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Car Engine Oil Leaks: Causes and Prevention Tips

Car Engine Oil Leaks Causes and Prevention Tips

Engine oil is crucial for the proper functioning of your vehicle, and an oil leak can lead to several problems. Low oil pressure and excessive wear and tear on the engine are just a few of the issues that can arise.

If you are experiencing common symptoms of an oil leak, like finding dark stains under your car or seeing the oil light on your dashboard, it is important to take immediate action. Here, Al Zaabi Autocare will help you understand what causes oil leaks in your engine and how to address the problem.

Causes and Prevention Tips

It is essential to keep an eye on your engine oil level and regularly check for leaks. Causes of oil leaks can include a damaged oil pan, worn-out gaskets or seals, and degraded engine components.

Causes and Prevention Tips

Fixing an oil leak can range from simple solutions like replacing a worn-out gasket to more complex repairs like replacing a damaged oil pan. Regardless of the cause, ignoring an oil leak can lead to costly repairs in the long run. Below are a few causes for car engine oil leak with corresponding tips to prevent it.

Leaking Oil Filters

Oil leaks in a car engine can be caused by a variety of factors, including a leaking oil filter, which can occur due to a few different reasons, such as a faulty seal, a damaged filter housing, or improper installation.

A common cause of a leaking oil filter is a faulty seal. The seal, which is usually made of rubber, can become worn or damaged over time, leading to oil leaks. Additionally, if the seal is not properly seated, it can also cause oil leaks.

In some cases, the oil filter housing itself can be damaged, leading to oil leaks. Damage to the filter housing can be caused by impacts or debris hitting the housing. 

Improper installation of the oil filter can also cause oil leaks. If the filter is not tightened properly or if the wrong size filter is installed, it can cause oil leaks.

Prevention Tip

Before starting the engine, clean any oil spills or leaks to prevent them from igniting or contaminating the environment. Make sure to install the oil filter correctly, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Ensure that the filter is tightened to the correct torque specifications. Before starting the engine, clean any oil spills or leaks to prevent them from igniting or contaminating the environment.

Compromised Gasket

A gasket or seal is a crucial component that creates a seal between two engine parts to prevent oil from leaking out. When a gasket or seal becomes damaged or worn, it can lead to oil leaks.

There are several reasons why a gasket or seal may become compromised or fail. One of the most common reasons is wear and tear over time. As the engine ages and is exposed to high temperatures and pressure, the gasket or seal may become brittle and start to crack or break down. This can cause oil to leak out.

Prevention Tip

Start by identifying which gasket is causing the oil leak. This may require a visual inspection of the engine and the oil leak. Once the damaged gasket is identified, remove it carefully.

Use a scraper or razor blade to remove any remaining gasket material from the surface of the engine. After removing the gasket, thoroughly clean the surface of the engine where the gasket will be installed. Make sure the surface is clean and free of any oil, dirt, or debris.

Worn Seal

Seals are used in different parts of the engine to prevent oil from leaking out, such as the valve cover gasket, camshaft seal, crankshaft seal, or rear main seal. Over time, these seals can become worn and brittle and develop cracks or gaps, leading to oil leaks.

Several factors can cause seals to wear out, such as exposure to car heat, friction, and pressure. High temperatures can cause the seals to dry out and shrink, while constant pressure and friction can cause them to become brittle and break down.

Other factors that can contribute to worn seals include poor car maintenance, such as infrequent car oil changes, using low-quality oil, or using the wrong type of oil for your vehicle. 

Additionally, environmental factors such as extreme cold or heat, moisture, and road salt can also accelerate the wear and tear of seals.

Prevention Tip

It is important to have your vehicle inspected regularly by a professional mechanic to prevent oil leaks caused by worn seals. Regular car oil changes using high-quality oil can also help prolong the life of seals.

If you notice any signs of an oil leak, such as dark puddles under your vehicle or low oil levels, take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately to prevent further damage to your engine.

Damaged Oil Pans

The oil pan is located at the bottom of the engine and is responsible for holding the engine oil. It is typically made of metal or hard plastic and is designed to withstand the heat and pressure of the engine.

However, the oil pan can become damaged due to a variety of reasons. For example, hitting a pothole or speed bump can cause the oil pan to crack or become punctured. Similarly, driving over debris on the road can cause damage to the oil pan.

Additionally, rust and corrosion can also cause the oil pan to weaken and develop holes or cracks over time. This is particularly common in areas with harsh winters where road salt is used to melt ice and snow.

If the oil pan is damaged, engine oil can leak out, which can lead to low oil pressure and potential engine damage. Signs of a damaged oil pan include oil spots or puddles under the vehicle, a low oil level, or an illuminated oil pressure warning light on the dashboard.

Prevention Tip

A damaged oil pan typically needs to be replaced. This is a complex repair that involves removing the old oil pan and installing a new one. It is recommended to seek the help of a professional mechanic or automotive technician to perform this repair to ensure that it is done correctly and safely.

Loose Oil Drain Plug

This refers to a plug located at the bottom of the oil pan that plays an important role in draining the engine oil during the oil change process. This plug must be tightened properly to avoid oil leak issues. Otherwise, it can cause various problems, including engine oil leaks.

Oil drain plugs can become loose for multiple reasons, including improper installation and thread damage. This plug has a washer or gasket, forming a seal with the oil pan when tightened. The seal may be incomplete if it is not tightened up properly and leads the oil to escape.

Additionally, an oil drain can lose itself due to temperature changes, vibration, and movements if it is not securely tightened.

Prevention Tip

Follow the proper maintenance procedures during oil changes. It includes the usage of the right tools, tightening the plug according to the manufacturer’s specifications, looking for the damaged plug and washer, and replacing them.

A routine oil change is the most common car service in Mussafah that Al Zaabi Autocare offers. It involves draining the old engine oil and replacing it with fresh, high-quality oil that meets the manufacturer’s specifications.

This helps to ensure the engine is properly lubricated and protected from wear and tear. Call us at +971 50 187 3124 or leave us a message on WhatsApp to get quality services.