I want to park a vehicle that has a little oil leak on an area paved with dark asphalt.

For reasons outside of my control, the asphalt is not allowed to show any oil stains, and I cannot put a rubber pad down on the asphalt.

I was thinking of spraying the asphalt with a clear matte acrylic spray to make it easier to clean regularly. But I have a hunch that the porous asphalt will simply absorb the spray, thus preventing the spray from really helping.

Do you have any ideas?

  • 4
    Wouldn’t it be better to fix the cause, i.e. the leaking car, instead of trying to mitigate the effects?
    – Stephie
    Sep 21, 2019 at 5:15
  • 1
    @Stephie No, not in this case. Taking apart a combustion engine and replacing the seals and gaskets is no small endeavor. Sep 21, 2019 at 6:53
  • 3
    Do you mean you can't leave a rubber mat on the asphalt when you drive away? The usual thing is a drip tray – keep it in the back of the car and place it under the drip when parked. But that isn't a life hack: it's an obvious accessory for the purpose. Sep 21, 2019 at 18:50
  • Oil stains aren't the biggest problem you have. Leaking oil is an environmental hazard: it gets into the water table where it poisons plants and animals, and makes the water very difficult to clean up for human consumption. Fix the engine!
    – Hobbes
    Sep 23, 2019 at 7:42
  • @Hobbes I wrote my initial comment because I was thinking along the same line.
    – Stephie
    Sep 23, 2019 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


Catch leaking hot engine oil BEFORE it does any damage.

For a few dollars you can get a shoe drip tray for half the cost of an automotive drip tray which you can slip under your problematic oil leak when and where you stop. They come in various sizes. You may decide that two small drip tray is better than a big one.

Take the tray(s) with you when you go. It's small enough to sit in the trunk or back seat when you're under way. Reposition it under the leak when you arrive at your destination.

Probably you don't lose enough with a small leak to overflow the lip and paper towels might be enough to clean up the tray on occasion.

A single can of clear (why not black) matte acrylic aerosol spray is about $12 +/-.

Ask yourself—Is this stuff stable enough to reject hot oil? How many coats will you need to do what is not recommended by the manufacturer to do what you want? How will stuff you put on asphalt change how it matches uncoated asphalt? How much area should you cover to allow for parking-position variation? What if someone or something prevents you from using your prepared space? After you finish, how will you clean/dissolve/remove/pick up/suck the stuff up from the porous irregular and pitted surface of an asphalt driveway? And what if it doesn't work creating a worse mix of materials? Is that within your control?


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