The alloy wheel repair experts at our van body repair centre know that oil leaks can be very easy to ignore. For the majority of car owners, an oil leak is a minor issue and repairs can be put off until something more serious forces them into the vehicle accident repair centre. However, allowing leaks to continue can be catastrophic to your vehicle. Here, we’ll explain why it’s important to have oil leaks inspected immediately, how to find the source of the leak, and a couple of simple ways to try and stop the leak yourself.
Oil leaks causing damage
If your vehicle is leaking oil, the best-case scenario is that you’ll leave a few stains on your driveway or garage floor. Oil leaking out of your car is an environmental hazard, as well. So, even if it doesn’t cause any additional damage to your car, leaking oil is still a serious problem and allowing a leak to go unchecked is likely to cause more damage. This oil can get on hoses and seals, which will cause them to degrade at a faster rate than normal. The most dangerous outcome is when oil leaks in your engine compartment, which is a very severe fire risk and leads to complete and disastrous engine failure. A fire under the hood could also be dangerous to anyone inside the vehicle and to your car. So, our alloy wheel repair specialists recommend making fixing engine oil leaks a priority.
Spotting a leak
Being able to tell when your car is leaking oil starts with the regular checks that you should be doing periodically. If you regularly check your car’s dipstick, you’ll be able to tell when the oil levels drop, which likely signals that oil is leaking. If you get out of your car after a drive and smell burning oil, that also likely means that oil has leaked onto hot components of the engine. The most obvious sign will be the dreaded puddle forming under your car. Be sure to check the colour of the puddle – if the liquid is brown, you’re leaking oil; if it’s red, it could be transmission fluid; and, if it’s green or orange, it is probably coolant. Finally, watch your exhaust for blue smoke while driving, as this would likely mean that oil is dripping into the engine.
Fixing a leak
In most cases, engine oil begins to leak when engine gaskets become degraded, or when seals and connections begin to fail. When you’ve spotted a leak, crawl under your car and take a look at the oil pan. Check to see if the seals have broken down and check that the drain plug is still in working condition. You can also look at timing cover seals and valve cover gaskets, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to repair any issues that you find yourself. Your best bet is to grab a torque wrench and tighten any loose bolts you find. You’ll want to check your manufacturer’s recommendations on what order to tighten bolts and to what specification before you do so, but tightening bolts that have loosened on your oil pan could help you to stop a leak.
The first step in fixing any leak is finding the source! Here are the most common locations to find an engine oil leak:
Rear Main Seal
The rear main seal is at the back of your engine and seals where the crankshaft exits the engine to attach to the flywheel. The van body repair specialists at our vehicle accident repair centre know that this seal is notorious for leaking on vehicles that don’t get used often or don’t get regular oil changes.
Oil Pan Gasket
Another common engine oil leak location is your oil pan gasket, which is thin and long. The pan is made of thin metal that expands and contracts when operating. It’s usually a quick repair, but on some vehicles (such as those with transversely mounted V6 engines), there can be multiple components obstructing the oil pan.
Valve Cover Gasket
Your valve cover or covers are very similar in construction to your oil pan and, typically, right on the top of your engine. Replacing them can be relatively easy. On some 6-cylinder engines, the intake manifold may cover one of the valve covers.
Timing Cover Gasket
Timing cover gasket leaks are considered a major leak. If your engine has a timing chain, the cover is located at the front, shielding the timing components. The system is splash lubricated, so leaks from the timing cover gasket are often slow, but they can make quite a mess as they leak out around your engine’s drive belt and accessories. Replacing the timing cover gasket is always an expensive job, as you’ve got to remove lots of other pieces before you can get to the timing cover.
Use Jenkins & Pain, Award-Winning Accident Repair Centre
There you have it, if you do find yourself with damage to your beloved paintwork or steering alignment and need a dent repair, van body repair or courtesy car you can count on us to complete all jobs using industry-standard processes. We offer free quotes and with our exclusive repair service, we are sure you will be happy with the results. Contact our Vehicle Body Shop today. Jenkins & Pain are an accident repair centre based in Dover, Kent. We are proud to call ourselves an award-winning accident repair centre. Check out our guide on how to look after your alloys!
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We understand how costly and inconvenient it is for a vehicle to be off the road and therefore we use processes that ensure your vehicle is repaired quickly and efficiently. So whether you need minor scratch repairs, major body repair, or alloy wheel restoration, our van body shop and car body shop can guarantee a high-quality service. We also repair light commercial vehicles and motorhomes. Contact us today for a paint repair at our Car Body Shop!