Do I really have a MASSIVE oil leak?

Hello! I went yesterday to get the oil change on my car (purchased in March). The mechanic told me that I had a MASSIVE (he said it in a very dramatic way) oil leak, and they couldn’t change the oil or do anything. I’ve had oil leaks on my previous car, so i kind of know what to associate with it. My car engine is spotless, there is no burnt oil smell, i’m not low or missing any oil (on the contrary, it is full to the top), since my car has an undercover you would be able to see if there is oil on there, as it would drip there and not the ground, but that is spotless as well. I am taking it to the dealer to check it out as it is still under warranty, but something about that whole situation just didn’t seem right. He seemed a little shocked when I told him it was fine that I would just take it to the dealer, as he “recommended” me taking it to an engine washing place they know, then bringing it back there so they can look. Opinions please!

My car was diagnosed with an oil leak by my regular shop during an oil change, I know I have a pinion seal seeping, they cleaned it up, I asked if I needed to worry about it for a 1000 mile road trip, they said no we cleaned it up, and will check it on your next oil change. I have not noticed any significant drop in oil level.

So probably massive was an overstatement, but my guess you have a leak, and cleaning stuff up can make the leak easier to find.

Let us know what the dealer finds.

Any mechanic who says you have a “massive oil leak” should be able to point it out to you when it’s in the hoist. You should have asked him to show it to you…

By the time they called me from the waiting room, he had already brought my car down from the lift and parked it. He handed me my keys and said “you have a massive oil leak, we couldn’t change your oil due to all the oil that is on your engine, you can go get the engine washed at ******** and then bring it back here and we’ll look at it”.

Well cross another one off your list of places to get work done. I had my Pontiac into the dealer for some recall issue. They reported I had a bad oil leak at the rear of the engine and also not as bad at the front. OK. No oil loss, nothing on garage floor. Nothing I could find underneath when I looked, so I took it to an independent I trust and they inspected it. No oil leak at all. I lose maybe a cup of oil at the most between oil changes. In other words there is no oil leak period. Why I was told that who knows but I wasn’t about to spend $1200 to pull the trans, etc. to fix an oil leak unless I could verify it.

In my Buick I was losing a quart a week through the oil pan gasket. Even at that rate there was no problem changing oil and filter. There is no reason while an oil change can’t be done even if the engine is caked with oil. Fishy fishy fishy. Write them off.


I went in for the oil change because i’m going on a trip. I had multiple oil leaks in my previous car, usually associated with a huge mess all over the engine, a horrible burnt oil smell every time i would turn the car on, etc. This car is almost brand new, the engine is literally spotless, no smell, no trouble with the engine. During previous oil leaks my old car would be missing a significant amount of oil. This one is not missing a single drop. It all just seemed quite fishy.

You are right, it is fishy. I’m sure your dealer will confirm this. Find another shop to get your oil changed at and never go back to this place again.

Despite this incidence, I would always recommend that you check your oil every time you gas up while on a trip, especially with a vehicle that is new to you, even a brand new car right off the showroom floor. Cars will burn a little more oil during sustained high speed driving than they will around town. Also you are getting to know your car.

I tie a small cloth to a pipe, hose or clamp under the hood so I have a wipe rag handy when I want to check my oil.

After a few gas stops on the trip, you will probably see a pattern of any oil consumption and you may want to adjust the frequency of checking the oil level, that is OK but do keep checking periodically.

Don’t need the name of place but would like to know if this was just a oil change facility or what. The term mechanic might not apply. Is this a used vehicle and were you really due for a change? This might qualify for a negative review on Reddit or if a chain on their website.

I went to my local Sears Auto Center, as it was close and they open on weekends. I bought my car used, only one previous owner, low miles, no accidents, I even had a mechanic I trusted come check out the car before buying it. Everything was in tip-top shape, and it came with a warranty. The time i’ve had my car, I have had no issues with it. I wasn’t really due for an oil change just yet, but as a precaution since I am going on a trip next weekend didn’t want to risk anything. After I got home, I looked at their reviews on Yelp (should have done that before), and so many negative reviews. Especially, of people who have gone in for simple work like oil changes and tire rotations, and have been told their car has a hundred other problems that really didn’t exist.

Bingo, we have found the problem. Sears is circling the drain along with Kmart. I don’t think any of the sears service centers are actually part of sears.

To the best of my knowledge, Sears sold their auto centers several years ago, before they began to sell most of their other assets. In my state, a fairly sleazy dealership chain owns most of the Sears Auto Centers.

But, that being said, I am still trying to figure out why they “can’t” do an oil change on an engine with an oil leak. Yes, some of that oil will be wasted via the leak, but if the engine has gone a very long time w/o an oil change, I think that it would be better to “waste” a few bucks on an oil change, rather than allowing old oil to remain in the crankcase.

I just hope that the OP is able to take his vehicle to a competent shop a.s.a.p., in order to determine the source of that oil leak.

1 Like

Sears Canada just got the court approval to close all stores in Canada.

Quite few years ago Sears either sold or out sourced their appliance repair…horrible service after that.

No, they’re not

The ceo of Sears has slowly been selling off the valuable parts, such as Sears auto repair and craftsman tools, to name a few

Sears’ CEO has publically stated that he doesn’t know if Sears will last out the year. He’s also publically declared that they’re seeking buyers for their appliance division, their home services division, the Diehard name, and some other major assets… in addition to having sold Craftsman to Black & Decker / Stanley.

As to your car, there are so many suspicious things about what they did and told you that it’s spooky. If you’d had a massive oil leak, they would have showed you, told you where it was, and recommended work to correct it. No shop is going to turn away major work just because they don’t want to get their hands dirty, and if it was beyond their shop’s scope they would have told you that.

And there is no amount of leakage that could prevent and oil change. That makes zero sense.

My guess is that they knew they were going to be out on the street looking for a new job very, very soon (in days, maybe) and just didn’t want to bother changing your oil. Or perhaps Sears stopped buying oil in preparation for shutdown and the guys were warned not to tell the customers. Either way, try a reputable independent shop and let us know how you made out.

I’ve seen advertisements in our local newspaper, announcing that you can now buy Kenmore appliances from the amazon website

From a financial standpoint, I can’t say I blame the ceo for trying to make as much money as possible . . . by spinning off sears piece-meal . . . before the company finally flushes down the toilet for good

It’s been well-known for years that absolutely nothing can prevent the demise of sears

I must say I feel very badly for the workers who will be looking for other employment

As for no oil change, due to a supposed major oil leak, that sounds extreme. It would have to be a niagara falls sized leak, for that to make any kind of sense. And were that the case, OP would notice huge oil spots on the driveway, and would constantly be topping off the engine oil level

Sounds to me like the shop was going for the “hard” upsell. In other words, use the fear factor to scare up some business. Perhaps the oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket showed signs of very minor seepage, and the guy blew it way out of proportion . . . ?

I’m sure he’s analyzed the numbers and discovered that the value of Sears’ parts is worth more than its whole. He was a very well known hedge fund manager before Sears brought him on board in 2015. Selling off the assets of value before turning the rest over to liquidators is common practice in failing companies. That desire to find buyers for the assets is probably why they went public with their situation.

I wish the employees only the best. But they should be honest with customers if they can’t serve them.

Just as an aside, a lot of the stores known as Hometime stores are franchised and not owned by Sears either. Their biggest asset is now real estate. However many of the stores are located in shopping centers that might have questionable value now too. A sad tale from innovative beginnings.
I’ve said for a longtime to drop the silly trade marks like Kenmore and Craftsman and offer name brands. Amazon doesn’t have any washing machine brands. They just take a piece off of each sale like the credit card companies.


When a mechanic gets your car off the lift and into the parking lot and only then tells you about a “massive” problem, it’s a good bet he’s lying.


Don’t ever do that again. :wink:

Sears auto centers were complete crap long before the company went south. A lot of them if not all of them are franchises, which means at best you’re gonna get a Jiffy Lube type experience, which means lots of upsells and BS. At worst they’ll destroy your car.

I don’t know the Sears ceo’s name . . .

But in years past, wouldn’t he have been called a corporate raider?

Several years ago, I stopped by a Sears auto center to buy a product, might have been a funnel or a plastic oil drain tub

While there, a customer dropped off his car for an oil change. His only request was “Make it cheap” :slight_smile: