Engine Maintenance

How to Stop an Oil Leak


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Knowing how to stop oil leak problems in your engine will save you from serious expenses. A little basic engine knowledge can go a long way toward not having to pay a mechanic to fix your vehicle. There are many reasons why your engine might develop an oil leak and there are as many places in the engines where an oil leak can develop.

Seepage

Oil seepage is a common problem with most vehicles over the course of their lifetime. It is pretty much unavoidable that oil will seep from somewhere inside the engine but the difference between a seepage and a leak can be hundreds of dollars. Of course, a seepage can also point to a larger problem which has as yet been undiagnosed.

Gaskets

Gaskets wear down over time and a worn gasket can certainly be a major cause of a leak. Worn gaskets do not necessarily cause major leaking initially. What you might notice around the valve cover there is dust or crud building up. This will be the oil seep which attracts the dirt and makes it stick. Sometimes this can actually stop the seeping so you will not notice it. It does mean checking your engine for anomalies on a regular basis. Keeping an eye open for little signs of issues around your gaskets and covers will allow you to see early signs of problems. Valve and rocker cover gaskets are prone to seepage but it doesn’t mean they are dangerous. The engine oil is kicked up from the bottom of the engine as the turbines move and so oil will be splattered around the inside top of the engine. Inevitably oil will creep out from any small gaps in the gasket but it does not mean the gasket need replacing.

Leaks

Sometimes you will come out to your car and notice a small puddle of oil underneath. Tracing the cause of the puddle requires a bit of detective work. When you see the puddle under the car, the first piece of detective work you should do is check if you can see a trace of oil under the car, in direct line with the puddle. Drips causing the puddle will leave a trace of oil from where they came. See if you can trace back and while you are under there have a look at the sump drain plug (oil pan plug). This is the plug on your oil tank. You may find that the drain plug is worn or corroded and there will be drips hanging from it. If this is the case, wipe the drain plug and check to see if any further signs of oil seep out. If they do, you will need to replace the drain plug to stop the oil tank leak.

Oil Filter

If your oil filter is long due for a change it will become clogged with oil black, used oil. This will not only prevent it from functioning properly but it will also cause it to leak. It will get over bloated with used oil and that has to go somewhere. To stop that kind of oil leak, simply change your oil and replace the filter with a new one. Oil filters are not very expensive and they are very simple to replace.

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