Do I have a severe oil leak?

I brought my car 4 weeks ago, I waited a week later and checked to oil it was full.  The second week I Checked the oil and it was low about a quart.  I also noticed a puddle under the car.  Do I have a severe oil leak or is it slowly leaking?   Can I just buy a 5 quart gallon and keep the oil topped off and not fix the problem?  Also I topped off my oil today and drove home and checked the level 10min later is that enough time to let the oil settle to get an accurate reading?  I drive a 2000 Toyota Camry 2.2l 4 cylinder gas engine 

17 Answers

  • M.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    You bought car.

    Oil was full.

    One week later oil was 1 quart low.

    How many miles or km did you drive in that week?

    I think that because you have discovered a puddle under your engine, that the leak is significant. 

    It could be something simple, like a loose oil pan drain plug or a loose oil filter or an oil filter with two gaskets. 

    It could be something more complicated like a leaking oil pan gasket or leaking front seal.  It could be labor intensive like a leaky rear main seal or a rusty or injured oil pan. 

    It could be a leak from the top of the engine, like a valve cover gasket. 

    I would check for a bad PCV valve, which could allow a leak to happen due to crankcase pressure. 

    Please check all the things that I have mentioned.  You need to immediately locate the source of the leaking oil. 

    If the oil pan drain plug was in fact loose, and it completely backed out of the oil pan, your engine could be out of oil in less than a minute.  You wouldn't even know it was leaking heavily if you were driving, until your red instrument panel oil light came on or your oil pressure gauge reading dropped severely (IF you happened to notice it).  If that happens, pull off the road to a safe place immediately, and shut off the engine.  Do not start it until the problem has been found and repaired.  You can't drive without oil.  The engine will sustain major injury very quickly.  You can't keep driving because you are almost home. 

    Take it seriously. 

    Find and repair the leak. 

    Because nobody knows what the source of the leak is, nobody can give you advice about whether you can ignore the leak or how long you can keep driving with the leak. 

    -Engine overhaul mechanic in general automotive mechanic since 1972

  • 1 month ago

    Stop driving the car until you can fix it - or get it fixed.

    Check for loose valve cover bolts, oil pan bolts, oil drain plug, oil filter, etc.

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    charles yo know what an oil leak is we hope , he cant tell because of the puddle of oil , no hope for you ...😒😒😒

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Take it to a shop and get it fixed.

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  • 1 month ago

    New cars don't leak like that. You bought a used car and did you get a warranty? It's time to use that warranty. You probably got no warranty on a used, as-is car. There is a leak that needs to be fixed. Clean up the engine, then watch for where oil is leaking. I would call that leak severe.

  • 1 month ago

    Losing HALF a quart between oil changes is a sever leak. Having a visible puddle is a severe leak.

    Believing 5 quarts is a gallon is a different kind of problem. (A gallon is 4 quarts.)

  • 1 month ago

    Did you check to make sure the drain plug is tight? If the oil puddle is under the oil filter the last person that changed the oil may have left the gasket from the last filter on the motor. That can suddenly blow all the oil out of the motor so better get it checked out right away.

  • 1 month ago

    Need more information.  

        Was the puddle under the car large enough to account for the missing quart,?  If so, it sounds major.  

        Was it a spot the size of a quarter  and does it look like it was the accumulation of 4 weeks worth of dripping ?  Then it is not major.      Are you sure that the oil was from your car ? (I had a neighbor who used my driveway when I was not home and left oil behind).

         Did you notice the puddle after you added the quart ?  Maybe you spilled enough to make a mess.


    You can drive a long , long ways if you always keep the oil topped up.  But you might not be very popular where ever you park.  Some oil leaks are very easy to fix, others are not.  Try to figure out exactly where it is leaking

  • 1 month ago

    Take it to a shop and get it fixed.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You noticed a puddle under the car and then you ask if you have a severe leak? Not sure if your superhero name should be Captain Obvious or what. You can do whatever you want as far as the leak goes. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Just wait for the add-oil light to come on.

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