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Oil Leaking on Top of Engine

Hi there, my dad’s car, a 2002 Chevy Caviler, started leaking oil on the top of the engine just the other day and we’re not sure what’s wrong with it. Please help.

Without being able to see it, this is just my best guess, but I think that there is likely oil seepage from the valve cover gasket. If this is the case, it is not serious–unless oil is truly streaming out.

The first thing to do is to check the dipstick in order to determine whether the engine has lost a measurable amount of oil. If it has, replenish it with the correct specification oil and drive to your mechanic’s shop.

If the mechanic verifies that the leak is from the valve cover gasket, ask him to re-torque the bolts that hold the valve cover in place. If this doesn’t work, then you will need to have the gasket replaced.

Check the positive crankcase valve to be sure it is functioning properly. The worst case scenario is that the piston rings are worn and the engine has excessive blow-by. I have a friend that owned a Ford Pinto and had this problem. The engine was always an oily mess.

Identifying the engine could further your cause @aboyd17.