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How to check for engine oil leak

Looking under the engine hood of a vehicle is usually done at service centers or by mechanics. But an oil patch either under the hood or the vehicle is hard to ignore. Often engine oil leaks are a warning sign from the engine that something is amiss. It’s always advisable to get professional help to look into an engine oil leak but in the meantime, here are a few ideas why your vehicle could be leaking oil and where are the common places to look for one. 

Fact:
The main cause of leaks in engines of older vehicles is the excess build up of sludge leading to damaged gasket valves. Sludge buildup can lead to increased engine pressure and cause leaks. A good quality oil helps avoid sludge and keep your engine healthy. #MythvsFact pic.twitter.com/34tUJOboBX

— Divyol by Gandhar Oil (@Divyol) October 28, 2020

 

Common reasons why a vehicle could be leaking oil

The most common reasons for an Engine oil leak are the result of a broken seal or busted gasket. It could also be due to worn-out parts or hoses. If you find your vehicle leaking oil, the source may be one or more of the following:

  • Oil filters and Plugs are removed and reinstalled every time the engine oil of a vehicle is changed, these are often the most common reasons for leaks.
  • Faulty timing cover gaskets can also be one of the reasons for oil leaks.  often wear down with time and oil leaks from the timing cover. 
  • The oil pan gasket seals the oil pan and engine block. You must replace the leaking oil pan gasket to avoid further damage. 
  • A valve cover gasket provides a seal between the cylinder head and valve cover. If the top of your engine is leaking, faulty, or worn-out valve cover gasket could be the reason for it.
  • A faulty crankshaft seal usually forms a small leak underneath the engine. If ignored a large leak might appear in the front of the engine over time. 

Signs of an engine oil leak
A few basic signs of an engine oil leak could be as follow;

  • Low engine oil check light on the dashboard.
  •  A puddle of oil under the vehicle.
  •  Smoke from the front of the engine.
  • Knocking sound coming from the engine.
  • Engine overheating. 

Consequences of an engine oil leak

An engine oil leak could lead to many problems in your vehicle, some of those could be irreparable damage not just to the components of your engine but also to the multiple parts of the vehicle that the engine connects to such as rubber hoses and seals used in these components and cause them to wear down earlier than expected. Engine oil leaks are a fire and a major safety hazard to you and the environment.

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Finding the Source

A quick way to find an engine oil leak is to wipe down a cold engine and its components with a wet cloth and some water or you could use a degreaser to spray down all the components and then wipe them. Once the engine is clean you can run the engine for a few minutes and try and observe where the possible leak could be. 

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Conclusion

An engine oil look is not as easy to spot as a flat tire or a broken windshield. It is a good practice to have a walk around the vehicle, look under the hood or under the car as well. Checking the oil level using a dipstick is another way of ensuring your vehicle is not leaking and running low on oil. If ever you do spot a leak, it is advisable to check with your mechanic if it’s safe to drive it over to the service center and get it checked.