Save My Asphalt
May 7, 2012 6:18 PM   Subscribe

My son's car (my old 97 Mazda 626) has a minor oil leak. It's damaging my asphalt driveway. What are my options?

The car is 15 years old and the leak is minor. It requires maybe a quart every 1000 or so miles. So spending many hundreds of dollars to replace the seals on a old car is not a bright financial move. With my luck, the week after I did it the automatic transmission would go (it's original). However, the asphalt right under the leak is starting to soften.

Short term, I'm going to scrub it with dish washing detergent and prime it with some oil stain sealer that I used the last time I resealed the entire driveway (about 18 months ago). Then reseal the spot- it's about the size of a small plate.

Longer term, what are my options? Parking the car in the street will raise the ire of my HOA, so it is not an option. I've thought about just getting a shallow plastic bin and telling my son to park over it so that the bin catches the oil. Any are there any better ideas?
posted by COD to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
This large, shallow metal oil drip pan seems perfect for your needs.
posted by arnicae at 6:21 PM on May 7, 2012

If it's such an old well used car, have you tried a bottle of oil stop leak yet?
posted by caclwmr4 at 6:31 PM on May 7, 2012

If you have to worry about your HOA, you might be able to get away with buying a really thin sheet of plywood and painting it the same color as your driveway, so that it doesn't stand out, and then parking on top of that. You could put something underneath if it would seep through.
posted by markblasco at 6:32 PM on May 7, 2012

I put stop leak in after every oil change. Without it, it leaks much worse. That oil plan looks perfect. That might be the answer.
posted by COD at 6:50 PM on May 7, 2012

There are drip pans and also drip pads that might be useful.
posted by jessamyn at 8:08 PM on May 7, 2012

I don't know what regulations your HOA has in regard to things on your driveway, but I would recommend cat litter. I have owned many vintage cars, and a lot of them have been british, including my current vintage land rover. the rule of thumb for land rovers is, if it's not leaking, it's empty.

I have a small strip of inch deep cat litter under the areas where my rover leaks oil/fluid. My drive way stays clean, and I can clean it up/switch the litter out, as often as I please. There are also mats that soak up oil, but they are expensive, and work exactly like cat litter, without the disposable factor. Get some cheap cat litter and bob is your uncle.
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 8:10 PM on May 7, 2012

Stupid question, what happens with the cat litter when it rains?
posted by COD at 6:01 AM on May 8, 2012

I get rain on mine occasionally, but it just dries out. After a couple of good soakings, I just sweep it up and replace with new. There are specialty products you can buy that soak up oil, most often sold at auto parts stores. They do exactly the same thing, and are way more costly. Cat litter is the way to go. Hope that helps!
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 9:44 AM on May 8, 2012

I went with the kitty litter, which seems to be doing the job. Thanks all!
posted by COD at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2012

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