How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

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C Class
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How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

Post by RF62 » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 5:48 pm


I wanted to know how much oil leakage is OK in a car? At what point we say the engine is not in a good condition? Should there be wet oil on parts of the engine or blue /black smoke coming out of it to say an engine is not in a good condition?

For example, I recently got this photo from a C class (W204) engine in a stealership. It was strange that he didn't wash the engine as other dealers always do before putting a car on display. It had done around 100000 KMs. I thought to myself this is normal. But on the other hand, I've seen cars (same model) with the same mileage (and sometimes older than this car) with no signs of oil on them. So, would you say this is normal?

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Tony From West Oz
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Re: How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

Post by Tony From West Oz » Tue 19 Dec, 2017 8:25 pm

My opinion is that any oil visible should never "run" down the engine / body, in a way that could eventually end up on the road surface.
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
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Christo C
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Re: How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

Post by Christo C » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 6:44 am

Those examples in your photo look like insignificant minor weeps; as Tony said, oil running and/or dripping is a concern.
The occasional small puff of smoke from exhaust, e.g. when starting, is OK too, but not when it is continuous....
In NSW a car with drips of oil under engine or transmission will not pass Rego, and the EPA takes a dim view of smoke coming from exhaust for 10 seconds or longer.
Its all a matter of degree.
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Re: How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

Post by Lance » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 12:19 pm

Use it to bargain a lower price.
Lance Smart

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Re: How much oil leakage is tolerable in an engine?

Post by Mercmad » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 1:59 pm

Thats not a leak, more of an oily smear .

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