oil spill on garage floor

An oil leak isn’t just an inconvenience; it could be an indicator of bigger problems yet to come.

Whether you want to address an oil leak yourself or rely on the Clearfield car repair services at Master Muffler, don’t put off the maintenance!

Why is My Car Leaking Oil?

Unfortunately, there’s more than one place from which your vehicle could be leaking oil. While you may not immediately be able to locate the source, you should be able to eventually nail it down via the process of elimination. Your vehicle could be leaking for any of the following reasons:

  • Faulty Engine Gasket
  • Oil Pan Leak
  • Faulty Seals
  • Bad Oil Filter
  • Break in the Line

Once you’re underneath your car, you can visually inspect for issues with the oil pan plug and seals. Also be sure to look at the timing cover seal, the oil filter, and the oil cap. If anything isn’t connected properly, it could be the cause of your leak.

Fix it Yourself

Let’s say you’ve successfully identified the cause of the leak. If you want, you can attempt this car repair project yourself without too much trouble. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Level workspace
  • Car jack
  • Jack stands
  • Torque wrench
  • Oil additives

Keep it Tight

When your car is raised for better access to the oil pan under the engine, you can slide under and address any loose parts, including the drain plug. Pay attention to the bolts of the oil pan, the timing belt cover, and all the valves. Your owner’s manual will have recommendations on any pattern you need to follow when tightening bolts.

Freshen the Filter

If your oil filter gets clogged, the pressure build-up can cause a leak. Additionally, if the filter has loosened in its place, the oil can more easily escape the line, resulting in leaks. Ensure that your filter is securely fitted in your engine and that it is replaced every 3,000 to 6,000 miles (or when you get your scheduled oil change).

Don’t Blow a Gasket

Gaskets are rubber seals throughout your vehicle’s engine. Due to extreme pressure and heat under the hood, they tend to wear out between 20,000 and 50,000 miles. If your car smokes from the engine when you drive, you might have a leaky gasket. Also, if you notice cracks in any of your gaskets while doing a visual inspection of a cold engine, replace them and see if that helps stop your oil leak. 

Stop Leak Additive

If the leak is in the oil pan, you can sometimes solve the problem by adding stop leak additive to your vehicle’s oil. It’s a product that can bring new life to the rubber seals around your oil pan and the plug; the additives condition the rubber over time and help put an end to leaks. Using an additive should not be your first choice for fixing a leak, as it can take up to 100 miles for the additive to do its job.

Once you’ve fixed the leak, it’s time to top off the oil and go for a test drive. Watch for that pesky Check Engine light, smoke under the hood, or any future stains where you park.

Take it to a Mechanic

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or devote a weekend to addressing an oil leak, bring your vehicle to our Clearfield car repair experts. Master Muffler offers the following services and more:

  • Oil Changes
  • Engine Tune-Ups
  • Engine Repair
  • Emissions Testing

All of the above can get an extra set of eyes on your vehicle’s engine, checking for possible leaks to help avoid future damage.

Cleaning Oil Stains Off Concrete

Whether you’ve fixed the leak yourself or taken your vehicle to the Clearfield car repair team at Master Muffler, now it’s time to deal with the unsightly stains left behind. Your garage or driveway may now be marked with dark oil puddles, which don’t have to be an eyesore for long.

Kitty Litter

If your oil stain is still pretty fresh, you can absorb excess oil from the puddle using kitty litter. Simply pour it on top of the stain and wait for the litter to soak up the oil. Scoop away any litter you use and dispose of it properly.

Homemade Oil Remover

Baking soda and water combine to make a powerful stain remover. Using a stiff brush, scrub your oil stain with a thick paste of baking soda and water. You can let the homemade oil remover mixture sit for up to half an hour after scrubbing, and then rinse it away with the hose. 

If the baking soda doesn’t do the trick, you can tackle the stain again with household dish soap. A brand like Dawn is well-known to fight grease, so pour some directly on your oil stain and get scrubbing.

Commercial Concrete Cleaners

If household products don’t eliminate your oily stains, you can purchase more concentrated commercial cleaners to get the job done. Many big box stores such as Home Depot sell Goof Off products that are designed to clean concrete.

No matter what you use, be sure to wear proper protective gear to avoid irritating your skin or eyes while cleaning.

Categories: Automotive Info

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