An oil leak from the engine is the result of damage that should be corrected as soon as possible. The problem can occur unexpectedly, even in a brand new car.
Causes of oil leakage
The problem of oil leakage can affect cars that are several years old, as well as those that are several years old. In newer cars, it is probably the result of a material defect, improper installation, mechanical damage or improper operation. In older models oil leakage from the engine may occur as a result, for example, of too high pressure in the lubrication system – in such situations oil leaks may occur at any time.
The purpose of the lubrication system is to deliver a substance that reduces friction between all moving engine parts. These parts operate under extreme conditions and therefore require intensive lubrication. After starting, the engine heats up to very high temperatures and operates under high pressure. Gaskets may be damaged, resulting in oil leaks at connections between various components, which may be very difficult to access.
The most common places for oil leaks
A complete replacement of the oil sump gasket costs from PLN 200 to PLN 500. First of all, the oil should be drained and the oil sump thoroughly cleaned. Oil leaks through this element are frequent!
Gaskets of the camshaft or the crankshaft
In this case, repairing damaged sealing rings is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks. If there is a leak between the transmission and the engine, you may even need to replace the disc.
Oil drain plug washer
If you are dealing with a damaged drain plug washer, the only solution is to replace it. It is best to do this each time the engine oil is changed.
How to recognize an oil leak?
Engine oil level should be checked relatively often – oil leaks are not uncommon. If it is constantly missing, you may suspect an oil leak. In order to confirm your suspicions, it is best to observe the typical places where leaks occur. It is also a very good idea to lay out sheets of white paper under the car to locate and identify the type of substance. In the case of engine oil, these will be black, greasy stains.
What is the risk of an oil leak?
Oil is one of the most important fluids in a car – if not the most important! An oil leak is a very dangerous situation because it directly affects the functioning of the engine – even if the lubricant escapes from the gearbox. An oil level that is too low will result in a seized drive unit. Another risk is a broken timing belt, which can even lead to complete failure of the engine.
What to do in case of an oil leak?
- Oil leaks cannot be ignored. If the light comes on, stop the vehicle immediately. First, check the condition of the operating fluids with a dipstick. It is also worth noting whether there are no greasy black spots under the car.
- Then we should start the car and locate any leaks under the hood.
- When we are already sure that the problem is leaking engine oil, there is nothing else to do but go to the service
- If we ignore the problem, the engine may stop working. In this situation it will be necessary to call for roadside assistance and transfer the vehicle to a proven service.
Self-diagnosis of the problem can significantly simplify and accelerate the work of the mechanic. A leak from under the valve cover gasket is the easiest to locate. It is enough just to check what is happening under the upper, plastic cover of the engine. The cost of repair is between £100 and £500 – this is one of the cheapest oil leak services.
The older the car, the more likely it is to have an engine oil leak. This is related to the wear of individual seals. It should be remembered that engine oil has many important functions in the car, so under no circumstances should you ignore the problem. It’s task is primarily to minimize friction between individual components, dissipate heat and remove contaminants from various parts of the engine, for example from cylinders and pistons.
Checking the oil level is the basis for maintaining the condition of the engine
In order to ensure proper operation of a car, it is necessary to change oil on time (and not at any time) and check it regularly. Specialists recommend checking its level every fifty hours of vehicle operation, and in the case of older cars – even more frequently.