It is easy to ignore an oil patch under your car or assume that a burnt oil smell is coming from a car that has just overtaken you. We often ignore minor signs that may sometimes translate to the car’s advanced mechanical issues. Oil leaks are one of those signs that you cannot afford to ignore. It does not necessarily require a mechanic to diagnose these common causes of engine oil leaks in your car. A little probing and observation can reveal a lot. Just don’t disregard it since it may cause more damage to your engine.
What Are the Causes of Engine Oil Leaks?
Oil leaks can be frustrating for car owners since a small leak may turn into a major problem which will need intervention from a mechanic. Some of the common causes of engine oil leaks include:
- Oil filters
- Oil drain plug
- Worn out filler cap
- Broken gasket
- Excess oil
Worn-out oil filters are among the common causes of engine oil leaks; also, they can become loose or improperly aligned. If the oil filter is loose, it will allow oil leaks because the oil pump constantly pushes oil to the engine through the oil filter; thus, a large amount of oil may be lost through the loose ends. Therefore, you need to change your oil filter when changing your oil, and it should be checked for perfect fitting.
Oil Drain Plug
Oil drain plugs are situated on the underside of the oil sump, located at the bottom of the vehicle. An old oil drain plug can cause oil leakage. Therefore, you must change your oil drain plug every time you change your engine oil. However, sometimes we may fail to change the oil drain plug, contributing to more damage.
Broken or Loose Filler Cap
When the oil tank filler cap becomes loose or is damaged, it is usually easy to determine when this happens since the telltale signs will be puddles of oil under your car or a pool of oil around the engine itself. Fixing broken and loose filler caps is easy, and you can do it yourself. Check the filler cap to determine if it is loose or broken. If it is loose, you can tighten it; if it is broken, you can buy a replacement filler cap and fix it yourself.
A gasket is a significant part of every car engine. Their role is to transfer fluids such as oil, gas, and coolant all through the car. However, these gaskets wear out over time and may need replacement. A worn-out gasket will have broken seals. A gasket has remarkable longevity and may wear out after 100,000 miles. If the gasket is among the causes of engine oil leaks in your car, you will have to call a professional mechanic to help you fix it.
Often what you may assume is an oil leak may be a minor error and may not be a cause for alarm. If you notice a puddle of oil under your car and the dashboard engine light is not flashing, you might have poured too much engine oil, thus causing an overflow. Also, it may be because you spilled oil outside; in this case, you can clean the spilled oil with a rag. Moreover, you can use a dipstick to extract the excess oil to avoid spillage.
How to Fix Engine Oil Spillage
To fix the problem you have to first determine where the oil leaks are stemming from. Therefore, to check whether there are oil leaks you can use a dipstick to measure oil consumption. If the oil falls below the minimum mark it is an indication that your oil level is low which might be the first sign of a leak.
A proper routine maintenance and oil change is the primary method to avoid engine oil leaks and other subsequent engine problems. Essentially it would help if you prevented these leaks before they happen. The best approach is to use a routine maintenance checklist to remind you when your car check-up and service is due.
If you notice a leak in any of the above components, you can schedule a service even before the due date to replace the broken items. Also, for the parts you can fix at home, you can purchase the parts at a local automotive shop. However, if time and expertise limit what you can do at home, ensure you contact a professional mechanic.
Engine oil leaks are among the common causes of engine breakdown. They cause rapid damage to the engine and may result in costly repairs; worse still, these oil leaks may compromise your safety; thus, it is essential to determine these common causes of your engine leaks and fix them.