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Oil leaking post oil change even after righten filter/plug

2000 Gr. Caravan; had friend change my oil for me; first oil change since oil pan changed (when changed didn’t use gasket, just silicone), it is leaking quite a bit, but dipstick says its ok (i keep checking); i retightened the drain plug and the filter (I think they were maybe using a socket that is too big). But it is still leaking (a spot about 9" diam. overnight) Now it is starting to make this wheezing whining noise (the engine)when I run it - but dipstick still shows that level is ok. Could it be that friend hauled on it so much that the pan detached between the drain pan and the engine? Or is this maybe a gasket problem? I hope it isn’t that the threads are stripped. By the way they charge about 50.00 for an oil change around here.

Related question - does your dipstick always tell you if the oil level is ok? Would appreciate replies, disabled and rely on car.

Is is definitely oil that is leaking ? If so, is the oil leaking from the drain plug or the pan gasket ? You should be able to diagnose which type of fluid and where it’s leaking from easily.

I am pretty sure it is oil leaking. It is clear and oily. At first it was definitely coming at least from around the drain plug and my friends said they were being careful not to tighten it too much. So I finally found a spot where I could get under the car, and I tightened the drain plug with a socket wrench as hard as I could pull it (which isnt that hard). I haven’t been under it again since, so I guess that is my “homework”. I am wondering though if the oil was coming from the drain plug AND the gasket. I am hoping to take ti to my friends again to have them check it over with their ramps but I am about 3 hours away from them and I am worried of driving it too much. I have been keeping a bottle of oil handy in case. I am really not sure where it is leaking from now, but it definitely is.

There’s no substitute for just looking to see where the leak is. Its not that its easy to tell b/c things get messy, but if its something like the filter or drain plug it is normally pretty obvious. So I think you just need to wait until someone can get it up in the air.

Never tighten the drain plug as hard as you can. You will just wreck the threads. Same with the oil filter.

Check your power steering fluid. If the leak is from that instead (and your oil level is ok) it will leave a puddle and make the pump noisy in a way that could be described as wheezing.

I think it’s difficult to give you an answer until you find out where it’s leaking from. Could easily be the plug or gasket. Curious as to why a pan gasket wasn’t used ??? Also, did the wheezing noise begin happenning immediately after the oil change ??

thanks for tip re power steering; will check; also understood re drain plug.

i guess pan gasket wasnt used because i didn’t tell them too? i didn’t think to ask until after they’d done it, and they said silicone only was ok - i know there is debate about this subject, but i guess i’m old fashioned and like gaskets. The wheezing was not immed. after oil change but a day or two after - have driven car about 200 kms. since. wheezing is just today. i tightened it up yesterday - it seemed to leak less, but still quite a bit.
Must go now from computer, but will check again later, thanks one and all

Why was the pan changed?

There are gasket materials that are squeezed on out of a tube that are perfectly legitimate. It’s very possible that the pan installation is fine. However, someone needs to look underneath with a good worklight to find out.

A socket too big might trim the corners off the hex, but unless it was being used by a ratchet too big it wouldn’t strip the threads anyy more than if the job were properly done…

No, a drain plug cannot be hauled on so much that the pan warps. The threads would strip out well before that.

One problem common when newbies do oil changes is to leave that old filter gasket on the engine and install the new filter with gasket over it. This will cause th gaskets to distort and will cause a leak, often of about the magnitude you describe.

Someone needs to get under this vehicle to see what’s going on.

And I’m still wondering…why was the oil pan changed?

A 9" spot overnight is a bad one and one can only imagine how many drops are being left in the roadway, engine oil or not.

There’s not enough info known to make much of a guess as to what is going on with this but if the drain plug does not have a gasket and if you can look at the oil pan and see globs of RTV silicone sealer pooched out all around then it’s time to redo this oil pan job and have someone else do it.

You say an oil change around there is 50 dollars and your friend lives 3 hours away. With gasoline at 3-4 dollars a gallon on a 6 hour round trip and factoring in vehicle wear/tear then how in the world is this cost effective even if the time involved means nothing to you?

Until it’s known where the oil is coming from (if indeed it is oil), then it’s difficult to offer a solution. As cigroller said, it could be something in the power steering. What is puzzling to me and is making me lean further away from an oil leak, is that it’s stated that the oil level is OK and also that the whining noise started a day or two after the oil change. This is whole story is weird - Oil level OK, but a 9" diameter leak on the floor ?? Whining noise a day later ??? No gasket on the oil pan that was dropped for unknown reasons ???

Hi again,
Oil pan was changed because it was corroded from age (11 yrs. old- 3rd owner). The comment about the oil filter gasket is interesting and sounds like a likely cause - i think i need to start with a new oil change.
I have checked power steering and it was REALLY low, so I filled it to min. and it hasn’t leaked out, so I will add some more today (used prestone stop leak fluid so hopefully if there was a tiny leak this would help).
Haven’t driven it lately, I am trying to think where I should take it next.

what you say about gas costs is true, however I had to go my friends town anyway to get some paperwork done and it is always nice to visit friends too. You know how some people are afraid of the dentist…

was talking to friend who did the oil change and they thought the drop in power might mean a intake gasket problem or head gasket problem in addition to power steering. Could be this vehicle has reached the point of simultaneous disintegration.

by the way, 300,000 on the vehicle and the 3 litre v6 engine.

300k on a Grand Caravan? Yeah, I’d say you’re on borrowed time. That said, if the oil leak is just from a botched oil change, no big deal. But get it into a shop and have them figure it out, because if you say the engine sounds weird, then you’re potentially causing a lot more than 50 bucks in damage by not getting it taken care of.

You ned to check ALL of your fluids, especially the transmission fluid. If all are ok, then some of the spots on the ground could be oil that got into the frame areas when the oil pan was dropped and is leaking out, that will clear up shortly.

A 9" spot on the ground translates to only a few drops of oil. Oil has a way of spreading out a lot so it looks like more than it really is. If it is the engine oil, it may take quite awhile to detect the actual drop in the oil level in the engine.

Using a silicone gasket maker is perfectly fine in place of the OEM gasket. Many new vehicles have eliminated the gasket and use silicone or an elastomeric rubber instead.

If you still see oil dripping from the drain plug and not coming down from somewhere higher on the engine, then before you change the oil again, go to your parts store and get a new drain plug gasket or washer. Your buddy might have dropped/lost the old one or it may have just given up.

Check that filter gasket too. I don’t really think it got double gasketed, in my experience the oil loss is sudden and catastrophic, not a slow leak when this happens.