Top Reasons Why Your Car Is Leaking Oil and What to Do
Oil is an essential fluid in your vehicle and plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of its engine. Oil leaks can lead to reduced performance and even permanent damage to the vehicle, which is why any problems should be inspected as soon as possible by a professional automotive repair shop.
If you’ve noticed your car is leaking oil, it’s important to take corrective action but don’t panic. Read on to find out the top reasons why your car may be leaking oil and what to do.
Oil Pan Gasket
When you notice an oil stain, a leak in the oil pan gasket would be the first hunch. This gasket is responsible for sealing the space between the oil pan and engine block, but an oil pan gasket can wear and may start leaking over time. When this happens, this gasket needs to be replaced immediately to avoid serious damage to the engine.
Timing Cover Seal or Gasket
Identifying an oil leak from a timing cover gasket is simple as the oil drips from the center of the engine. The timing cover protects the timing chain which gets lubricated by oil and the seal or gasket keeps the oil inside the timing cover.
Cylinder Head Gasket
If your vehicle has a Flat or Boxer engine, it’s possible that the cylinder head gasket is causing the leak, which in this case is often internal and can lead to the intermix of coolant and oil.
However, it is possible for these leaks to be external, and with these types of engines, issues with the cylinder head gasket would be a mechanic’s first instinct.
Valve cover gasket
The valve cover protects the components inside the cylinder head and is located on the top of your vehicle’s engine. The valve cover also has a gasket that may wear and start leaking oil over time. If you notice that the area around the valve cover is oily, it may indicate that the gasket is wearing out. The sooner you get to a repair shop to replace it, the better your chance of preventing a major oil leak.
Adapter housing of an oil filter
The housing of an oil filter has a gasket or seal behind it and like other seals, can wear and start leaking oil at some point. Cars with cartridge oil filters can start leaking oil from the seal of the oil filter housing cap.
Oil filter and oil drain plug
Every time you have an oil change done on your vehicle the oil filter and oil drain plug get removed and reinstalled. So, it’s no wonder that leaks can appear in parts that are being manipulated frequently.
The camshaft is an internal part of the engine which provide a mounting point for the timing gears or sprockets. If you see smoke coming out of your engine bay or notice a smoke scent in your car, it may be caused by an oil leak in one of the camshaft seals.
A Crankshaft is another internal part of the vehicle’s engine and is responsible for mounting the external harmonic balancer and flexplate. The crankshaft also has seals on both front and rear ends which tend to wear and start to leak at some point. In minor leaks, the oil will accumulate on the engine’s underside and with major leaks, you will have that notorious oil stain in the front.
If you’re experiencing oil leaks, it’s important to have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible. Leaking oil can cause extensive damage to the engine and may lead to an expensive repair bill. At Best Western Transmission, we offer quality diagnosis and repairs by certified professional technicians. We would be happy to do a thorough inspection of your car and help you get it back on the road in no time.