Oil Leaks: Understanding the Causes and How to Prevent Them

Mercedes vans and vehicles are synonymous with luxury, performance, and reliability. However, even these high-quality vehicles are not immune to issues, and one common concern that owners may face is oil leaks. Oil leaks not only pose a threat to the vehicle’s performance but also contribute to environmental pollution and pose a safety risk on our roads. 

Understanding how to spot oil leaks, their causes, and addressing problems as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage and improve the overall health of your vehicle.  

At Eurostar Diesels, part of our Digital Inspection Process is to assess the vehicle’s condition, including diagnosing oil leak issues. We then send you a report with the results and a list of items that need to be fixed.  

Routine engine inspection and maintenance is one of most critical tasks in auto care that should not be ignored. Thankfully, this article will guide you to recognise tell-tale signs of oil leaks and practical steps to fix them.  

Oil dripping from engine with sump removed

Understanding the Causes 

Before delving into preventive measures, it is crucial to understand the root causes of oil leaks in Mercedes vans and vehicles. Common reasons include: 

Gasket Wear and Tear  

Gaskets play a vital role in preventing oil leaks. Over time, gaskets can degrade due to heat, pressure, and general wear and tear, leading to oil seepage. 

Loose or Damaged Oil Pans  

The oil pan is responsible for holding the engine oil. If it becomes loose or damaged, it can result in oil leaks. This may occur due to road debris, improper installation, or a simple wear and tear overtime. 

Loose Oil Filter  

Frequent loosening of the filter during an oil change may degrade the oil filters and lead to oil leaks. You can DIY the oil filter replacement or let a Eurostar mechanic do this for you.  

Wrong Type of Oil / Overfilled Oil 

Using the wrong engine oil will cause oil leaks as some synthetic oils have varying flow features and viscosity. Additionally, it may not thoroughly lubricate the engine components, causing friction between metals which in turn leads to wear and tear. Alternatively, overfilled oil can also result in leaks and spills. Make sure to note the suggested oil level or consult with a professional when changing oil. 

Defective Oil Drain Plug 

Oil drain plugs can become worn out or corroded when refilling or changing engine oil. The frequent installation and removal may overtighten or loosen the drain plug, causing a potential leak. 

image of various engine gaskets

Preventive Measures 

Now that we understand the common causes of oil leaks, let us explore effective preventive measures to keep your Mercedes van or vehicle running smoothly and protect the environment: 


Tighten Loose Components 

Make sure to tighten any loose bolts like drain plugs and gaskets correctly — tightening bolts and fasteners to the recommended torque helps prevent issues like loose oil pans that could lead to leaks and cracked components from overtightening.  

Replace Broken Components  

If tightening these components does not help or it is extremely worn out, it is time to replace them.  

Check if You Have Overfilled Your Oil 

First, check the oil level using a dipstick (read your vehicle manual for the procedures in checking oil level). If you do not have a dipstick, your vehicle should have an oil level sensor, so you will need to measure the oil level on the instrument cluster. Again, if you are unsure if you are doing the right thing, get a professional, like the team at Eurostar Diesels, to do it for you.  

Use the Right Type of Engine Oil 

We cannot stress enough how important it is to use the right type of oil for your vehicle. Read your owner’s manual for the recommended oil. Additionally, choosing high quality engine oils will also significantly reduce oil leaks or other issues.  

Schedule Routine Inspection 

Regular maintenance check-ups at a specialised centre like Eurostar Diesels are crucial for identifying potential issues before they escalate. Inspect the gaskets, seals, and oil pan during routine service appointments to catch any signs of wear or damage early on.  

mechanic working underneath a vehicle

Oil leak prevention is not only crucial for preserving the vehicle’s performance but also for minimising the environmental impact and ensuring your and other motorists’ safety. By understanding the common causes of oil leaks and implementing proactive preventive measures, Mercedes owners can ensure a longer lifespan for their vehicles and contribute to a cleaner, greener planet.  

At Eurostar Diesels, we offer comprehensive service packages specially for Mercedes Diesel vehicles such as Sprinter and Vito Vans. Our major service package includes digital vehicle inspection, engine oil and filter change, comprehensive vehicle safety check including brakes, lights, suspension and underbody, and a whole lot more.

If you’re ready to schedule an engine oil change or inspection, book your appointment at our website today or call our office: 03 8795 7997 (Hallam) or 03 908 88980 (Sunshine West).