Is your vehicle leaking oil? Oil leaks are nothing to brush under the rug. If you ignore an oil leak from your car, there could be major damage to the engine that will cost you a lot of cash to replace. To prevent that from happening, here are some things you need to know about car oil leaks and how to prevent them.
What Can Cause an Oil Leak?
Your vehicle may be leaking oil for several reasons, but the most common are failed gaskets, O-rings, and seals that shrink or harden due to age, heat, and pressure. In addition, oil pan drain plug, oil filters, and rocker cover gaskets are all likely possible suspects of why your car is leaking oil.
Maintenance neglect is the most common cause of gasket and seal failure. Maintenance aids in the prevention of oil contamination from old oil. Waiting too long to get an oil change allows for the oil in your car to become contaminated with condensation and combustion by-products which develop acid in your oil. This acid is ultimately what allows gaskets and seals to break down and cause oil leaks.
What Are Gaskets, Seals, and O-rings?
Since the main cause for oil leaks are faulty engine gaskets and worn-out O-rings or seals, you should know what these parts are and what they do.
Gaskets and seals help hold oil in the engine and prevent dust, dirt, and moisture out. If these two parts break down, you will have an oil leak in several possible places:
Oil may leak from the front and timing cover gasket and seal, front main seal, timing cover gasket or seal, rear main oil seal, camshaft seal, oil pan gasket, oil filter adapter mounting gasket, head gasket, dipstick tube O-ring, ect.
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Other Causes of Oil Leaks
Another common cause for vehicle oil leaks is oil pressure sending units because they have direct access to the engine’s oil pressure system. The oil pan and oil pan drain plug are also possible culprits that can cause a leak if overtightened. Lastly, a faulty or clogged PVC valve is an additional problem that could cause oil leaks from your vehicle.
Staying up to date on your vehicle maintenance and having the proper part installation can be the difference between having oil leaks and engine damage or a safe and well-performing car.
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