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The vast majority of oil leaks are due to degraded engine gaskets, oil pan leaks, oil seals or bad connections. Oil leaks can be frustrating, because they don’t come from one place. All engines develop them, from minor leaks to slow drips that develop into a major threat to a engine. One typical sign of oil leaks is seeing a puddle of greasy-looking brown liquid under your car.
Usually, After it has been parked for a while. However, many vehicles today have shielding underneath, which will most likely catch the oil before it hits the ground. That can hide a potentially major oil leak. In this case, a low oil level indicator will be your sign of leakage.
So, What Causes Engine Oil Leaks
Common Place To Check Include:
The Oil Filter
Oil filters wear out, can be aligned improperly or be loose. Some vehicle models have additional parts in the filtration system, at the filter, that can leak. The filter should be changed every time you change the oil and should be checked for proper fitting.
The Oil Drain Plug
At the base of the oil pan is a drain plug, accessible from the underside of your engine. Worn out threads, misaligned threads, or a loose oil drain plug can be a common oil leak cause. It’s easy to spot as there would be fresh oil around the plug.
The Oil Filler Cap
Oil doesn’t just drip down. Consequently. If your filler cap, covering where you put oil into the engine, is missing, loose or broken. Then the pressure of the engine could cause oil to spill out when the vehicle is running.
The Valve Cover And Oil Pan Gasket
The valve cover gasket is probably the most common cause of oil leaks; especially in older vehicles or vehicles that are used frequently & have a high number of miles. Over time, and with a buildup of sludge; the pressure increases which can cause leaks and failures in the seal of the gaskets.
Sometimes damage to the oil pan on the underside can cause minor to severe leaks. This occurs when running over road debris; large rocks if traveling off-road; and even accidentally hitting an animal while traveling. Any of these can dent the oil pan and compromise the seal or oil drain plug.
Q: Why does my car leak oil when parked?
A: If you see a puddle of greasy-looking liquid on the ground after your vehicle has been parked for a while; then that means you have an oil pan leak; which usually indicates holes in your engine’s oil pan or gaskets. Take your vehicle to a shop straight away.
Q: How much does it cost to fix an oil leak?
A: The cost will depend on whether it’s a major or minor oil leak; as different solutions are available for the fix. It also depends on the type of vehicle, the engine, and the location of the leak.
Q: Do I need an oil change if my car leaks oil?
A: Simply changing the oil will not fix the leak. First, you’ll have to identify the cause of the leak, and conduct the necessary repairs. Then, depending on how much oil you’ve lost, either top it off or have it changed.
Q: Can I still drive with an oil leak?
A: It’s always advisable not to drive if your vehicle has an oil leak; but short distance drives, less than 10 miles, are not as risky; when it comes to lowering your oil levels to a dangerous point.
Q: Is an oil leak serious?
A: The severity of a vehicle’s oil leak depends on several factors; such as the location of the leak and its size. Obviously, a major oil leak will lower your oil levels faster, and lead to other, more serious problems. For small leaks, the location matters the most. Consequently, a leak from the front crank seal or the timing cover; will shorten the life of the timing belt or engine drive belts. While, a valve cover gasket leak will get oil on the hot exhaust manifold, potentially causing smoke or even fire.
Q: How do I stop an oil leak?
A: Although there are several products on the market targeting DIY leak stops; the best course of action would be taking your car to a shop; because properly identifying the underlying cause is crucial.
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