Repeat oil leaks

The consumer’s issue:

“When I purchased my vehicle, I was unaware of an existing fault. If this was known to me at the time, I would not have proceeded to purchase the vehicle. During a vehicle health check, a fault with an oil leak was identified. Over the past 18 months, the oil consumption was abnormally high therefore I booked the vehicle in for investigation.

The oil leak was coming from the Rocker Cover Gasket and needed replacing. Seven months later during the annual service, no issue was found in relation to an oil leak. The vehicle however was still consuming a lot of oil and therefore I approached the trader in relation to a vehicle being sold with an existing fault. The trader apologised and repaired the fault and also carried out a diagnostic emissions test free of charge. This test revealed a second oil leak in the coolant tank but the business did not accept responsibility for this.”

The accredited business’ response:

  • The vehicle was purchased in February 2017.
  • A vehicle health check was carried out in July 2017 as concerns of low oil reported. The Rocker Cover on the Gasket was replaced and the consumer was charged.
  • A service and MOT was carried out in August 2017 and no issues were found.
  • Following the consumer’s complaint in October 2018, we refunded the money paid for the works carried out in July 2017.
  • In October 2018 we investigated concerns relating to a further oil leak. We found oil contamination in the expansion bottle and high pressure in the system and an oil leak from the rear main seal.
  • In conclusion, we find that the second oil leak was a new fault and unrelated to the one found in July 2017.

The adjudication outcome:

  • The evidence provided did not demonstrate that the second oil leak was related to the previous and therefore there was no evidence to demonstrate this fault was present at the point of sale.
  • The adjudicator noted that the second fault occurred more than seven months after the previous fault.
  • The adjudicator decided there was no evidence of wrong doing by the business and the business’ offer was reasonable.


  • The customer and accredited business accepted the outcome as recommended by The Motor Ombudsman adjudicator and the case was closed.