Understanding Why Is Your Car Leaking Oil: Causes & Solutions

Understanding Why Is Your Car Leaking Oil: Causes & Solutions

by Gerald
Understanding Why Is Your Car Leaking Oil: Causes & Solutions

Among many automobile problems, such as car shaking and starting the car without a key, your car leaking oil remains at first. Imagine you plan to dine out with your family and friends, and as soon as you get near the parked car, you notice oil beneath it. It is a troublesome and worrisome issue. But don’t panic, as this article guide is here to help you out with this problem. To solve this issue, first, you need to know the underlying causes of oil leakage.  Once you know the reason, the next thing is to find the solution accordingly and save your vehicle. So, let’s help you with this vehicle issue.

Underlying Causes And Solutions of Car Leaking Oil

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Underlying Causes And Solutions of Car Leaking Oil

If you are wondering why is my car leaking oil when parked or why is oil leaking from my car, why is my car leaking oil after an oil change you should delve deeper into the causes that give rise to this leakage.

1. Worn Gaskets and Valve Seals Causing Car Leaking Oil

1. Worn Gaskets and Valve Seals Causing Car Leaking Oil

Valve Cover Gasket: This gasket is situated in the middle space between the valve cover and the cylinder head. It is exposed to engine oil and high temperatures on a continuous basis. As time passes, the rubber or cork material can experience degradation, resulting in a decrease in the gasket’s effectiveness as a seal.

Oil Pan Gasket: The oil pan gasket sits at the bottom of the engine and is responsible for containing the engine oil. The interface between the engine block and the oil container is sealed by the gasket. Gasket material degradation due to persistent heat cycles and engine oil level exposure can result in the occurrence of oil leakage. So, it is one of the many reasons why my car oil is leaking. The damaged oil pan causes issues in your vehicle.

Front and Rear Main Seals:  The front and rear main seals are located at the crankshaft’s exit points from the engine block, at the front and rear extremities, respectively. They serve to impede the escape of oil from the crankshaft housing. These seals may eventually fail as a consequence of the crankshaft’s continuous rotation and exposure to engine oil, which could lead to the occurrence of oil spills.

Solution

  • Employ suitable implements to extract the valve cover. To ensure an effective seal, meticulously cleanse the sealing surface located on both the cylinder head and the valve cover. Install a new valve cover gasket and cross-pattern tighten the bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications to distribute pressure equitably.
  • Eliminate the oil container and drain the engine oil. Removing old gasket material and detritus from the mating surfaces of the engine block and oil pan requires a comprehensive cleaning. If advised, replace the oil pan gasket using an appropriate gasket sealant. As per the manufacturer’s guidelines, tighten the oil pan fasteners in a particular order.
  • To gain access to the front seal, it may be necessary to remove the timing cover. Similarly, lowering the transmission or engine may be necessary to reach the rear seal. Carefully remove the old seals without causing damage to the crankshaft or engine block by utilizing the proper equipment. Utilize a seal installer tool to implement the new seals to guarantee accurate alignment and seating.

2. Loose or Damaged Oil Drain Plug Leading to Car Leaking Oil

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2. Loose or Damaged Oil Drain Plug Leading to Car Leaking Oil

The oil drain plug typically sits at the lowest point of the oil container. It is removed during an oil change in order to discharge the old oil. Inadequate tightening during reinstallation or damaged threads may result in oil leakage from the oil pan. Therefore, we can say that it is a potential reason why is my oil leaking from my car.

Solution

Ensure that you use a wrench to securely fasten the oil drain plug to the torque setting specified by the manufacturer. In the event of thread damage, a new drain plug should be utilized. Prior to reinstalling, ensure that both the drain plug’s sealing surface and the oil pan are clear.

3. Cracked Oil Pan Resulting in Car Leaking Oil

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3.  Cracked Oil Pan Resulting in Car Leaking Oil

The engine oil is contained within the metal oil pan. Mounted below the engine, it is subject to various impacts, including road debris and speed bumps. Over time, the oil pan can develop a crack or hole, especially if it’s constructed of aluminum, which is more vulnerable to damage than steel pans. Hence, it is one of the why my car is leaking oil.

Solution

Thoroughly clean the affected area of the oil pan to eliminate any oil and detritus. Apply an appropriate epoxy or sealant to the product’s guidelines to repair minor fractures. If the damage is more severe, you should replace the oil pan with a new or refurbished unit. Install a fresh oil pan gasket and tighten the pan fasteners to the specifications provided by the manufacturer.

4. Defective oil filter Leading to Car Leaking Oil

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4. Defective oil filter Leading to Car Leaking Oil

As the oil filter draws impurities into the engine oil, the oil passes through the engine. Oil leakage from close to the filter may occur due to a defective filter or a damaged gasket on the filter. Additionally, leakage can occur if the filter is not secured with sufficient tightness during installation. If you are thinking my car is leaking oil, the oil filter might be one of the issues.

Solution

Check that you entirely remove the old filter, including any residual gasket material adhered to the engine surface. Before installing the new oil filter, apply a small amount of fresh oil to lubricate the rubber gasket. As directed by the manufacturer, manually tighten the filter to a range of 3/4 to 1 turn from the point where the gasket makes contact with the mounting surface.

1. Worn Gaskets and Valve Seals Causing Car Leaking Oil

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5. Worn Piston Rings or Valve Seals Leading to Car Leaking Oil

Piston rings and valve seals are essential elements that prevent oil from penetrating the combustion chamber and maintain correct engine compression. These components may deteriorate with time, resulting in oil discharge into the cylinders. The combustion process then consumes this oil, producing blue fumes from the exhaust.

Solution

To repair worn piston rings or valve gaskets, substantial engine components must frequently be disassembled. Dismantling may require removing the cylinder head, pistons, and connecting rods. Sophisticated knowledge and specialized equipment are generally necessary to perform repairs of this nature.

6. Overfilled Oil: One of the Main Reasons for Car Leaking Oil

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6. Overfilled Oil: One of the Main Reasons for Car Leaking Oil

If you are wondering why is my car leaking oil when parked; then check out the overfilled oil. The consequence of overfilling the oil reservoir during an oil change is the generation of excessive internal engine pressure. Leaks may result from the oil being forced past gaskets and seals. Additionally, overfilling oil can cause foaming, diminishing its lubricating qualities and potentially leading to engine damage.

Solution

Use suitable equipment, such as a hand pump or suction device, to extract the surplus oil via the dipstick tube or oil fill port. Before rechecking the oil level, ensure the engine is level and allow sufficient time for the excess oil to discharge completely.

7. Excessive Amount of Engine Pressure: Causes of Car Leaking Oil

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7. Excessive Amount of Engine Pressure: Causes of Car Leaking Oil

Internal engine pressure is regulated by the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system, which expels crankcase gases into the atmosphere. In the event of a clogged or malfunctioning PCV valve, internal engine pressure may increase, resulting in oil leakage through gaskets and seals. In the same way, excessive oil pressure can result from a malfunctioning oil pressure relief valve, which can lead to leakage.

Solution

Locate and remove the PCV valve from the engine. It is recommended to thoroughly clean the valve using a suitable solvent or, alternatively, to replace it if required. Examine the PCV hose for obstructions or fractures and replace it as necessary. Reinstall the valve after ensuring that it is securely seated.

8. Car Leaking Oil Due to Damaged or Degraded Hoses and Fittings

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8. Car Leaking Oil Due to Damaged or Degraded Hoses and Fittings

Diverse hoses and connectors comprise the engine oil system that delivers oil to engine components, including the cylinder head, oil cooler, and oil filter. Leaks may result from the wear and tear of these cables and fittings over time as a result of exposure to heat and oil. Worn-out seals, corroded fittings, and fractured or brittle hoses are frequent points of failure.

Solution

Confirm that all oil hoses and fittings are inspected for corrosion, damage, or evidence of wear. Replace any damaged components with their corresponding sized and constructed replacements. Ensure that all connections are securely tightened with the proper equipment to prevent leakage.

However, if you want to know more about different causes and their potential solutions for oil leakage, you can check out this blog.

Conclusion

By being knowledgeable about these possible origins of the car leaking oil and conducting routine inspections of the engine of your vehicle for indications of leakage, you can detect and resolve problems before they worsen, thereby averting engine damage and guaranteeing peak performance and dependability. Consistent maintenance and oil changes utilizing premium oil and filters are critical for averting oil leakage and extending the operational lifespan of an automobile’s engine.

Author

  • Gerald

    A connoisseur of all things automotive and a passionate advocate for the thrill of the open road. With a lifetime of fascination for cars that stretches back to his childhood days spent tinkering in the garage with his father, Gerald's journey into the realm of automobiles has been fueled by an insatiable curiosity and an unwavering love for the mechanical marvels that grace our roads.

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