Running into an oil leak on the front side of your car can be discouraging, especially when leaving for work. A leaking oil increases the risk of your car stopping along the way.
Therefore, fixing it should be your primary concern. Since oil is a vital fluid used by various components in the car, it is often tricky to identify the exact cause of the leak.
In this article, we’ll look at the major parts you should check when your car is leaking oil from the front passenger side.
Faulty Valve Cover Gasket
The valve cover gasket is designed to prevent oil from moving out of the engine. Therefore, if it goes faulty, the oil will flow to the car’s front passenger side.
This valve cover gasket can go wrong for many reasons, such as exposure to debris and heat.
So, if it has been a long since you replaced it, you should check it when you encounter oil leaks from the front passenger side.
If its surface is covered with oil, the valve cover gasket is the one letting out oil. Hence, it would be best to replace it to sort out the leak.
The turbocharger ensures that the engine works optimally by compressing the air flowing into the engine’s cylinder.
As such, it needs oil for lubrication and cooling purposes. If the turbocharger develops cracks due to mechanical issues, it will leak oil.
This oil usually flows to your front passenger side. Observe the engine’s performance to know if the oil leak is from the turbocharger.
If the engine is running roughly, you might want to check the turbocharger. Luckily, an issue with the turbocharger you can repair.
It saves you the cost of having to install a new one. However, it can only be repaired by a professional hence you will have to take the car to a mechanic shop.
Faulty Oil Filter
You have to remove the oil filter every time you change the oil. Therefore, its strength tends to reduce over time.
Also, when replacing it with a new one, you may have failed to install it correctly.
A malfunctioned or tampered oil filter will let out the oil that flows to the passenger side of your car.
So, if the oil filter is the source of your problem, you should fix it accordingly.
Faulty Timing Cover
The timing cover prevents oil from flowing out of the engine. But over time, it tends to shrink due to wear and heat.
It will open a seal that the timing cover was supposed to close. The engine oil will leak and flow towards the front passenger side.
But the good thing is that replacing the timing cover will solve the problem. However, this is task may be tedious and time-consuming.
It may also require some technical knowledge; hence you should consult a professional.
Loose Front Cam Seal
The front cam seal holds the timing cover to the engine’s block. As you already know, the timing cover prevents the engine oil from leaking.
Therefore, if the front cam seal gets loose, the timing cover will also lose, resulting in an oil leak.
So, you may want to tighten the front cam seal to fix the leaking oil in your car’s front passenger seat.
Faulty Vent Valve
Your car’s vent valve regulates the pressure in the fuel tank. Hence, if it goes wrong, there will be a surge in the pressure.
This pressure will, in turn, push the oil out of the engine or other components. Consequently, you will see an oil leak in your car’s front passenger seat.
Therefore, you should replace the faulty vent valve to eliminate the oil leak.
Bad Rear Main Seal
The rear main seal is found where the crankshaft departs the engine. Its role is to prevent oil from leaking in this part of the vehicle.
However, like any other component, it can go wrong due to wear, old age, excessive heat, or exposure to a damaged bearing.
When this happens, the oil will leak in your car, especially near the wheel on your car’s front passenger seat.
Unlike the above oil leaks, this one is more severe since it can drain the engine oil in no time. It is because this part of the car is under high oil pressure.
It is advisable to replace a bad rear main seal instead of repairing it because the former is less expensive when fixing the oil leak issue.
Faulty Oil Centrifuge Cover
You should also check your car’s oil centrifuge cover when you encounter an oil leak in your front passenger seat.
The oil centrifuge cover is located in one of the camshafts, and its purpose is to purify the oil. So, if it gets damaged, it lets out the oil.
You can diagnose a lousy oil centrifuge cover by observing the smoke coming from your car’s exhaust pipe. If it is faulty, the smoke will be heavy.
Also, a bad oil centrifuge cover is typically associated with a sludge below the oil cap.
Once you conclude that it is responsible for the oil leak, replacing it will solve your problem.
Faulty Adapter Housing Seal Or Gasket
The oil filter is attached to an adapter housing. This adapter housing has a seal or gasket which can start leaking.
The oil might flow into the front passenger side when the seal leaks. So, like the other components, you also have to replace the gasket or seal to eradicate the problem.
The Intake Manifold Gasket Is Broken
The intake manifold gasket provides a medium through which the oil moves to the engine. If it breaks due to a mechanical issue, it will let out the oil.
Since this component also transports air and fuel, it will also make the car move at a slower speed when broken.
So, if you notice an oil leak in your car’s front passenger side followed by a decelerating speed, you have a damaged intake manifold gasket.
Fortunately, a K-Seal can repair the leaks in the intake manifold, thus fixing the issue.
Faulty Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) Valve
If the oil leak is accompanied by engine problems such as more emissions, reduced speed, and higher fuel consumption, you have a faulty PCV valve.
When the PCV valve malfunctions, pressure will build up inside its valve cover.
As you already know, pressure beyond the optimum will cause the fluid in your car, including oil, to leak.
Hence, it would be best to repair the PSV valve to sort out the problem. Luckily, it is pretty easy to fix a clogged PCV valve.
You only have to disengage it from its socket and shake it well until you can feel it sucking air from your thump.
To Sum Up
An oil leak in your car’s front passenger side is not only irritating but also a significant safety issue.
The oil leak will make your vehicle uncomfortable and affect its performance. Therefore, it ought to be resolved as soon as possible.
But before taking the car to the garage, it is good to know what causes it and if it can be repaired or not.
This issue is usually brought about by faulty valve cover gasket, bad turbocharger, faulty oil filter, malfunctioned timing cover, loose front cam seal, lousy vent valve, bad rear main seal, clogged PCV valve, etc.
James has been a car enthusiast since his childhood when he learned the differences between a ford and a chevy from his father. He loves to drive and restore old cars with a special drive for Italian marvels. Currently, he has a 1968 Alfa Romeo. He has studied aeronautics and civil aviation in his college and still gets smitten by Galant SS and Lancer GSR.
He is a New York-based product training director working with a giant automotive retailer. He loves to review and uncover the vehicles and their fascinating stories. He believes in keeping it legitimate with a keen passion for research on the latest technological upgrades in cars. While reading his articles or blogs, you can sense the extensive research and dedication backing the piece of text. He loves fried chicken, music, and spending quality time with his pet dog.