4 Reasons Your Car Could be Leaking Oil

August 5, 2011  

As you leave your driveway you noticed a couple drops of oil right where your car was parked….no big deal – right? Right, until a week later, those few drops have turned into more of a puddle, every time you park anywhere! By the end of a month, you realize that you are adding oil 3-4 times a week – you most certainly have an oil leak! Don’t despair, the certified technicians at Marysville Oil Service can locate and repair the leak. There are at least four common leaks that you can check:

1. Broken or  Missing Fill Cap

Under the hood, where you add oil to your engine is called the oil fill. If the cap (oil fill cap) is missing, broken or loose, oil will leak. To assure proper fit, remove the cap an be certain the seal is seating correctly. If the seal is broken or missing, engine pressure will force oil out of the oil fill cap when the engine is running. Note: when engine is off, oil will not leak. Clean the cap, and clean or replace the seal as indicated.

2. Oil Filter Fit

The oil filter in a car’s engine filters out the particulates and by-products of combustion. If oil is leaking around the oil filter, chances are it isn’t positioned correctly or tightly enough. If the gasket was not removed during filter replacement, this can cause oil to leak as well. Rarely, the oil filter itself develops a leak. Usually, repositioning the filter and checking the gasket will eliminate the leak.

3. Drain Plug

Under the car, at the bottom of the oil pan is the drain plug. If the threads are fouled, the plug is loose, or the plug is missing a washer (or the washer is worn), oil will leak around the plug. If you see oil leaking around the drain plug, replace the washer and reposition the drain plug. You may find the drain plug needs replacing.

4.  Seals and Valves

Oil can leak from several places in the engine around loose valves or seals:

  • Valve train cover gasket – if degraded, oil will leak around broken seal
  • Seal between Engine & Intake Manifold – can weaken, which will allow oil to leak
  • Distributor Drive Port – damaged O-rings or deteriorating shaft seals can cause oil leak
  • Seal between Oil Pan & Engine Block – if the gasket is worn, it can cause an oil leak
An oil leak in the engine can be difficult to locate and fix. If the problem is not a simple fix, you will need a  Marysville Oil Service certified technician to identify and repair the problem.