal, a crankshaft seal, a timing cover seal, an oil filler tube joint, a drip from topping off the oil carelessly, etc..
Get underneath and look up to see where it's coming from. If you can't get under the car, open the hood and tighten the valve cover screws. If that doesn't stop the leak, post again, describing exactly where under the car the leak spot appears. Someone here may offer a better guess as to the source of the leak.
No additive or heavier oil will help.
Two things, one how can i tell which kind of oil it is, since there is so little on the drive way. I am pretty sure it is engine oil, since I have to top it up once a month or month and a half.
2. So the additives are a scam your are saying?
Get some on your finger and smell it. You can tell the difference between engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.
Stop leak additives may work, but they dont fix the problem. They are a bandaid approach, at best.
Saturns around that time had some known problems with oil leaks. I believe it was only valve cover gaskets, which is normally not a hard item to replace and not so expensive. Be aware that there is a big difference between head gaskets and valve cover gaskets.
SIL has one of them and he told me about the leak issues years ago. His Saturn is still turning, and has heavy mileage.
I don't mind loosing a bit of oil, what I mind is having the oil stain on my concrete driveway. So I wanted to see if an additive could slow the leak down or thicker oil. Anyone have luck with that solution?
I tried the oil gasket expander leak stop stuff on a couple of cars. It would work for a month or so. IMO, oil viscosity would not matter. Even 160 gear lube seeps out of every crack.
Not necessarily. The old types used solvents to swell the gaskets and soften them a bit. It also damaged them somewhat.
Some of the newer products contain polymers which do not attack the elastomers, nor do they form sludge. I believe these are safer to use and more effective than the old types (but I have no proof of that).
I don;t think so as long as you don't keep dumping it in and change oil when it is time to. It does not last though and it there are limits to what it can do. More treatment does not do much after a month or two.
Take a clean piece of cardboard, put that under the car when you park it. Mark where it is in relation to the car/engine, so you can determine where the drip is coming from. Then take a drop of the engine oil (dipstick) and drop that on the cardboard near the spot, does it match? Try with ATF as well. And PS fluid.
Pleae don't put words into other people's mouths. I doubt anyone said that, just that an additive was not the solution to your problem.
Ibbss wrote, "Two things, one how can i tell which kind of oil it is, since there is so little on the drive way. I am pretty sure it is engine oil, since I have to top it up once a month or month and a half. 2. So the additives are a scam your are saying?" *************************************** Typically a leak like that can be easily pinpointed.,, you MAY simply have to remove one or several components first, but you will find that amid the usual greasy coating of oil/dirt on the engine and other components, there will be an area which is oil-washed from the hot, fresh oil continually running down it, which makes the source of the leak easily apparent. Another option is the dye available at any NAPA store, which you can add to the oil and then find where it's seeping out using a black light (bulb available at most gift shops). Additives aren't necessarially a scam, but automotive additives of any kind are only genuinely helpful in a very narrow set of circumstances IMO. Modern automotive oils and fluids generally aren't well served by adding something else which compromises the delicate balance of additives engineered into the original formula for optimal performance, wear, etc
Every fluid has its own unique smell, color and texture. Compare what is being left behind to the fluids in your car and you'll have a pretty good idea. The position of a leak can also have meaning, as others have pointed out.
I wouldn't say that. I've seen them work in some cases and heard good things about them from people whose experiences I would trust. And the man behind Lucas products does seem to believe that his products work. (Trust me, I've got that on very good authority. And no, I don't have any interest in the company, am not employed by or for them, nor do I have any affiliation with them.)
The problem is that while they may help for a while, and are certainly cheap enough to try, additives and stop-leaks are not miracle soluitions. Sometimes a problem is just too big or a seal too far gone to be "fixed" by these products. And other times they work fine until something of a much more serious nature goes wrong with the vehicle in question.
It's cheap enough to try an additive or leak stopper if you want to do so, and there's very little possibility for harm. You will know fairly quickly as to whether or not it worked to solve the problem, after you've identified what fluid is leaking from your car. If the first introduction of a leak-stopper or additive does not solve the problem, it really does mean that you will have to get the problem fixed properly by replacing the leaking part or seal.