Is Your Car Leaking Oil?

September 26,2015

car leaking oil No one wants to experience a car leaking oil. Oil is, after all, the lifeblood of your engine. So when it’s puddling underneath your car, burning in your engine, or smoking from your tailpipe, that’s a bad sign. No blood means no life, and replacing a dead engine can be very, very costly.

Why and where is your car leaking oil? There are a number of places to begin your search.  

Oil filter

Your should be getting a new filter every time you have your oil changed. However, it still can become misaligned, wear out, or leak in the meantime. If this is your oil leak problem, congratulations. It’s simple and inexpensive to fix.

Valve cover gasket

Gaskets, made of rubber or cork, cover the valves on your engines and are common leak points. Due to temperature fluctuations within the engine – from very hot to very cold – the engine oil often degrades over time into sludge. As a result, pressure within the engine increases until a leak starts. If this is your problem, the top of your engine will be covered in oil.

Oil drain plug – 

The oil drain plug is located below the engine at the base of the oil pan. To check for missing washers or gaskets, remove the plug. Your mechanic will look for cracked rubber, bent metal washers, or stripped threading on the oil drain plug itself. When you fix an oil drain plug, it’s a good idea to get an oil change along with it. 

Oil filler cap

If your oil filler cap is missing, loose, or broken, oil can spill out when the engine is running. Your technician will check this part as well to determine whether it’s in good working order.

Rear seal

At the rear of the engine near the transmission, there is a seal that may need replacing. Because this part is difficult to access, it’s an expensive repair and harder to diagnose. If you can see blue smoke coming from underneath the car near the rear of the engine, that’s a pretty good indicator. 

An oil leak in your engine doesn’t always mean terrible news. You can fix many of these problems relatively easily and inexpensively. However, letting an engine leak go unaddressed is a good way to make a simple problem more complex over time.

If you see this happening, call Veenstra’s ASAP and schedule your 22-point inspection