CTE Task: Inspect for Engine Leaks
Maintenance and Light Repair I (MLR I)
Inspect for Engine Leaks
Safety Note: If possible, students should do this task with a vehicle, but ensure the students do so safely.
Inspect engine assembly for fuel, oil, coolant, and other leaks: and determine necessary action. (6.3)
Overall Standard (6): Students will perform basic vehicle engine service and maintenance.
Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:
To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:
If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.
Videos to watch (see note guide below)
Fel-Pro Gaskets (2015, September 15) How to Inspect for Leaks (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FP32p8JKV8 (4:15 minutes)
Car and Driver (2012, October 5) How to Find Fluid Leaks in a Vehicle (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aab-Ss-odtw
HumbleMechanic (2020, June 22) How to Find engine Oil Leaks in Your Car – Fast and Easy (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0EtW6yxKb8
1A Auto (2020, March 30) Do You Smell Gas? Diagnosing Fuel Leaks in Your Car, Truck or SUV (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb5TVIJ6xbY (8:50 minutes)
All Tsab (2018, June 6) Nissan frontier coolant leak inspection and replace (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AtF6BjFi-k (11:30 minutes)
HumbleMechanic (2017, July 13) How to Inspect Your Car’s Coolant Hoses and Junctions | Allstate Insurance (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apoc2ZUU51k (4;15 minutes)
Student Video Guide
Reasons to find and stop leaks.
- The vehicle needs all the fluids (fuel, oil, coolant, transmission, and brakes) to work properly.
- Leaking fluids can damage hoses and belts.
- Safety is compromised when fluids are leaking.
What to remember while looking for leaks.
- Leaking fluid travels down and back.
- Look above where you find the fluid to find the source.
- Clean the area to locate exact location of leak.
- Fluid on bottom of vehicle is an indicator of a leak.
- Drops on ground are clear indicator of a leak.
- Fluid may not fall or drip straight down due to air pushing the fluid toward the back of the vehicle.
- Each type of fluid has a different feel and smell.
- Identifying the fluid being leaked can help find the leak.
- Safety reminders.
- Hot engines can cause burns or start fires if sprayed with cleaner.
- The fluids are poisonous.
- Remove engine covers and belly pans while inspecting.
- Look for stains, caked dirt where fluid attracted dirt.
- Every vehicle is built different, so it needs the inspection adjusted to meet the needs of that vehicle.
Process of looking for leaks.
- Begin with a visual inspection.
- Do a methodical inspection.
- Have a plan.
- Use a flashlight.
- A mirror can be helpful.
- Starting at top is most common.
- Look at every gasket.
- Look at every connector.
- Look at every hose – follow it from top to bottom.
- Jack or lift the vehicle to look underneath.
- If you have time (overnight) put a paper under the vehicle to see where the drips fall.
- Sometimes hoses can be moved or squeezed to see if that causes the leak.
- For hard to find leaks, apply a little powder or use fluorescent dye in the fluid.
- Powder can be used to find leaks.
- Spray foot powder or baby powder.
- Area around suspected leak must be cleaned and dry.
- Apply the powder.
- Run the engine or test drive the vehicle.
- Look again for the leak which is easy to find in the powder.
- May not work if you do a test drive in rainy weather.
- Dye can also be used to find leaks.
- Dye can be used without cleaning the engine.
- Put the dye in the vehicle.
- Identifying the fluid being leaked indicates where to add the dye.
- Follow directions with the use of the fluorescent dye.
- Run the engine or vehicle.
- Use light or glasses that will show the dye where the leak is occurring.
Questions for after watching all resources
What are reasons to check for leaks?
What tools and parts are needed?
What are the steps to inspect an engine for leaks?