Have you ever felt embarrassed after pulling out your car from a driveway and finding a puddle of sticky, brown, and greasy liquid on the ground? Well, it’s becoming a common situation that has made several ask, ‘why my car is leaking oil from the bottom’
For some, it might be easy to leave that greasy print on the ground, but it is definitely not a good idea to ignore its cause. A simple oil leak can grow into much bigger issues if it is not addressed properly. In fact, if the leak worsens, it increases the chances of road accidents while the car is in operation.
Oil leaks are not just awful-looking, they indicate some major issues with the car’s engine that could lead to permanent damage if left untreated. But don’t panic, below, we have answered all your queries so you can enjoy a safe and sound drive with your partner.
How to Determine Oil Leakage in Modern Cars?
Earlier, the most prominent signs of oil leakage were traced by brown, greasy spots in your parking lot, garage or driveway, as these are the only places where you park your car for long hours. Today, almost all the latest vehicles come with a protective shield that catches the oil before it hits the ground. But is it really a good thing? It may be for your parking garage but not for your vehicle when trying to spot a possible major leak.
When your engine does not have sufficient oil, it causes oil leakage. Thereby, car technicians always suggest you check your oil levels routinely. An oily engine is a great way to determine whether your engine is leaking oil or not. So it’s better to get a closer looker if you encounter a situation like that.
Extremely greasy components could mean there are seepages from other parts within the engine. The burning oil smell is the most common and sometimes prominent indication of oil leakage. When there is such a situation inside the engine, it gets hot, and the oil transmits onto different surfaces, emitting an unpleasant smell.
Common Causes – Why is my Car Leaking Oil from the Bottom
Size and location matter the most when determining the severity of oil leakage. A serious leak could deplete the engine oils even faster, leading to serious engine issues. Even smaller leaks can turn out to be detrimental to your engine if the location is critical. For instance, a leak at the timing cover or front crack will affect the vitality of the drive belts or timing.
Below we have discussed some common causes of oil leakages in a car’s engine. Take a look at them. It might help you determine your issue.
Damaged Pans or Engine Gaskets
Components located underneath your car are prone to damage due to road debris. For instance, the oil pan located at the bottom side of the engine and serves as the reservoir for lubricating, cleaning, and cooling the engine can leak oil upon getting damaged by rough roads. Such kinds of leaks are tricky to locate and repair.
Valve lids are used to keep the oil from spilling out from the engine. Thereby it is secured by cork-like gaskets. However, they got dry and brittle in severe hot climates and failed to provide a proper seal, resulting in oil leaks.
Worn-Out Oil Filter
A damaged oil filter is one of the most common causes of oil leakage. It is responsible for keeping your car engine free from contaminants by filtering the oil. Most work for a good period of time; however, some start to deteriorate after traveling a few thousand miles.
When an oil filer gets old or worn out, it stops working properly, and as a result, you find oil leakages. Furthermore, when the pressure comes from inside the engine, it gets displaced or becomes loose. If you encounter worn-out filter issues in your engine, you can easily replace it with a new one at home.
Loose/Broken Filler Cap
A loose filler gap is another reason some people face oil leak issues in their engines. You can easily spot this issue as it forms a pool of grease underneath your parked car as well as around the engine.
You can fix this issue at home in just a few steps. First, tighten the filler cap to ensure it won’t get loose again. If the damage has already been done and it can’t stay in place, then simply get a new filler cap and fix it yourself.
A loose filler cap issue can easily be tackled as we just need to tighten the cap. However, if it won’t get fixed by simply readjusting, you may need to buy a new or a pre-purchased good-condition filler car and place it yourself.
A Damaged Gasket
A car’s gasket is one of the essential components that help transfer fluids like oil, gas, and coolant throughout the car. That said, they easily get degraded over time and cause the seal to weaken.
This problem usually happens after 100,000 miles. If it’s causing your car oil to leak, you might need to call a professional who can fix the issue then and there.
Sometimes car leak happens due to a minor error, and there is nothing to worry about it. If you find your engine oil light not flashing or notice oil puddles in the parking garage, you might have poured extra oil into your engine, causing the overflow.
Improper Installation of Drain Plug
A drain plug is an essential component placed at the bottom of your car’s oil pan. During its lifespan, it is removed several times for maintenance and oil change purposes. When a drain plug is not properly fixed or tightened, it causes oil leaks.
Is it safe to drive a car leaking engine oil?
A simple oil leak might not seem like a big issue, but leaving it untreated could lead to more significant problems. If you notice a pool of oil under your car, immediately check the car’s engine oil.
Add oil if needed before igniting the engine. However, if there’s nothing wrong with oil levels, drive your car to an auto repair shop. We won’t recommend driving the car if it has leaked too much oil. Get it towed or call a professional to your place.
How to Fix an Engine Oil Leak?
Fixing an oil leak problem could be simple if you diagnose the underlying issue correctly.
- First – Identify the problem. Check if the leak is coming from the drain plug or oil filter. If that’s the problem, try tightening them.
- Second – Go for an oil leak additive if your car is older, as it could have a leaking gasket. When this solution is added to the car’s engine oil, it expands possible gaps in the seal. While this might not be a permanent solution, you can try it if you need an urgent repair.
My Car is Leaking Oil from the Bottom? – Concluding Remarks
Minor oil leak issues can be treated at home. However, complex issues like damaged valve cover seals or oil pans are best handled by professionals. Never ignore an oil leak problem. Also, don’t try anything yourself if you are uncertain of the leakage causes. It is always a safe idea to take your car to a repair shop.
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