Diagnosing & Fixing Vehicle Oil Leaks
Oil is the lifeblood of your car, so ensuring you don’t have any oil leaks is critical. AAMCO of San Antonio North is here to help if your car is leaking oil in San Antonio, TX. Finding oil spots on your driveway or garage floor is never pleasant, but our mechanics can help repair your engine oil leak before the problem becomes too significant. Engine leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible because not having enough oil could result in several problems. The good news is that most engine oil leaks aren’t that expensive to fix, but catching the problem early is essential. Our mechanics know how to fix an oil leak and also offer several other forms of car repairs and auto maintenance services. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.
The Causes of Oil Leaks
An oil leak will usually originate from specific auto parts that can wear our or not be sealed correctly. Parts that may cause oil leaks include your vehicle’s oil feature, filler cap, oil pain or oil pan gasket, piston rings, hoses and oil lines, rear main seals, valve cover gaskets, oil drain plugs, and more. Learn a bit more about common causes of oil leaks:
- Oil Filter – Over time, oil filters become worn out or may become loose or aligned improperly. Certain makes and models have additional parts of the filtration system that can leak at the filter. Your oil filter should be changed every time you have your oil changed. Our mechanics will replace your oil filter with your oil change and ensure the filter fits appropriately.
- Oil Drain Plug – Located at the base of the oil pan, the oil drain plug can allow oil to leak if it has a worn-out thread, becomes loose, or has misaligned threads. Fresh oil around the oil drain plug is a clear indicator of this issue.
- Oil Filler Cap – If your oil filler cap is loose, broken, or missing, the pressure of your vehicle’s engine can cause your oil to spill out while your car is running.
- Valve Gasket – As one of the most common causes of oil leaks, gaskets in older cars or vehicles that drive a lot of miles are often to blame. A gasket is a seal used to join the head of two metal parts of your engine. Sludge can build up to increase pressure, leading to leaks and failures in the seal of the gaskets.
How to Find an Oil Leak
We recommend allowing our expert mechanics to fix your oil leak, but some vehicle owners like to try and find the leak themselves. Start by ensuring that your engine is leaking oil and not another substance. Place a white paper towel directly under the location of the leak. If the drops are black or dark brown, the substance in question is likely oil. If the liquid is red, you may be dealing with a power steering fluid or transmission fluid leak. Blue liquid is typically antifreeze or windshield wiper fluid. Other colors are most often coolant leaks. Check your oil dipstick. If your oil level is significantly lower than it should be, your diagnosis of an oil leak is confirmed. Once you have confirmed your car is leaking oil, you can clean your engine with a spray degreaser and a garden hose. Make sure you only wash the engine and don’t get any water into any electrical components. Run your vehicle after washing it and see if you can find any oil leaking from it. You can use leak detection powder which makes it easier to catch leaks. You’re more than welcome to leave all of these steps to our experienced mechanics. Signs you have an oil leak include your illuminated dashboard oil light, oil stands under your vehicle, abnormal drops in your oil level, blue smoke from your exhaust, the smell of burning oil, or grinding or clattering sounds, commonly called metal on metal.
How to Fix or Prevent Oil Leaks
One of the best ways to avoid an oil leak is regular maintenance from AAMCO San Antonio North. Routine oil changes can eliminate many problems and prevent damage to your primary engine components. Use a regular maintenance checklist to stay on top of essential services. Follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule and use the most protective engine oil for your vehicle. Switch over to high mileage oil once your car reaches 75,000 miles. If you have an oil leak or suspect one, bring your vehicle to our trusted mechanics. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.