Oil leak classification

Norris Inspector Colorado Posted   Latest  

Looking for the proper, standard definitions of the severity of oil leaks.

Type/class/category whatever you call it, is there a generally accepted description?

Class 1 (weep) - as in bearding-up but never dripped

Class 2 (seep) - moist area that has dripped and migrated but not while you are looking at it, hasn't hit the ground. Not causing fluid level to be altered this month/year?

Class 3 (leak) - wet area that has dripped often, migrated, and if you watched long enough would drip, and has hit the ground, or would when parked. Possible fire hazard? System in danger of damage due to fluid level reduction?

Class 4 (puke?) - residuals that can be traced to other areas, blowing backwards due to air flow over the vehicle, drips every time when parked. Likely fire hazard? System has been topped off, or it wouldn't have made it to your shop?

Class 5 ( . ) - ?

Chime in please and give me your opinion or a resource that applies to automotive, Thanks!

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Interesting
Benjamin Diagnostician
Connecticut
Benjamin
 

Toyota/Lexus only defines a Seep (Class 1 and 2) or a Leak (Class 3+) in L-SB-0002-20.

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Trevor Technician
Colorado
Trevor
 

The standard we use is the Army is: Class 1 is wetness Class 2 is enough to form a drop but not enough to drip Class 3 is a leak bad enough to drip onto the ground or the next component below it

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Agree
David Instructor
California
David
   

Hell I wish I'd known that about 4 hours ago I just finished taking the ASE Tactical Wheeled Vehicles series and that may or may not have been useful to know Anyways you should definitely take these tests sometime Trevor I think you'd enjoy them

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Trevor Technician
Colorado
Trevor
 

I'm actually certified in A5 and G1 already. I've debated taking the MIL series tests, but I haven't put too much thought into it.

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David Instructor
California
David
 

I think you'll like the ASE mil cert series they're pretty cool, your employer will pay for them (they cost me about $75 EACH) and you'll be much more familiar with the content than I was.

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Trevor Technician
Colorado
Trevor
 

I've done two recertification tests and the G1 test while in the Service and I haven't asked for a dime back. No specific reason, but I am well aware that the Army will pay for the test. They only pay for the test fee, not the registration fee though. Either way, I want to get study material before I take any exam. I definitely want it prior to taking the MIL tests.

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David Instructor
California
David
 

I've found that the study material doesn't usually prove very effective and besides there isn't any for the MIL series that I'm aware of besides the big-ass dot​.​mil manuals which would probably overwhelm you more than help. I just raw-dogged it and I passed they seemed very basic to me for the most part altho there is some vehicle specific- stuff but very little fortunately The…

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Keith Technician
Colorado
Keith
   

See SAE J1176 standard. 0-2 are monitor levels. 3 and above would warrant a repair.

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Connecticut
Benjamin
 

Ya know, I looked up “J1776” and was redirected to marine hydraulics applications. “J1176” makes much more sense! =)

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Keith Technician
Colorado
Keith
   

That does make more sense! I will update my initial post as I think you are right and it is a better fit. I think I fat fingered it as my picture does have the right one.

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Benjamin Diagnostician
Connecticut
Benjamin
 

Wearing gloves does it to me all the time.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

“Under dust free conditions”. Interesting that it doesn't mention our other condition- heavy water spray.

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Obie Technician
Washington
Obie
 

In my experience automotive oil leaks are categorized by two areas. First, can a repair be sold, ie; visible but not in any way a problem. Second, can a repair be sold based on damage, nuisance such as odor or visible drips, or impending doom! Most leaks are discovered during service or repair. Many customers are not aware of leaks, nor do they care unless informed about the leaks and severity…

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Paul Owner/Technician
California
Paul
 

I don’t know of any, but I like the idea. In our shop we use words that we have agreed describe a certain level of leakage. Even then, service writers will often go have a look themselves to make sure they are offering appropriate advice. A leak classification system would provide a set of written criteria that could be used to compare against the actual leak. It would be less intuitive for…

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Martin Owner/Technician
New York
Martin
 

I am liking Keith's post on the SAE classification. I have already printed for discussion and circulation in the shop. Always good to take out as much subjectivity in the equation.

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Agree
Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Hi Norris, just to add a measure of humour and reality, since many technicians will avoid fluid leak repairs whenever possible. Here is a “real world” fluid leak chart!

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Funny
Thanks
Eric Manager
Arizona
Eric
 

We use a very similar scale.

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Thanks
Michael Technician
Indiana
Michael
 

Norris, Back in the 90s, Chrysler took the stance, that “it's not a leak unless it hits the ground”. I couldn't believe it at the time. This is when they were battling the Neon head gasket oil leak. Off topic, but at the dealer, guys were pulling head bolts one at a time, grinding off the ends, and re-torquing. Believe it or not it slowed or stopped the leak to carry it out of warranty. Other…

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Interesting
Off Topic
Benjamin Diagnostician
Connecticut
Benjamin
 

Ugh, Dodge Neon. When I was getting married about 20 years ago, my fiancée was driving one of these. I told her I didn't want anything to do with that car. I bought her a Camry, and she gave the Neon to her sister. When the water pump took out the timing belt and valves, it still came back to me to get fixed.

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