Why is My Car Leaking Oil After an Oil Change?

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 


Getting your car into tip-top shape requires having regular oil changes. This means having your oil checked every 3,000 miles or 3 months.

But sometimes, we might find oil stains on the driveway afterward, and we ask ourselves: Why is my car leaking after an oil change?

This can be caused by several reasons such as having rotten engine gaskets, oil overfilling, or having the oil filter not fitted properly.

In this article, we will dive in and look into the details of what can cause an engine oil leak, and what you can do to prevent and fix them.

Causes of Engine Oil Leak

Oil engine leaks can be the cause of a far larger issue and it is critical to assess the reasons why your car is leaking 2 weeks after an oil change.

In this section, we will discuss the different reasons why your car is leaking oil when parked after a service.

1. Unfit Oil Filter


Oil filters are an important part of your car’s engine. Its primary function is to remove impurities and other particles in the engine oil that can cause issues in your car.

An oil filter that has not been fitted properly or using the wrong type for your car will cause a major oil leak.

Oil leaking from the filter can also be caused by contaminant blockages from debris.

2. Oil Plug Issues


Another major reason for an oil leak is oil coming from the drain plug. When the plug is not tight, this can naturally cause oil to flow outside.

On the other hand, tightening the plug too much can cause damage to the seal and cause leakage.

3. Excess Oil


A common error during oil changes is putting in too much oil. This can overload your car’s system, causing oil to turn into foam and reduce hydraulic pressure, which can lead to leaks in the seals.

Residual oil leaks are one of the major causes of oil coming out of the ground from your car.

4. Faulty Valve Cover Gasket and Oil Pan


Oil pans serve as storage for excess oil in the car. Even a tiny hole in the pan can cause a huge flow of oil to leak from the car.

Valve cover gaskets, on the other hand, create a seal between the two gaskets. Over a long period of use, this can wear out and cause oil to spread around the engine bay.

Oil Filter Leak Symptoms

Besides seeing oil dripping underneath your car, here are the other symptoms of oil leaks that you can check to make sure that there is a problem:

1. Engine Smoke


This occurs when the exhaust manifold is contaminated with engine oil. If this is not fixed in time, this can damage the oxygen sensors and gaskets.

2. Your Dashboard Oil Sign Is Lighting Up


This is another obvious sign that your car has detected an issue with your oil level or pressure. It is important to have the car checked immediately.

3. Overheating Engine


The main purpose of engine oil is to cool down and lubricate your car’s engine. Having an oil leak can cause a drop in lubrication and will cause your pistons to create a lot of friction and heat.

How to Fix an Oil Leak

If you find your car still leaking oil after repair or an oil change, it’s important to take these steps in mind to fix the leak.

1. Inspect the car and Determine the Cause


Check for any symptoms that your car has an engine oil leak. Checking your dashboard occasionally can help warn you of any potential problems. Look at your oil filters, oil plugs, oil pans, and gaskets, and make sure that they are in good shape.

2. Stop-Leak Additives

Stop-leak additives are great options if you’re on a tight budget and want to fix the issue quickly. These additives soften the gaskets and fix up any leakage in the vehicle.

This is a temporary solution, then, you should still have the faulty components fixed.

Fix Leaking Oil Drain Plug


This is a great step when the issue is coming from a loose bolt in your drain plug, as it can easily plug the leak. It’s important to remember that turning the bolt too hard can also cause issues.

Replace Faulty Components


Gasket seals, oil pans, and other parts that are worn out or broken can be replaced to fix the oil leak.

Take your Car to a Reputable Mechanic

If you’re having problems fixing your car at home, it’s much easier to have your car checked on by an expert who will assess the damage and service the issue.

Tips to Avoid Oil Leaks

Here are some of the tips that you can observe to prevent further oil leaks in the future.

  1. Always check your engine oil levels.
  2. Make sure that you are using the right type of oil.
  3. Have an oil change in 3-month intervals or as determined by the manufacturer.
  4. Oil filters should be regularly maintained and checked.
  5. Bring your car over for routine maintenance.


Getting an oil leak in your car can be a big headache. If not fixed, this can cause more serious issues down the line.

So the next time someone asks you: Why is my car leaking oil after an oil change? Make sure to remember what you read here about the causes of the issue and the ways you can fix and prevent them.

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