How to Troubleshoot an Oil Leak

Have you ever seen grease pools in your garage or driveway? If this is the case, your automobile may have an oil leak. As a responsible driver, you should inspect your vehicle on a regular basis for problems that might cause harm to your vehicle or someone else’s. When going through your maintenance checklist, make sure to check your oil level first. An oil leak, if left unattended, can cause serious engine damage as well as injury to you and others. Engine failures and oil fires have been known to occur while driving, so learn how to notice an oil leak fast.

Signs of a Possible Oil Leak

Dark Brown or Dark Yellow Pools of Fluid

If you notice dark brown or yellow pools of fluid where you usually park your vehicle, it’s usually an oil leak. Put a dry piece of cardboard on the driveway, then park over it. If it’s damp in the morning, you have an active leak.

Leaks of this nature usually indicate a leak in the oil pan. If your vehicle is older, the pan may have rusted out in one spot. Bring the vehicle to a place where it can be put up on a lift to confirm the origin of the leak.

Oil Light on the Dashboard is Illuminated

The oil light on your vehicle’s dashboard will illuminate if something is wrong with your oil level or pressure. The oil light does not immediately confirm a leak; rather, it highlights a problem that has to be investigated further.

There’s no easy way to tell why your engine oil light might be on. It could be a pressure problem, in which case, it’s probably because of a leak somewhere in the oil line. A mechanic will likely need to get to the bottom of this kind of leak.

Engine is Emitting Smoke

An oil leak in the engine will show itself by smoking when the engine gets hot. Take care of this immediately because an oil leak of this nature can erupt into a fire.

If you’ve recently had your oil changed, it’s possible that some engine oil spilled on engine components. Make sure that your mechanic wipes down any oil spills immediately. If the smoking continues, bring the vehicle in for a checkup.

Burning Oil Smell

Roll down your windows and turn your engine on. If you catch the scent of burning oil, this often indicates an oil leak. Along with the strong stench, you may hear a sizzling sound. This indicates that you need a complete oil change, including the oil filter. Tell the mechanic that you’ve noticed the odor so they can check to see if you have an oil leak.

Finally, another good way to check for an oil leak is to check oil levels a few days after you’ve topped up. If the oil level is greatly decreased, then an oil leak is most likely to blame. Remember to always use synthetic oil for the best engine performance, unless the auto manufacturer specifically says not to. Contact your authorized Amsoil dealer Dave Consalvo today.