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Distributor Leaking Oil-Bad or Failing Distributor O Ring [Reasons]

Distributor Leaking Oil

Do you suffer from the dreaded “flipping over when driving?” Have you ever wondered what could be causing the sudden loss of power while driving?

Distributor failure is one of the most common causes of power loss while driving, and it’s usually due to an oil leak.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to detect and fix a distributor leaking oil so that you can keep your car on the road and your engine running smoothly. 

Why Is My Distributor Leaking Oil: Reasons

Distributor Leaking Oil

If your distributor is leaking oil, it is likely due to a failed O-ring. This is a seal that helps to stop oil from leaking from the engine.

If the O-ring fails, the oil will leak and cause a fire. In most cases, the failure is due to negligence on the part of the distributor or manufacturer. 

To check if your distributor is leaking oil, you can take the car to a mechanic and have them check the oil level and the condition of the O-ring.

If there is an issue, they may be able to replace the O-ring for you. In some cases, the failure may be due to tear and wear, and in that case, a replacement may not be necessary. However, if the failure is due to negligence, replacing the O-ring may be the best option. 

About Distributor O Ring

About Distributor O Ring

On automobiles with distributors, the distributor o-ring is a circular piece of rubber located immediately below where the spark plug wire attaches that is meant to seal the distributor box from the engine and eliminate oil leaks.  

When these rings, which fit into a groove under the distributor cap, break, the oil may leak out of the distributor’s base, causing spills onto spark plugs or perhaps carbon deposits, which can cause misfires.  

The manufacturer recommends replacing it every two years or after thirty thousand miles. If your distributor o-rings are failing, you should consider replacing them right away. 

What Does A Distributor O-Ring Do In A Car: Function

This ensures that the oil pressure remains consistent and the entire engine runs optimally. The distribution of oil is also crucial in helping to keep the engine temperature in check. Without the O-ring, the engine can become too hot and cause the cylinders to overheat.

Distributors are also crucial for ensuring a car’s ignition timing remains consistent. This means the spark plugs will ignite adequately and ensure the engine runs smoothly. Without a distributor, the spark plugs might ignite too early or too late, resulting in a jerky ride or worse.

How Do You Check For A Bad Distributor?

Here’s how to check for a bad distributor in your vehicle:

1. Begin by visually inspecting the distributor module. Ensure that nothing is damaged or broken and that everything is properly connected. If a wire has become disconnected or damaged, repair it as soon as possible.

2. Visually inspect the distributor cap and rotor. Broken, cracked, or corroded parts should be replaced. Also, make sure the rotor is turning freely (it should be).

3. Check for any kind of moisture or debris that might be present around the distributor cap. Moisture can lead to spark arcing, which can cause spark plug misfires. It is especially important to check for moisture after the engine has been running or after a rain shower.

4. Finally, use an ignition timing light to ensure your vehicle’s timing is correct. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable, attach the timing light’s hook to the engine’s number one spark plug wire and attach the timing light’s ground clip to the vehicle’s negative (-) battery terminal.

How do you change a distributor O ring?

To remove and replace an O-ring, use a flat-head screwdriver. In addition, ensure that all of the bolts that hold the distributor cap are tight and not cross-threaded.

If they are excessively tight, loosen them gently using an Allen wrench. Remove the distributor cap first, then loosen each bolt 1/4 turn at a time and gently remove each bolt.

Without even removing the distributor rotor from the car, it will fall off. 

What is the main function of the distributor O ring?

The distributor O ring is responsible for preventing oil leaks, sealing the distributor housing with the engine, and helping to maintain the correct air-fuel ratio.

Doing this helps to prevent damage to the engine and ensures that the fuel is delivered properly to the engine. 

What are the O-rings for on a MSD distributor?

O-rings are the seals that prevent oil from escaping from an MSD distributor. When the O-rings fail, it can result in a leak that can significantly contaminate your engine.

By replacing the O-rings on your distributor, you can eliminate the potential for this type of oil leak and ensure that your engine remains in good working order. 

How do you fix a leaking distributor cap?

A distributor cap may be repaired by replacing the O-ring seal with a portion cut from an old O-ring or a rubber sealing ring found at a hardware shop.

The metal component of an O-ring works better on metal distributors and seals because it expands and contracts when oil expands and compresses in cold weather, while a rubber seal expands less but is less prone to fail in excessive heat. 

Dorman 926-157 O-Ring

Dorman 926-157 O-Ring

The Dorman 926-157 O-Ring is perfect for attaching a steering shaft in automobiles and trucks. This package comprises one 0.97″ x 3.26″ long urethane O-ring for horizontal applications with round flanges.

It is available in black and is a vital component of automobile repair kits. This is a genuine Dorman component, not an aftermarket part for your Jeep. Dorman O-Rings are designed to accommodate a variety of cars.

Ishino Distributor O-Ring

Ishino Distributor O-Ring

Ishino Distributor O-Ring is made from the highest quality and most reliable rubber materials for all brands of distributors.

The material is designed to last, even in harsh conditions of high heat and cold. – 1 per engine to limit wear on each cylinder wall.

Good for aftermarket and re-manufactured tires. More durable than rubber O rings. If your vehicle develops an oil leak from the distributor shaft, then this is your solution.

Distributor Oil Seal

Distributor oil seal, also known as a gasket, is a component of many types of engines and other mechanical devices.

It is a seal that helps prevent oil and other fluids leakage. It is typically made from a rubber or plastic material, and it fits over the threads on the engine or other device to which it is attached. 

Distributor Oil Leak Symptoms

Distributor Oil Leak Symptoms

Suppose you are noticing any of these signs, In that case, it may be time to have a distributor oil leak diagnosed and repaired: power lack, poor engine running, and engine misfiring. 

A distributor oil leak can cause a number of problems, including reduced power and performance, loss of fuel economy, and even engine failure.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to get the distributor oil leak diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible. 

How Long Does A Distributor O Ring Last?

On average, distributor o-rings last between 7-10 years under normal use and conditions. This can vary depending on the specific application as well as the material used for the ring. It is important to inspect distributor o-rings regularly to ensure they are still providing a proper seal and have not become brittle or cracked.

Honda Distributor Oil Seal Replacement Cost

Honda distributor oil seal replacement can cost anywhere from $120.67 to $137.59, but the average cost is around $128.93.

This price range is based on your Honda’s make, model, and year. It is important to keep in mind that the price will vary depending on the location of the dealership, the type of oil seal that is replaced, and the technician’s skill level. So, it is important to find a reputable Honda dealership that you can trust to do a quality job. 

Distributor Seal Kit

Distributor Seal Kit

Dorman Engine Distributor Seal Kit is an exact guaranteed match for your vehicle’s engine seal needs.

Dorman’s product offers Premium quality and will work better than stated, thanks to the use of cutting-edge technology.

It is designed to meet or surpass high industry requirements, making it ideal for your vehicle and lifestyle.

Replacement brand components are the best cost-effective choice for all of your replacement requirements! 

Distributor Leaking Oil Chevy 350

Distributor Leaking Oil Chevy 350

If you are noticing Chevy 350 Distributor Leaking Oil, it is most likely due to a failed distributor O-ring.

A distributor O-ring is a small rubber ring that helps to distribute the oil evenly throughout the engine. If it fails, the oil will seep into the engine and cause it to lose power.

This can lead to a number of problems, including transmission failure and engine misfire. The failure can be catastrophic in some cases, resulting in a car crash. 

If you notice oil leaking from your distributor, it is important to get it fixed as early as possible. There are a number of different paths to fix this, and the easiest is to replace the distributor.

However, if you do not have the time or money to do this, there are other options that you can consider.

For example, you can seal the O-ring with a sealant, replace the gasket, replace the entire distributor. 

Oil Inside Distributor

If you are experiencing oil inside your distributor, it is likely that the crankcase lubricating oil is “migrating” up from the engine.

This can be caused by a number of factors, including a lubricating pad with too much oil. To prevent this from happening, it is important to regularly check the level of lubricating oil in the crankcase and replace the pad as necessary. 

Distributor Leaking Oil Honda

Distributor Leaking Oil Honda

There are a few potential causes of leaking oil from distributor in Honda. Failed distributor O-ring is among the most common, as it can often occur if the O-ring does not work due to age, wear, or a drop in oil pressure.

This can cause the oil to leak into the engine compartment from the distributor, which can cause a number of problems. 

First and foremost, this can lead to a loss of oil and coolant, which can damage the engine. In addition, this oil leak can cause a fire as the hot oil ignites.

Finally, this can also cause an oil contamination issue, as the oil and coolant mix and create a dangerous mixture.

If you are noticing any of these issues with your Honda, it is crucial to have it checked out by a mechanic. 

SBC Distributor Leaking Oil

Sbc Distributor Leaking Oil

If you are experiencing a lot of oil leaking from your distributor or valve cover gasket, it is likely that you have a leaking valve cover gasket.

This is a common problem with SBC distributors, and it can be easily repaired by replacing the valve cover gasket. 

The valve cover gasket is a small piece of metal that seals the top of the distributor shaft and prevents oil and gas from leaking out.

When the gasket is worn or damaged, oil can seep past the seal and into the engine. This problem is usually caused by a lack of lubrication, which can be caused by a number of factors, including oil leaking from the valve cover gasket, inadequate oiling of the distributor, or a failed oil seal. 

MSD Distributor Leaking Oil 

There are a few possible causes of an msd distributor leaking oil, but the most common scenario is a failed distributor O-ring.

This simple and inexpensive part can fail due to age, misuse, or simply being dropped. When this happens, oil can leak out of the distributor and onto the engine, causing a variety of problems. 

Distributor Cap Leaking Oil

Distributor Cap Leaking Oil

There can be a number of reasons why a distributor cap may be leaking oil, and one of the most common is a failed distributor O-ring.

This small rubber seal sits between the distributor and the engine, and it can become damaged over time.

When this happens, oil can leak from the distributor, which can cause a number of problems, including poor engine performance. 

What happens if your distributor timing is off check Distributor Timing Off Symptoms

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you fix a distributor oil leak?

If you are noticing oil leak from a distributor, you should probably replace the worn-out seal or broken gasket.

A worn-out seal can cause the oil to leak, while a broken gasket can allow the oil to escape and cause a fire.

Replacing the seal or gasket is a quick and easy solution that will prevent further damage to your vehicle and ensure proper distribution of the oil. 

2. What would cause oil to leak into spark plugs?

A number of things can cause oil to leak into spark plugs, but the most common culprit is a failing gasket or O-ring.

When these components fail, the oil can seep into the spark plug and cause it to burn out. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to inspect your spark plugs regularly. 

3. How do you change a distributor O-ring?

Remove the old O-ring using a screwdriver to pry it off the distributor. Be sure to wear gloves and avoid getting oil on your hands.

Once the old O-ring is removed, install the new one by aligning it in the groove on the distributor and pressing it down until it snaps into place.

Replace the carburetor cap and screw it back in place. Finally, replace the distributor’s bolt in place and screw it tight. 

3. What causes a cylinder head to leak oil?

A cylinder head can leak oil for multiple reasons, but the most usual culprit is a faulty valve cover gasket.

This gasket seals the oil passage between the head and the block, and if it is faulty, oil can leak into the combustion chamber. This can cause problems with engine performance and durability. 


Do you own a car? If so, you’re probably familiar with the sound of an oil leak. Oil leaks are by far the most usual symptom of a failed distributor O-ring.

This small piece of rubber seals the oil pump from the engine, preventing oil from escaping and causing a mess.

If you’re experiencing a distributor leaking oil, you should consult a mechanic. Although it’s not always easy to spot, most distributors leak oil from the seal at the base of the pump. 

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