Oil leaks are pretty much a common issue for jeeps. One of the main reasons for that is, damages that can happen while off roading activities to oil pans, differentials and other vital parts under the jeep.
In this guide we’ll look at common causes for oil leaks, Common oil leak spots in jeep wranglers, How to find out oil leaking points.
After we’ll look for fixations you have to stop oil leaking from a jeep. Without further ado let’s get started.
What are the common causes for jeep oil leaks
Why do jeeps leak oil? It’s simple. Oil leaks to the outside because the seals that keep oil inside the engine are not functioning properly. Below is a list of causes for engine oil leaks in jeeps.
- Degraded gasket of the oil pan
Oil pan gasket defects are common among jeeps. Over time these gaskets can degrade and cause oil leaks. Can be replaced easily by removing the oil pan.
- Valve cover gaskets
- Bad oil pressure sensor adapter
- Distributor gasket
- Timing cover seals
- Worn out oil filters
- Oil filter adapter rings defects
- Rear main seal defects
This is a bit of a common oil leak causing defects in jeeps. This is also a somewhat simple repair to an experienced mechanic. But this should be done carefully. Oil Pan should be removed to access the rear main seal.
- Oil filler cap problems
Filler caps also can cause leaks. Tight it properly or replace the cap if it’s not tightning properly.
- Oil pan drain plug problems
Loose oil pan drain plugs also can cause oil leaks. Tight it properly or if it’s not tightening properly replace it.
- Putting an excessive amount of oil to the engine.
If you put an excessive amount of engine oil to the jeep the extra oil will overflow. It is a normal phenomenon, not an oil leak. But it’s better to remove the extra oil using a tube through the dipstick passage. Otherwise it can cause different problems.
Those are the common areas we encountered engine oil leaks in jeeps.
But keep in mind. Sometimes transmission fluid can also leaked through transmission gaskets and transfer case oil seals that are placed near input and output drive shafts.
How to find out oil leak type?
First thing is, you have to find out what is leaking from your jeep.
Sometimes coolant fluids can pooled under the jeep while mixing with grease around engine components.
So it might seem like oil but actually it’s coolant. Only if you inspect carefully you will identify it. Because of that to know what’s exactly leaked, you can use below guidelines.
- When you inspect the leaked fluid, if it’s a green or orange color fluid with a good smell, that’s coolant.
- If it’s a red color fluid that can be transmission fluid or power steering fluid.
- A light yellow or brown fluid can be brake fluids.
- Black or brown slippery fluid smells like chemicals, is the engine oil.
These colors can be slightly different. To diagnose exactly, you can compare the engine oil on the dipstick and the fluid leaked under the jeep.
Common jeep oil leak spots
Normally for most of the leaks, oil will drip to the ground through the lowest point under the jeep. That means through the rear main seal area.
If it is a transfer case fluid leak that can be seen directly under the transfer case.
But if you check your jeep after a drive, with the flow of wind under the jeep, oil can be sprayed and wet somewhat distant from the original leak spot.
That should also be kept in mind when inspecting oil leaks.
Apart from those differential oil leaks can also happen. They can spot directly under the differentials. So they are not very hard to diagnose.
How to find out where oil is leaking from my jeep?
- To find the oil leaking spot you should have a good eye and a proper light source like a flasher.
- First use a degreaser to clean the oil grease and dirt if it’s not possible to find out the oil leaking spot at once.
- Most of the time oil leaks happen only after the engine starts. In some cases oil leaks can happen without the engine running.
- After cleaning the underside of the oil dripping area you can check after a while or you can start the engine and keep it for a few minutes.
- After that you can inspect what is the starting point of the oil line by going up from the dripping point.
- By this way you’ll be able to find out approximately or exactly where the leak is.
- Here I used those two words because sometimes you may not be able to find out the exact cause without removing some parts under the engine.
As an example, sometimes you may not be able to differentiate between a degraded oil pan gasket and a damaged rear main seal just by looking at the oil leaking spot, without removing the oil pan.
How to fix
To fix an oil leak of a jeep you have below options. According to your situation, options that work for you will be differ.
- First you can check for any loose bolts and tight them appropriately using a torque wrench.
Be careful not to over tighten the bolts. There are manufacturer recommended torques and patterns to tight. Follow those guidelines when doing these.
- Next option is trying to fix the leak using a Oil stop leak additive. You can find a suitable one online or from a local store.
Apply the additive after cleaning the area properly and check whether you can stop the oil leak. If it’s not a big damage, oil leak will stop by this simple fix without need of a huge repair.
- Unfortunately if none of the above things work in your case, you have to replace the damaged gasket , oil seal or part.
Keep in mind. If you don’t have appropriate equipment and technical knowledge, it’s better to meet a mechanic to get this repair done.
Are jeep oil leaks expensive to fix?
Cost to fix an oil leak of a jeep will range from $150 – $1000. That’s because according to the costs to the spare parts the price can be varied.
As an example, for an oil pan gasket replacement, labor costs can range from $200 - $300, while gasket can be bought for less than $50.
- How long can I drive with an oil leak in my jeep?
Driving your jeep with an oil leak is not a good thing and it’s potentially dangerous in many ways. Your engine can wear out prematurely as well as it can cease if the engine oil level gets too low.
Important fact you should keep in mind is oil leaks can cause fire hazards.
According to the type of oil leak your engine has, the possible driving distance can be varied. If you drive your jeep with an oil leak you should have to take the risk by your own
2. Is a small oil leak in my jeep ok?
It’s better to do some suitable fixation as soon as possible for even a small oil leak.
Because you have previously mentioned potential dangers as well as small oil leaks can cause damages that will cost you more money later.
So far I told you what are the causes for jeep engine oil leaks, how to diagnose oil leak spots and what are the fixations you have to solve oil leaking issues.
If you have jeep oil burning issues you can read my guide about that by clicking here.
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