[VIC] Roadworthy Certificate for a Car with an Oil Leak

Long story short I bought a car last Thursday and collected it on Saturday because roadworthy was a part of the sale and the owner had to get it done.

The roadworthy has passed however there is a major oil leak that I noted.

Any advice on the best next steps. Car seems good apart from the oil leak. I'm surprised how he passed Roady.


  • +2 votes

    RWC certificate


    Seek advice from another RWC shop and if they say it would/should not pass the RWC go back to the shop that issued the RWC and point out the error in their ways.


      then you end up with an roadworthy vehicle??
      I would be looking to get the leak fixed myself, unless purchased thorugh a dealer, then may be worth the hassle to chase them up.

      did you have a pre-purchase inspection prior to purchase (ie your mechanic or RAA/similar)?

    • +3 votes

      They'll claim no oil leak present during their RWC issue and only started leaking afterwards.


        They'll claim no oil leak present during their RWC issue and only started leaking afterwards.

        This is rule in NSW. If leaks during inspection fail, of not, it can be passed.

        I drained fluid years ago, because couldn't afford to have my leak fixed straight away, and needed car to get around. I think mine was transmission fluid had slight leak. Drained fluid, cleaned it up with spray and rinse degreaser cans stuff from supercheap. Passed fine.

  • +4 votes

    If an oil leak is present the oil is to be cleaned off, car run for 15 minutes. If no oil hits the ground in that time then the car would pass.

    As per VicRoads:
    The power unit, clutch system, transmission system, differentials, axle housings and all associated pipelines must be properly sealed and free of dripping or flowing oil leaks onto the roadway, exhaust system or brake friction surfaces. Dampness, weeping or staining are acceptable but oil leaking from the underside of the vehicle to such an extent that it is likely to drop oil on the road surface (if the vehicle is parked or idling stationary for any length of time) is unacceptable.

    Given how many photos etc are taken and logged when a rwc is done (in vic) it’s unlikely it was passed if it wouldn’t have passed otherwise.
    The auditing in Victoria is quite strict and it’s unlikely the “oil leak” was considered passable as it did not leave excessive oil amounts on the roadway.

    Full disclosure: I work for a mechanic that does rwc checks in Victoria.


    Is it leaking on the ground? Or is it "leaking" past o-rings and being burned? Because if it's leaking onto the ground enough to cause a hazard to you and others on the road, it should not pass a roadworthy. But if it's simply consuming oil…that does not cause a hazard to you and others on the road, and thus is not an issue that would affect its roadworthiness.

    A RWC is not a substitute for having a mechanic check it out.


    Where is it leaking from? In Qld you can just take it to the transport department to check if they did everything correctly. Sometimes people will drive a certain amount of k's (500?) so this is used up and then hand the car over. The mechanic can get big fines or lose their approved status for rwc's so they usually fix the car for free.

  • +2 votes

    As per jimbobaus’s comment, the first step is to determine if this issue actually makes it unroadworthy. If it isn’t, then you need to contact the mechanic that did the RWC as soon as possible. I believe that mechanics can lose the privilege of issuing RWC’s (which are easy money) if they’re caught handing out dodgy certificates, so letting them know that you’d like it fixed or you’re contacting the relevant body for your state would be the best bet. Keep in mind that they’re only valid for a limited duration, and any leverage against a dodgy mechanic almost completely disappears when the RWC expires, since they’ll argue it developed after the checkup.

    This happened to me with a few major issues, but I was able to get a number of repairs done, at no cost, as a result.


    OP - what is this 'major oil leak' ?


    Car seems good apart from the oil leak

    Depending a bit on value of vehicle. If it's a cheapie, I would just try the stop-leak stuff which can be purchased cheaply from supercheap, repco, etc. Quite a few of these 'stop-leak' things even come with money back guarantee, but haven't claimed on that personally. I had some stop-leak that didn't 100% work, but auto parts store was soooo helpful and nice, I didn't worry about getting refund.
    I think they have something in the stop leak to fill small cracks,gaps, and seal rings etc. I'm certainly no expert, just know they can work great (from personal experience) .


    So yes I went back to the mechanic. The oil leak was the power steering pump leaking. I feel the effort the get the mechanic fix it is not worth it.
    So according to vicroads they need another mechanic to give a report saying it's unroadworthy. Then I have to submit an email report to vicroads. However the outcome from this is that the mechanic will be warned and RWC status reviewed. If I'm expecting financial compensation or they fix it then I have to separately go to VCAT. Not worth the effort.

    Even the Honda dealer said oil leak if it doesn't hit the ground within 20mins or so it's acceptable though many don't allow this.


    Go car wash degrease engine & hose off, next day before you go VicRoads check to see if leaking. If so wipe with rag go VicRoads quickly and transfer car in your name.

    In future do this, don't go back to the mechanic or tell VicRoads car has leak blah blah. That's just stupid, always transfer car first then go to mechanic. Getting a rwc these days is very strict and you can always go back and have problem checked. It wouldn't surprise if you have to pay again to check vehicle.

    Now I only hope the tester doesn't get in trouble and loses his licence from possibly a simple mistake he made.

    Also go to another VicRoads and try your luck with the same rwc, just don't be silly and tell them the whole story of what happened, see worker, say transfer, give rwc and pay fees. Hopefully it's not noted on computer and you transfer car without hassle

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