Can an oil leak be stopped

subaru
forester

#1

My '98 Subaru Forester has developed small leaks at the ends of the boxer engine.

Is there an additive that does or really has the potential to, stop a small leak?

I can see an “engine pull” to get at the gaskets. Big bucks.


#2

Most people ignore small oil leaks; they just check the oil more often and put some kitty litter on their garage floor or driveway.

There are “high mileage oils” which have additional sealers in them to redcue oil consumption and leaks in older cars. You might try these, they cost a little more than regular oils. Don’t use synthetic oils, since they are incredibly slippery and your oil leakge will likely INCREASE.

I agree with you that pulling an engine in a 98 car just because it leaks a little oil malkes no sense. You will have to check the oil more frequently, of course.

In the past I have have several cars that developed small leaks as they aged. Kitty litter on one of my wife’s old cookie trays did the job.


#3

Thanks,
It has been a very trouble free 216,000 miles so far
so a kitty litter type solution will probably be it.


#4

I have found the high mileage oils to work well on one of my vehicles (but not another). Its not much more expensive, so I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a whirl. (If nothing else it is more environmentally friendly if you can reduce the leakage).


#5

You can try adding a pint or two of mineral spirits to the engine oil. This can soften and swell rubber seals a bit and possibly stop an oil leak; assuming the leaks are related to rubber seals.

No additive or oil is going to stop a leak from a failed gasket and it’s also unlikely to stop a leak at a crankshaft seal in which the crankshaft journals are scored.


#6

Making sure your Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PVC) valve is working properly can help in some cases also. The PVC valve allows the pressure developed in the crankcase by combustion gasses blowing past the piston rings (normal, especially on an older engine) to vent, the pressurized gases being ingested into the engine’s instream. If the PCV valve is plugged or stuck closed, those gasses cannot escape and the pressure in the crankcase can elevate and push oil past tired seals.