Oil Leak

I drive a 97’ Chevy cav’, I have recently noticed that I have an oil leak. There isn’t a puddle under the car yet but when I look under the car there is oil on two metal lines by the radiator. I assuming that they are the oil cooler lines. the location is on the driver side under the battery, by the radiator and closest to the bumper.

Does this sound like its the oil cooler lines or is it something else?
How do I repair this?
How soon should I get it repaired?

I doubt you have oil cooler lines. The most probable source for an oil leak is the valve cover gasket, The lines that go to the radiator are most likely transmission fluid lines, Check your trans fluid level, find the source of the leak and fix it.

More than likely what you’re seeing is transmission fluid leaking from the cooler lines into the radiator.

These cooling lines have O-rings that seal the cooling lines to the radiator. And if an O-ring springs a leak it’ll leak tranny fluid.


I know its the oil only because the vehicle holds 4quarts of oil, and the oil wasn’t registering on the dip stick. Last time I had an oil change was in February, the transmission fluid is fine I checked that too.

The fluid is black, I spread it on my finger and it didn’t change colors.

"4quarts of oil, and the oil wasn't registering on the dip stick "

Is this the first time you noticed that your oil is low? Driving without oil is a much bigger concern than a slight drip under the car. Hopefully you haven’t yet done any damage.

You don’t really need to bother with checking the oil…unless you want the car to keep running.

Some people actually check their oil every time they gas up, or maybe once a week, and if it’s low, then they refill. Yeah, weird, huh?

no this is not the first, this is the third time that it has gotten close to empty. I check it once a week. I thought the vehicle needed an oil change so I did that a couple months ago.

plus the vehicle doesn’t register when i’m low on oil

You should start understanding your problem by looking under the car when the engine is running, long enough for the engine to be mostly warmed up. If you see a steady drip, you’ve got a significant problem. Then check the oil every day until you see how much you are losing, and keep it topped up.

You probably have multiple oil leaks, but if they are only small ones, then considering the age of the car, you may decide to just live with it and keep checking oil every few days and topping up as needed. Don’t let it get below the add mark. If the leak is mostly a valve cover gasket, that might not be too terribly difficult to repair. On the other end of the spectrum is something like a main seal which is far more involved and expensive to repair, perhaps not sensible given your 15 year old car.

Or your primary oil loss may be that you are burning it, which would not be surprising given that you’ve run the engine with very little oil multiple times - that probably has damaged the engine somewhat.

plus the vehicle doesn't register when i'm low on oil

If you are referring to a warning on the dashboard, don’t rely on that. Only the dipstick will tell you what you need to know. And you now need to be vigilant, checking every few days, or every day depending on how much driving you do. Good luck.

I blew a oil pan gasket, that was the issues.

No disrespect meant, but there’s a lot of confusion in this thread.

First, you do not have an oil cooler. But you do have a transmission cooler, and tranny fluid can be mistaken for oil. And if my guess is correct, those lines you’re seeing the “oil” on are the tranny coolilng lines. I recommend that you check your trans fluid per the directions in the owner’s manual.

Second, an engine does not “blow” an oil pan gasket. The gasket only seals the pan-to-block for oil running down back into the pan, and there should be minimal pressure behind the gasket…unless the engine is worn out and/or the crankcase ventilation system has a problem (Re; clogged PCV valve). If the gasket did have a breech in it, it’s below the level of the oil pool in th epan, so the oil would just run by. Some might get pushed past the gasket, especially if the engine were shot and you had more than the normal amount of blowby, but it would be at a slow rate.

A possible source of a major leak is the crank seal, and I’m guessing that’s more likely to be a problem.

And, of course, there’s the possibility that you’re simply burning oil.