Why Is My Car Leaking Oil – Engine Oil Leak
Car leaking oil is mothing new, but the way you deal with the problem is what matters. It is always crucial that I can understand why is my car leaking oil so that the appropriate measures can be taken. It would be a waste if you end up ignoring the obvious signs of oil leak and end up with more trouble. We get to let you know about the common sources and to easily identify them.
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- 1 Car Oil Leak – Engine Oil Leak?
- 2 How To Find An Oil Leak In My Car?
- 3 Why is my car leaking oil – Car Oil Leak Causes
- 3.1 Valve Cover Gasket Leak
- 3.2 Oil Seal Leak That Is A Reason Why Is My Car Leaking Oil ?
- 3.3 Oil Pan Gasket Leak
- 3.4 Rear Main Seal Leak
- 3.5 Timing Chain Gasket Leak
- 3.6 Oil Pressure Sensor Leak
- 3.7 Camshaft Seal Oil Leak
- 3.8 Crankcase Pressure Oil Leak
- 3.9 Oil Drain Plug
- 3.10 The Oil Filter
- 3.11 The Oil Filler Cap
Car Oil Leak – Engine Oil Leak?
For some people, it can be scary for them to wake up and find some oil stains underneath their cars. That is always a worrying note that will get you thinking about what could have caused the car oil leak. When someone hears about an oil leak, all they can think of would be the engine oil. Remember that it is not always the engine oil that you will find in your driveway in a parked car. It can be a different type of oil, so you need to understand first where it is coming from before making a decision.
Why is my car leaking oil ?
You can never ignore car oil leak just like that. It could leave ugly stains in your garage and still lead to engine failure if the engine oil leak stays unchecked. At the end of the article, you will get your question why is my car leaking oil easily answered.
How To Find An Oil Leak In My Car?
A quick way of finding an oil leak in the car would be looking for a greasy stain on the car parts. Sometimes the dust can cover the oil leak source, so you have to be careful in tracking the oil leak and not end up missing a section.
You might have to spray a degreaser around components such as brackets, oil pans, chassis, and hoses to find the oil leak source. Make sure to use the degreaser as explained by the manufacturer and also use it when the engine is still cold to avoid creating steam.
You could start by laying newspapers under the car the night before checking for oil leaks. This should give the car enough time to reveal some of the leaking points by dripping the oil on the newspapers. You should have an easier time knowing by estimation where the leak is coming from.
Once you have identified some of the common areas, you now need to start the trace. Look for the darkened areas with oil such as under the engine, the steering system or transmission. Follow the leak up to its highest point to learn about the exact source. You need to always pay attention to components such as seals, timing cover, the oil pan, and cylinder head area.Just like that, you have solved the first step of understanding why is my car leaking oil.
Why is my car leaking oil – Car Oil Leak Causes
If you are looking to repair an engine oil leak, then it is always better if you understand the common reasons why is my car leaking oil. Without knowing the causes, you might just end up making the same mistake again in the future. The oil leak causes can vary from one car to another, but the following are some of the common oil leak causes for most cars.
Valve Cover Gasket Leak
- Valve Cover Gasket?
The valve cover gasket serves an important role of sealing the valve cover so that the oil does not keep on escaping into parts that do not need oil. It is common that the valve cover gaskets will often wear out when used for a few years. Once they are worn out, it is when you can find the oil escaping. For a bad oil leak, you might end up finding the oil seeping into the water pump or even the alternator belts. At such a point, you will now hear a screeching sound from the engine. The sound is normally due to slipping belts. Such noises could be taken as bad valve cover gasket symptoms.
- Symptoms Of Leaking Valve Cover Gasket
Bad valve cover gasket symptoms would include things like a screeching sound as mentioned above. Whenever you get to hear such a sound from the engine, may be it is time that you paid a closer attention to the cover gasket, as it could easily be an engine oil leak. Once you notice leaking valve cover gasket symptoms, you should proceed with removing the seals and replacing them with new ones where necessary.
Oil Seal Leak That Is A Reason Why Is My Car Leaking Oil ?
- Oil Seal?
The purpose of an oil seal would be to have a sealing element that stops the fluid or oil from leaking into the different locations. The oil seals will vary from one location of the car to the other. Different places will need different types of oil seals just to ensure that the oil does not end up leaking any time soon.
- Oil Seal Leak Symptoms
The common symptom of oil seal leak would be the presence of oil smudges under the car in the morning. It normally occurs when the car has been standing in one place for a long time. Such a leak would put the car’s internal parts at risk of damage because of low lubrication.
You should also listen for a humming noise from the transfer case. The noise shows up after the oil seal has been leaking for a couple of days now and the oil is running low. Sometimes the issue could also lead to leaking oil on turbo, which is quite dangerous for your engine.
Sometimes it can be due to damaged or worn out oil seals, which is normal. You need to take your car for regular maintenance to ensure that such seals are spotted early enough and replaced.
Oil Pan Gasket Leak
- Oil Pan Gasket?
The oil pan gasket is part of the oil pan part. This part is found at the bottom of most engines and would be housing the oil. Whenever the seals of the pan are worn out, then you can expect that it will start to leak oil eventually. A hole in the oil pan could be another reason why is my car leaking oil. You will sometimes hit something that will actually lead to holes in the pan, as it is the lowest point of the engine. Those are just but a few of what causes oil pan gasket to leak.
- Oil Pan Gasket Leak Signs
One of the common signs of an oil pan gasket leak would be when you start seeing smoking emerging from the engine. The oil now will be falling on the exhaust manifold and heating up too. If left unchecked, things such as other sensors might end being damaged due to the exposure to the oil.
You will start to have the engine overheating more than often. The reasons are that the oil pan is leaking the engine oil needed for keeping the engine parts friction and heating down. Overheating could cause more damage if it is not attended to in time.
Rear Main Seal Leak
- Rear Main Seal?
The rear main seal would be easily found between the transmission and engine. The seals serve an important role of keeping the oil from leaking. Whenever there is an issue with such rear main seals, you will also develop pressure issues with the crankcase.Sometimes people often take this to be differential oil leak system symptom too, but that is different.
- Rear Main Seal Leak Signs
In your mind right now, you would be thinking, how serious is a rear mail seal leak? The seal is located in a place where you will not easily just slide under it and get to view it. If you are often losing oil, but there is no visible drip when the car is parked, then it could be from the rear main seal. Turn on the car and leave it for 15 minutes to identify the leak close to the seal.
(*) Find the video to see why is a rear main seal job so expensive at the end of article.
Timing Chain Gasket Leak
- Timing Chain Gasket?
Having a timing chain gasket is important for keeping the oil from the engine leaking down to the ground. The damage to the timing cover sometimes will also have an effect on the gasket too. You will have to replace these worn out parts to ensure everything systems okay.
- Timing Chain Gasket Leak Symptoms
With the timing chain gasket worn out or cracked open, you can be sure to see some oil drips on the ground. Sometimes you will also get the engine producing a rough sound showing that the timing gasket is damaged and it is losing engine oil.
Oil Pressure Sensor Leak
- Oil Pressure Sensor And Why Is My Car Leaking Oil ?
The pressure sensor has to be working correctly to help the car computer release the right amount of oil as needed by the engine. The oil pressure sensor would often be hooked to the oil pressure gauge. The changes in the oil pressure will always trigger changes in the needs of oil in the engine.
- Signs Of A Bad Oil Pressure Sensor
The most common sign would be that you get the oil pressure turning on the dashboard. When the sensor goes bad, it might start to malfunction of where it indicates the oil levels are low but it is all good. You have to replace such a sensor.The oil pressure sensor problem do not always happen, but get ready to take of it once it shows up.
Camshaft Seal Oil Leak
- Camshaft Seal?
The camshaft seal is found in the cylinder head. This round oil seal is normally responsible for sealing the camshafts between the valve cover gasket and the cylinder head. These seals are often put under a lot of pressure. So they would come made of highly durable rubber materials. When these seals wear out, it is when the oil leaks start happening.
- Cam Seal Leak Symptoms
The most obvious sign that there is a problem would be seeing oil leaks from the cam seals. You will see the oil leak from the rear of the engine just below your engine valve cover. You might also see some smoke emerging directly from the engine bay. This is when the oil ends up to a hot exhaust manifold.
Crankcase Pressure Oil Leak
- Crankcase Pressure?
I thought the reasons why is my car leaking oil were over, until I came across this one. The use of the positive crankcase ventilation valve helps with evacuating gas from the crankcase of an engine. With such a ventilation system working, it is always great for engine efficiency and emission removal from the car. If there is a problem with the ventilation, it is when there will be a buildup of pressure inside the crankcase. You can do some crankcase testing to identify if the pressure is too high.
- Crankcase Pressure Symptoms
Whenever you see that your car has excessive oil consumption, then the chances are that it is because of a leak due to crankcase pressure. You may also see oil leaks through the crankcase seals. The leak is also because of the pressure in the crankcase pushing out the oil through the seals.With the right crankcase pressure testing, you should be able to handle the leaks in time.
Oil Drain Plug
The oil drain plug is important whenever you have to drain the oil from the engine before replacing it with new oil. The drain plug is easily accessible from the underside of the car. The plug would have threads that screw it to the oil pan to prevent unnecessary oil drain. If the threads are worn out or loose, then the drain plug will now become the common place for the oil to leak.
You could handle such an issue by simply replacing the oil drain plug. Trying to salvage the old plug will not do any good for your situation.
The Oil Filter
Engine oil leak or any other type of car oil leak would be sometimes be caused by the oil filter wearing out. The filter has to be replaced more often if you want it to keep on delivering the best oil quality to the engine. When it is worn out, then it cannot keep on working, but rather lead to having oil leaks. If the filter is also not fixed properly and there is a misalignment, then you can be sure there will be an oil leak.
Whether you are going to do the oil change yourself or take the car to a garage, ask the mechanic to replace the oil filter each time. Always make sure that it has a proper fitting to prevent the cases of oil leaks in the near future.
The Oil Filler Cap
All the cars would have an oil filler cap. The work of the cap is to cover the opening where you normally add the oil to the car. Without this cap in place, then you can expect disaster to happen to the oil or the engine. Sometimes the cap might just be loose or broken, well, it will have the same effect. The overall problem would be that you end up with an engine spitting the oil from the interior when the car is running. That is quite dangerous for your engine, as you will lose a lot of oil in less time.
(*) See more:
Why is a rear main seal job so expensive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z6fhgU5Sv0&t=206s