A Comprehensive Guide on the Causes, Effects, and Prevention of Engine Oil Leaks
Maintaining the optimal functioning of your vehicle requires the proper functioning of its fluids. If you notice liquid spots under your car after it has been parked for a while, it is an indication of a fluid leak. This article focuses on the most common type of fluid leak – engine oil leaks, including their causes, prevention, and effects. Before delving into engine oil leaks, let’s briefly discuss other types of fluid leaks that may occur, how to identify them, and where they typically occur.
The common types of vehicle fluid leaks include antifreeze, steering, water, transmission, and brake fluid leaks. These leaks can be identified by the color, consistency, and location of the fluid spots under your car. Although these fluid leaks can occur, engine oil leaks are the most common and require special attention.
Oil leaks can manifest in many ways, including the formation of a greasy puddle of brown liquid under the front of your car. Worn-out gaskets and oil pans, improperly installed engine oil components, and defective valve seals and rings are common causes of engine oil leaks. It is essential to note that engine oil leaks can occur while the car is in motion, producing a noticeable odor when the leaking oil is burned by the heat from the engine.
There are several factors that could indicate an engine oil leak, such as:
Worn Out Gaskets and Oil Pans
Typically, the oil that you add to lubricate your engine is contained in a pan and gaskets located at the bottom of the engine, which then pumps the oil as needed. However, driving frequently on rough roads with loose gravel or debris can lead to damage to the pan and gaskets, resulting in a slow oil leak.
Improperly Installed Engine Oil Components
If your engine oil is leaking, it could be due to the following reasons:
- The oil pan and gaskets are not fitted evenly, leading to leakage. It is recommended to ensure that the tightness is distributed evenly while fitting the pan and gaskets.
- The oil filter is not fitted tightly, causing the oil to leak while flowing into the engine.
Defective Valve Seals and Rings
Damaged valve seals and rings in the engine oil system can result in small oil leaks, and it’s important to be aware that engine oil leaks can occur while driving and not just while parked. If this happens, the heat generated by the engine will burn the leaking oil, leading to a distinct odor.
Detecting and preventing fluid leaks should be a priority. An oil leak can cause a lot of damage to your engine components. If it goes undetected for some time, you may even have to end up overhauling your entire engine. Engine oil plays a crucial role in lubricating the engine components and reducing friction, thereby ensuring that your car runs smoothly and enhancing the lifespan of all engine parts. Failure to change your oil regularly may cause excessive friction, which can lead to corrosion within your engine, resulting in oil leaks. Regularly changing your engine oil and checking for leaks are simple yet effective ways to keep your car running smoothly.
The best way to avoid the problems that follow an oil leak and other car fluid leaks? Schedule routine service visits and get your oil changed regularly!
At Marino Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, our highly trained service technicians are happy to ensure that your car is tuned for optimal performance.
Give us a call at 773-794-7811 or schedule a service appointment from home with our Online Service Scheduler.