6 Most Common Causes of Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are all too common in all kinds of vehicles. Oil leaks should always be dealt with quickly since the oil is the lifeblood of any engine. Here are the most common places where oil leaks occur.

1. Cylinder Head Gasket

Internal leaks caused by head gaskets are more prevalent, resulting in difficulties including coolant usage and coolant-oil intermix. Externally, however, head gaskets can leak both engine oil and coolant. Flat engines, often known as boxer engines, are particularly prone to this issue.

2. Oil Pan Gasket

The oil pan gasket is one of the most likely places for an oil leak to occur. The oil pan gasket, as its name suggests, seals the oil pan to the engine block. If there is oil leaking from the gasket, it may need to be changed.

3. Crankshaft Seals on the Front and Back

The crankshaft is an internal component of the engine that protrudes slightly from both ends. It can serve as a mounting point for the external harmonic balancer, flywheel, or flexplate by jutting out a little. At both ends of the crankshaft are seals that prevent oil from seeping out of the engine. The front and rear primary seals are commonly referred to as such. Oil may build on the underside of the engine if a crankshaft seal leak is minor. However, if the leak is substantial, an oil leak at the front of the engine may be evident.

4. Valve Cover Gasket

If your engine is leaking oil from the top, it might be a sign that your valve cover gasket is leaking. The valve cover protects the components inside the cylinder head and is located on top of your engine. The gasket seals the cylinder head and valve cover together. Inline engines have only one valve cover (and valve cover gasket), but V-style engines have two valve covers. The valve cover gasket deteriorates with time and becomes less efficient at sealing off the oil. When the area around the valve cover gasket is coated with oil, it’s time to replace it.

5. Oil Drain Plug and Oil Filter

The oil drain plug is removed and reinstalled every time you get your oil changed. At the same time, the oil filter is replaced. Because these components are routinely tampered with, they are a common source of leaks when they aren’t replaced properly.

6. Seals on the Camshaft

On engines that employ a timing belt to keep the camshaft and crankshaft in rhythm, camshaft seal leaks are prevalent. Your vehicle’s camshafts, like the crankshaft, are located on the interior of the engine. Two or more camshafts protrude from the engine to provide a mounting point for the timing gears or sprockets in overhead camshaft engines. A camshaft seal is a piece of rubber that wraps around the end of each camshaft and keeps oil from leaking out of the engine. A mechanic can examine your vehicle to see if the oil leak is caused by a damaged or faulty camshaft seal.

When you or your mechanic discovers an oil leak, a complete oil change is in order. Make sure you use only synthetic oil from Amsoil!

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