I have recently discovered that there is oil on the radiator cap. I am driving a Toyota corolla with 4A engine which is automatic. What could be the cause for that?

  • Presumably you mean oil appears when you open the radiator cap and look at the main seal?
    – barbecue
    Oct 10, 2015 at 14:21
  • Or underneath the cap (on the inside)? Oct 10, 2015 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


Another possibility would be a cracked head.Either way,leaking head gasket or cracked head, not a good thing. Also if any oil cooler lines go into the rad that would be another possibility, so maybe just the rad would need fixed or replaced. If head comes off to change gasket, check the head for cracks.


It can come from a leaking rear main seal or if your unlucky a leaking headgasket. But I would change your coolant first (maybe chuck some sealant in there if its minor and see how it goes).

  • While it could possibly come from a leaking head gasket, the rear main seal would have absolutely nothing to do with this. The rear main and the coolant system share nothing in common. Oct 10, 2015 at 14:55

If there is oil on the radiator cap, you have to assume something near the cap is spraying oil such that it can get up onto the cap itself. My suggestion is to look for hoses or fittings nearby that could have a minor leak under pressure that makes a lot of mess in the area.

For example, I recently replaced my aging power steering line: it had a small hole that was spitting what looked very much like engine oil into a localized area. Replacing that $30 USD part solved the messy problem.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .