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Oil leak under car

Hi, I was wondering if anybody could help me figure out why my car is leaking oil.
I just took my car in for a routine service about 2 weeks ago. Today I noticed a huge puddle of oil under my car, and my dad checked the oil level and it’s extremely low (to the point where he says I shouldn’t drive it). I looked under my car and I saw the oil drip a few times so I know where it’s leaking from (circled in the picture).
Is there any way to tell by this picture what the reason is? Did a nut fall off, or is there a nut on there and it’s loose?
Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much!!

The first thing I would do is find out if a friend or relative knows how to do an oil change. That person could see if the drain plug is loose or missing a gasket . You might call the place that did the oil change but that also might be a waste of time.

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Okay, I’ll find out if anyone can help me with that. Thank you!! :slight_smile:

That’s the oil drain plug. I can’t tell from the picture if the plug (bolt) is missing or just loose. If it is loose, have your dad crawl under and tighten it, the add oil. If it is missing, go to the dealer and get a new one, put it on, tighten it, add oil, and never go back to that shop again. Do not drive the car until you have this resolved and add oil to bring it up to the proper level.


Volkswagen car… that is the oil pan plug and plug requires a large allen wrench to tighten and remove. It also requires a new gasket every oil change.

AND if this runs true for the CC as it does across the Volkswagen-Audi line, there should be a plastic panel under the car covering up everything we are seeing in that picture.

which quicky oil change places inevitably fail to do.

Would the OP care to reveal the type of place where the last oil change was done?
Don’t give us the name of the establishment.
Just tell us whether it was a quicky oil change place, or a dealership, or an independent mechanic’s shop.


Highest priority: If you must continue to use the vehicle prior to getting this fixed, no long trips, and make sure the oil level is at the top mark on the dipstick each time before your start the engine. As posted above the problem is the oil pan drain plug is leaking, often caused when the shop either

  • didn’t tighten it enough
  • overtightened it
  • or didn’t use a new gasket

For the last one, suggest once you get the immediate problem resolved, stop by a dealership and buy a dozen drain-plug gaskets, then you can give the shop one to use each time you get an oil change. Most shops do not stock the gaskets, and just re-use the old one, or don’t use any gasket at all, which is one reason why you see so many oil drips under cars.

Our Saturn had a female torx drain plug that was low profile such that you could not get a grip on it even with vice grips. Kid had oil change done at shop and they put in a hex head drain plug. Which is nice.

Somebody asked for a recommendation on where to get an oil change on NextDoor. After somebody recommended Kwik E Lube, I wrote, ‘Friends don’t let friends use Kwik E Lube’, which elicited accounts of misadventures at such places.

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The vast majority of leaks are due to degraded engine gaskets, oil pan leaks , oil seals or bad connections. Crawl under the car and check the oil pan seals. While you’re there also check the oil pan drain plug. Next check the timing cover seal and the valve cover gaskets.