by: Auto Giant
Have you ever noticed a small puddle of oil under your vehicle? You may think it’s a harmless problem that only leaves a stain on your driveway, but in reality, it’s an issue that shouldn’t be ignored. Depending on the cause, an oil leak can result in significant damage to your vehicle if left unfixed.
In this article, we explain the ‘What’, ‘Where’ and ‘Why’ of oil leakage from your vehicle. But rather than trying to fix the problem yourself, get your car looked at by professional Auto Giant mechanic. As a RACQ approved automotive repairer, we’re well equipped to find the cause of your oil leak, fix it and ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition.
Type of Oil
First of all, you need to find out if your car is leaking engine oil or another type of fluid. To figure out why your car is leaking, you first need to see what colour the oil puddle is. This will help determine the type of oil leaking from your car.
- Brown fluid indicates an engine oil leak.
- If the oil is red, it’s likely to be transmission fluid.
- Green or orange liquid with a sweet smell is probably coolant.
Maintain a Safe Oil Level
As soon as you spot the leak, make sure you check the oil and fluid levels in your car right away. Oil and fluid levels always need to be checked and maintained to keep your car lubricated and running smoothly.
Check the engine oil dipstick. If it’s too low, top it up to ensure the engine can operate safely, or if you have a transmission fluid leak, your transmission fluid dipstick is the one to check. If leaking coolant is the problem, check the fluid level on your radiator and see if the liquid reaches the full line on the side of the reservoir.
Top up any of these oil and fluid levels if necessary before driving your vehicle. Please note however that coolant should not be added to a hot engine. Wait until the engine has cooled down to avoid getting burnt or cracking your engine.
Finding the Source of Your Oil Leak
There are three possible sources for your leak depending on the type of fluid:
- Engine oil – Engine Leak
- Transmission fluid – Transmission Leak
- Coolant – Radiator Leak
Once you find the source, you then need to delve down further to find out which part could be causing the leak. There are many places an oil leak could originate from, but the biggest culprits are often gaskets and oil seals.
The gasket is vital for keeping the three liquids in your vehicle separate from each other, while oil seals are made to fit between both moving and stationary parts. Because oil seals are made of synthetic rubber, they’re usually the first parts to start degrading.
But there are also many other possible origins for your leak such as the transmission pan, torque converter or fluid lines or if you have a coolant leak, the radiator itself may be damaged.
Wherever the leak comes from in your car, the vehicle must be brought into our Auto Giant mechanic immediately as the continual degradation of these parts can cause major damage to your engine, transmission or radiator.
Common Causes for Leaking Oil
Once the source of the problem has been found, the next question you will probably ask is what caused the oil to leak in the first place?
There could be a multitude of reasons, but it often boils down to two leading causes – oil change and general wear and tear.
How long has it been since you changed the oil in your vehicle?
When engine oil isn’t changed regularly, it becomes dirty and contaminated which causes it to lose its viscosity. This then results in added friction on your engine components which will eventually wear them down and cause a leak or damage to your vehicle components including your engine, transmission or differential.
Check with Auto Giant Brendale and your manufacture hand book to find out how often your oil should be changed to keep it in optimal condition.
Wear and Tear
For all types of leaks, general wear and tear of owning and driving a vehicle is a common cause that can’t be avoided. The older your vehicle is, the more worn down the internal parts become over time. This leaves the vehicle at greater risk of developing leaks.
That’s why so it’s important to service your vehicle regularly to make sure any potential leaks can be rectified and corroded parts can be replaced before they cause any further problems.
Speak with a Trusted Auto Giant Mechanic
Don’t leave it too late to fix the leak in your vehicle. Book in to see a trusted Auto Giant Mechanic today. We’re highly experienced at finding the source of the leak and fixing the problem professionally.
And because we’re an RACQ approved automotive repairer, you can trust that any servicing or repairs will be completed to the highest standard. Call us today on 07 3881 2900 to book in your next repair or service.