After a long day at work, you finally get into your car to leave the office. However, before you can drive even a metre away, someone flags you down, signalling that there’s something wrong with your vehicle. When you get out to check, you discover a dark puddle underneath your car. Of course, it’s only natural to wonder why this is happening. You may even find yourself topping off your vehicle’s oil more frequently than before prior to the incident.
You shouldn’t neglect oil leaks because they’re likely a symptom of a serious underlying issue within your vehicle. Aside from that, leaking oil eventually gets washed off the street and drains into our lakes, rivers and streams. Needless to say, this can also be terrible for the environment. Unfortunately, for the common car owner, it can be difficult to identify the cause of such a problem.
Here at European Prestige Auto Service, we often get questions about this. As such, we’ve put together this article to explain some of the reasons why your car may be leaking oil when parked.
Faulty Gasket or Seals
The engine block and head of a vehicle gets hot immediately after driving. When the hot metal parts expand, they put pressure on the seals and gaskets of the engine. It’s worth noting that these components are responsible for preventing oil leakage. Now, when the engine starts to cool down, the metals will begin to contract, leaving gaps between the metal parts and the rubber seals. When you bring your car to us, our technicians will determine the cause of the issue as part of our petrol and diesel engine repair services. Rest assured, we will find open gaps and fix them accordingly.
Damaged Oil Pan or oil Filter
Substandard oil filters can also allow oil to pass through and seep into the car’s engine. Now, if your vehicle has a broken oil pan, it can leave puddles of oil whenever you park it. Perhaps, you drove over a low-lying portion of the road? Well, the impact of the ground on the pan of oil can end up putting a dent in or damaging it. Consequently, there would be fast leakage whenever you stop the car. In some cases, you may notice a gradual drip that gets worse over time.
Out-of-Place Oil Pan Plug
It’s possible that your oil pan plug has stripped threads. It’s also likely that someone has inserted the plug but hasn’t tightened it properly. Now, you can always use a rubber plug as a temporary replacement. However, it’s better that you replace the oil pan plug with a hardened steel thread insert instead. Keep in mind that it’s always best to ask experts to take care of this issue. After all, they will know the ideal thread pitch and size for your vehicle’s oil pan.
Blown Engine Block Seals or Head Gasket
Are you driving an older vehicle? If so, then it’s likely that you have a broken head gasket. Aside from that, the rubber materials—the components responsible for sealing off the engine block—decompose over time. As a result, oil starts to leak off the engine block’s top. Now, if you don’t have enough coolant, once you drive your car, your engine will overheat. When this happens, the cylinder head starts to warp, causing the head gasket to leak. While cold weather is not much of a problem here in Perth, in some areas, having insufficient antifreeze may also damage the engine.
What Are Other Signs of Leaking Oil?
Let’s say that your car is not leaking oil when you park it. However, whenever you use your dipstick to check the oil level, it appears to have dropped to a much lower level than before. There are several signs that point towards an oil leak issue within your vehicle:
Engine overheating – Low levels of oil can cause overheating. Keep in mind that oil is responsible for lubricating the components of your engine. So, if it doesn’t have sufficient oil, then it will definitely start to overheat.
Exhaust pipe pumping blue smoke – If your exhaust pipe starts to pump blue smoke, stop the car and pull over. Your exhaust manifold may be exposed to leaking oil. This is the component of your engine that collects and directs exhaust gases. So, if left unattended, this problem may cause your vehicle to catch fire.
Burning oil smell – Do you smell burning oil whenever you get out of your car? If so, then it’s possible that the oil has leaked onto the hot engine.
Suspect an Oil Leak? Bring Your Vehicle to European Prestige Auto Service!
As European vehicle specialists, we promise to give your car the premium service that it deserves. So, whenever you notice that your Skoda, Volvo, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz is leaking oil when parked, bring it to our auto shop right away. We handle all kinds of car repairs and maintenance services at our workshop. With our computerised diagnostic equipment, we’ll be able to identify and address all kinds of issues that your European vehicle may have promptly and efficiently.
Call us today to speak to one of our technicians!