2009 Buick LaCrosse - Drips

I bought a 2009 Buick LaCrosse about 2 years ago. About a year after the purchase, it began dripping a small amount of oil each day. I took it to 2 different shops, and both of them said the leak is from the oil pan (if I remember correctly.) Both said same thing: that to get to the leak, they’d have to remove the engine and other assorted parts, so that the cost of the repair would be about 3000 dollars.Oil stain beneath car is small. I went 7000 miles between last oil change and change I did yesterday, and oil reservoir was full. Appears all i can reasonably do is keep something under car to catch the drips, and keep on driving the car as it is. Do you agree? Thank you.

seems high to me.

Buick LaCrosse Oil Pan Gasket Replacement Cost Estimate (repairpal.com)

That might be a normal price for the shop in question or where ever this person is located . Frankly I don’t have much use for Repairpal . I also don’t speculate on a price but will suggest that a second cost estimate is in order.

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If your leak is so minor to not lose any oil in 7,000 miles I sure would not worry about it.
Frankly, I am amazed you are not consuming any oil on a twelve year old car.


This is a guess but some shops get the oil a bit above full during an oil change. You could be consuming half a quart and still showing full. If it were my money, I’d just keep something under the leak.


You can buy an aluminum (or maybe plastic) drip pan to go under your car, to catch the oil.

I’d just monitor the oil level and keep it topped off, myself. You might also try switching to a “high mileage” oil. My understanding is there are additives in those oils that help swell the seals.


I’m not familiar with the Buick Lacrosse

That said, it seems a little over the top to say you have to remove the engine and other things

On some cars, you certainly need to support the engine and remove the front cradle/subframe . . . in fact, that’s quite typical, especially cars with a transverse V-engine

Perhaps the shop quoted $3000 and said you have to remove the engine and other things because they don’t really want to do the job . . . ?

My 1999 Honda has some small leaks from where the oil pan meets the engine block. I keep a piece of cardboard under it in the garage. Every six months I change the oil and the cardboard.

Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s EVERY car leaked a little oil. Before that, every car leaked a LOT of oil. Every single car. If a parking lot is shown in an old TV show or movie it looks like a quart of oil was dumped in the middle of every parking space. Highways had a dark stain down the middle of every lane.

Live with it. Check your oil regularly, not just at oil changes. Every week. Worry about other, more important things.

Happy New Year!


Without question!
In fact, up through at least the early '70s, every new car showroom had long drip trays under each car on display, and it you peered underneath, it was obvious that the brand-new cars were dripping oil.

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$3K will buy a lot of tires, brakes, shocks, etc.

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It depends on where it is leaking, had an older car, leaking pan was due to rust holes. Thought about trying to patch it but sold it instead. It was a major $ to repair, like yours. 88 malibu I think it was. It was my grandmothers car and did not need it, kept on driving my old car. It would have been a nice upgrade but I was happy enough with my Toyota pickup.

That would mean two shops don’t want to deal with it since the OP got the same response from both.

I would check the oil pan bolts for looseness then look for the oil pressure sensor and check for leakness. They all say $3,000 to do the job right even though they know better.

Unlikely the oil pan is dripping; the quote seems to be for the rear main crankshaft seal.


That makes more sense, given the extremely high estimate

Still, OP indicates oil level still in normal level after 7,000 miles. Leak is trivial.

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They always say rear main seal for a lot of money. I even said it to myself once. Then I found the oil pressure sensor leaking. It was under the distributor on an old 350 Chevy. I wasted a few quarts of oil on that one.

Make sure the PCV system is working properly.

Unless you accidentally bumped the oil pan on something while driving (like one of those curbs in parking lots) , unlikely to be leaking there. If the car has been well maintained and gently driven, much more likely to be leaking from a worn valve cover gasket. The way to tell is to clean the engine, then put some UV dye in the oil, drive for a few hundred miles, then use a special UV lamp to see if oil is leaking from the valve covers down the side of the engine. Any leak above the oil pan will often end up on the oil pan, so its easy to assume the oil pan is the problem. But a diagnosis like that would be similar to assuming the reason a car won’t start is b/c there’s something wrong with the key.