Oil leak, how bad could this be?

Asked by Sep 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM about the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just purchased a 96 Oldsmobile Ciera for my son.  We noticed an oil leak on day one,
the oil light came on and it is showing very low oil on day two.  Are we looking at possibly
a minor or major issue?  Thank you.

6 Answers


Is there blue smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe after it warms up and its going down the road ? Not knowing the mileage I would say to first start running a thicker oil (10 or 15W30) as it probably has a lot of miles on it. Keep a check on the oil level and see if the leak or just "burn off" still exists in a few days.


Some things to check, 1st check the oil filter make sure it is the correct one and not double gasketed, this engine may or may not have an oil cooler, if it does make sure it is not leaking around the seals when running, if this engine has the plastic intake manifold it could be leaking there also plus it can warp, rear main seal will leak while running, it is between the engine and transmission. Hope this gave you some things to look for.

1 people found this helpful.

If you run out of oil and still drive it then it will be a major issue cause you'll blow the engine and basically total the car. If you can find the leak and fix it your self, then it'll be the cost of a gasket and an oil change and an afternoons work. under $100. If you pay someone to do it then it will be between $200- $800 depending on how hard the leak is to get at.

107,000 miles, I just put a quart of oil in and it is not registering on the dip stick. I see it travelling and dripping from underneath. This car showed no signs of a leak at the time on purchase on Sunday. I will take it in for service. I feel like I've been suckered into a lemon. I am a mom purchasing my son's first vehicle on very limited funds. I am so frustrated. The buy is not answering or returning calls.


Check the oil pressure sender, they are known for just up and cracking then you've got an oil leak that that really runs when the engine is running, the senders aren't very expensive and usually easy to change.

2 people found this helpful.

A decent mechanic should be able to pinpoint it quick. It's probobly not that big a problem, and if its easy to get to the labor should be cheap. It sucks that this has happened, very frustraiting, but I wouldn't expect the buyer to help you out though, don't wast your time on that, it's a dead end. Just make sure you put some oil in it befor you drive it to a mechanic. Once you get a quote to fix it, then you can workout how to pay, but at least you'll know what you need. :(

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