Why My Car Leaking Oil After Oil Change

If you are a car user or driver, an oil change is one of the essential parts of car maintenance. Fuel, oil & coolant are unavoidable and necessary for a car. Here oil means different types of lubricants for a car engine: engine oil, transmission oil, or brake Oil. Whatever the oil type or viscosity grade, the tension is if the car leaks oil after the oil change!

Car leaking oil after oil change:

Oil drip after an oil change may only sometimes be the reason for tension. First of all, you have to understand why & how a car leaks oil after the oil change. Most of the time, it’s a very simple issue but sometimes oil leaking may be a severe problem, So let’s discuss some common reasons for cars leaking oil after the oil change.

residual oil drips

Car leaking a small amount of oil would be sourced from the outside of the car engine, which is actually residual oil that is not entirely cleaned after the oil change. So most probably this is for residual oil drips only. Once you clean it properly it will not see more oil leaking our from the car hope fully.

Not appropriately cleaned after Oil change:

If you did not clean the car area after the oil change, it might be the reason for the leaking oil. Even sometimes, you may need to flush the engine oil system using engine oil or flushing oil. This may be required if you use the wrong or dirty oil for a long time, which may create internal sludge in your car engine. This is also a part of cleaning after an oil change. And it would be best if you cleaned the drain plug area and other parts of the engine. If you do it correctly, hopefully, the car leaking oil after service will not happen.

Mechanical Error:

Due to some mechanical error, your car may be leaking oil after an oil change or at any time. Let’s see

Wrong Filter Installation:

If you install the oil filter incorrectly, it may create a leak in the system, which may cause an oil leak after service. Sometimes clogged oil filters may create this situation also. So you should check your oil filter & change it timely. And have to be careful while installing a new oil filter.

Double Filter Gasket Installation

Filter gasket installation is also essential, as well as a filter. If you miss the gasket, it causes a problem; on the other hand, if you install a double filter gasket, it will also be a reason for oil drip after oil service or oil change.

Incorrectly tightened drain plug

Incorrect or overtightened oil plugs may cause many problems. If you do not tighten it completely, then it may be the reason for an oil leak. Soan tight your drain plug correctly always with an appropriate wrench so that plug can not leak oil after an oil change. But be careful. It should not be over-tightened. It permanently destroys your nut or bolt of the drain plug.

How do I know my car is leaking oil?

Sometimes when you may find that the oil level is decreasing or that there is no oil in the dipstick while checking the oil level. The most probable reason for this can be oil leaking, so this is one of the ways to know that your car is leaking oil. Sometimes you may get a burning smell which indicates the oil is leaking.

You also have some other options except oil level checking, that is, check your dashboard because most of the latest model cars have the option of a warning light if there is an oil leak. But sometimes finding an oil leak would be difficult if the oil is coming from the oil seal because this oil drip is very few amounts & very small in amount. So, after all, you should check your car underground after at least 10 minutes of parking the car in a plain place and shut off the engine if you have any confusion about leaking oil after an oil change or service.

Related: Car Smoking After Oil Change: Possible Causes and Solutions

How to fix the problem:?

After finding the reason for the oil leak, you can quickly fix the problem. For Example, if oil is leaking from the drain plug area, check the drain plug area & tighten the nut bolt perfectly with the wrench. If the problem still needs to be solved, check the oil seal & oil filter also. And another vital thing to do is clean the area where oil is leaking from the car. Hopefully, you can solve the problem of the car leaking oil.


Q. Is it normal for a car to leak oil after an oil change?

No, If the oil change servicing & cleaning are perfectly done, the oil should not leak after an oil change. But little oil drips from the car immediately after the oil change is not a big deal.

Q. Why is my car leaking oil but the oil level OK?

If there is some residual oil around the engine oil chamber or drain area, your car may leak oil, but in this case, the oil level will be average because oil is not coming out from the inside of the engine.

Q. Why is my car suddenly leaking oil?

Failing of Engine gaskets or worn-out seals may be the reason for sudden car leaks. Leakage of oil pan also causes sudden leaking of oil from a car.

Final Words:

Though little oil dripping from the car after an oil change is not a big deal if your oil level is OK in the oil dipstick. But you should be concerned about this issue & find out the possible reason. And if you finally fail to fix the issue, you should contact your car manufacturer or meet with a car mechanic. Because if the car leaks oil and the oil level decreases, your engine may seize.


Emon is Lubricants specialist who studied on Petroleum Engineering in UAE. He have more than 10 years experience on different kinds of lubrication including automobile troubleshooting.