What Would Cause Oil to Spray all Over Engine? (Solved!)

oil spraying out of engine

Oil spraying all over the engine is one of the most common questions I get, it’s not unusual especially on an aging car a common mechanical malady that can happen to any vehicle, from the most humble of economy cars to the fanciest of sports cars.

Luckily, In this article, we are going to look at the possible causes and how to go about fixing the oil spraying over the engine issue, lets jump straight to it.

What Would Cause Oil to Spray all Over Engine?

In short, what would cause oil to spray all over the engine is a damaged valve cover gasket, broken oil cap, torn oil pan gasket, missing/loose oil cap, failed oil seal, worn-out thread on oil drain plug, and overfill of the car with oil.

1. Damaged valve cover gasket:

The valve cover gasket is a vital component in your engine that keeps oil where it belongs and prevents oil from leaking out to other areas of your engine, if the gasket is damaged or has gone bad, it can drip oil straight onto your engine or cause it to spray.

2. Broken oil cap:

When the oil cap is broken or missing, it’s easy for metal shavings, dust and other small debris to get into your crankcase and contaminate your motor oil. This will cause the oil to seize up solid in your engine, which can lead to a massive loss of power or even engine failure.

3. Torn oil pan gasket:

The metal part that bolts onto the engine and prevents oil from leaking out is called the oil pan gasket, if it’s torn or damaged, it can allow all the oil to seep into the engine and destroy it.

Sometimes if the undercarriage cover is missing and you hit bricks, potholes, or speed bumps this may slowly damage the oil pan by making the tightened bolts lose, and that causes oil to leak some goes down to the ground, some will be visible on your engine.

4. Missing/loose oil cap:

If your oil cap is missing or loose, you could be losing a lot of precious motor oil that slowly depletes your engine of its vital lubricant.

The amount of oil that most people lose over a long period of time can be enough to cause internal engine damage and other engine issues. If you find that the oil cap is missing, you should replace it as soon as possible and make sure it’s tightened properly.

5. Failed oil seal:

If the oil seal is damaged, that could also mean that your engine could be losing oil, which of course will lead to your engine picking up dirt and grime. If you find that your car is leaking motor oil then you should take it to a professional auto mechanic or a mechanic with some experience, so they can inspect the problem and fix it properly.

6. Worn out thread on oil drain plug:

If the oil drain plug is worn out, it won’t be able to withstand the pressure when you remove it, which could mean that motor oil will come gushing out of it creating a huge mess. If you find that your car is leaking oil then you should replace the old drain plug with a new one.

7. overfill oil in the car:

If your car has a lot of oil in it, it could be causing your engine to overheat and cause the oil to boil and some of the oil can spray up your engine due to the radiator picking it up.

This will damage your engine and may even void your warranty. If you find that you have a lot of oil in your car then it is recommended that you drain the oil and you should add it to the level in which it’s supposed to be, only add so much that the oil can go all the way down into the engine.

How do I know if my oil pan gasket is leaking?

There are a lot of different ways in which you can check for an oil pan gasket leakage. The easiest way to know if your oil is leaking from the engine is by looking underneath your car, you should see if there is any spillage of motor oil on the ground or under your car.

Another common sign is smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, as oil is burning and it will burn. If you see any of these signs when you look underneath your car then you should take your car to a professional mechanic at the first opportunity.

What is the most common oil leak?

The most common oil leak is from the oil pan gasket, this will cause the oil to seep out slowly and over time will cause severe engine damage. There are a lot of different things that you have to check before you can fix it expediently.

Is an oil leak expensive to fix?

It really depends on what kind of vehicle you have, how much oil has leaked out, and how long the leak has been going on. It can cost anywhere from $200 to $1500 to fix a leak in your car. If the oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket is leaking then it will cost a lot more than if it’s just an oil filter that has failed.

How do you stop an engine oil leak?

A temporary fix to stop the oil leak is to use BlueDevil Oil Leak Sealer. When sprayed onto the leak, it will seal it within just two days, and you can drive your car with confidence. This is a lot less expensive than replacing the entire gasket and will let you keep moving in the meantime. BlueDevil is also a great preventative solution for a small oil leak.

I also recommend taking the vehicle to the nearest auto service center or mechanic, as there are specific tools and equipment that will help them to diagnose the problem in detail. If you have any questions about oil leaking from the engine, I recommend reading this article again. We hope that you found our techniques to be informative.

Conclusion on Oil all Over Engine

In conclusion, if you want to avoid oil leaking issues you need to check your oil level every time you are changing your car’s oil. Make sure that you don’t overfill your car. This is a common mistake that new owners make. When changing the car’s oil, be sure not to overfill the engine with oil.

The engine needs about one-third of an inch of space for the oil to slide around in it. Overfilling the engine can cause cracks and damage the engine over time.


Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

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