The effect of engine oil leaks on your car

Performance Car TuningIf you are an owner of your own vehicle, then it is likely that you have had some sort of experience of an engine leak. But many drivers will simply ignore the leak and not take the correct measures to ensure that the mechanics of the engine have not been affected.

Any type of vehicle can develop an engine leak and if this occurs, it is important the engine fluids are checked to ensure they are all at the correct level to allow the engine to run efficiently. It is important to know that not only the engine oil has the possibility to leak. So when there is some sort of fluid leaking from your vehicle, drivers must know which type of leak it is and what needs to be done to rectify it.

An engine leak can have a massive effect on the performance of your engine and more importantly put your safety at risk. So it is of vital importance that as soon as you notice any liquid leaking from your vehicle, you identify where the leak is coming from, check the engine fluids and then check for any damage to your engine to attempt to locate the source of the leak.

Identifying the Type of Engine Leak

As has been mentioned, when drivers notice fluid leaking from their vehicle most assume that it is the engine oil. But all engines rely on a number of different fluids in order for it to run efficiently. To identify which type of engine leak is coming from your vehicle, there are a few signs to look out for that will enable you to identify which fluid is leaking.

You will be able to identify the type of engine leak simply by looking at the colour of the liquid coming from your vehicle. If the colour of the liquid is dark brown or yellow and it feels slippery, then it is probably motor oil. A pink or red liquid that is slippery would most likely be transmission fluid, while a green or orange fluid that produces a sweet smell would be antifreeze. If the liquid is completely clear then it would be power steering fluid.

Possible Causes Of An Engine Leak

When drivers notice some sort of engine leak, the first thing that they will think is why this is happening. There are a number of reasons as to why an engine leak can occur and it is important to locate the source of the leak so it can be repaired quickly. The following list will provide you with areas to check to attempt to find the source of an engine leak:-

  • Oil Pan – one possible cause of an engine leak is that your oil plug has not been installed correctly. A loose oil pan plug can leak in varying amounts out of the oil pan drain.
  • Seals and Gaskets – gaskets become brittle over time and may wear thin or blow out. The result is an oil leak that may or may not be visible beneath the vehicle. A blown gasket could then force engine oil into your cooling system that can contaminate your engine coolant.
  • Pistons and Rings – oil can be forced past the rings and pistons, resulting in engine-oil loss. This can be caused by age, excessive engine wear and poor vehicle maintenance. In this situation, leaked oil may be visible at the end of the tailpipe.
  • Cylinder Head – a cracked cylinder head could allow oil to leak either out of the engine or into the cooling system. Possible sings of this problem include a loss of cylinder compression or erratic running of the engine.
  • Valve Cover Problems – loose valve covers could cause oil to leak between the cylinder head and the valve cover. The primary indication of this happening is oil residue on the engine.
  • Spark Plugs – a loose spark plug may allow pressurised oil to leak out of the cylinder if the plug is extremely loose or completely missing. Possible signs of this happening are a pool of oil around the base of the plug or a skip in the engine firing sequence.

The Effect of Engine Leaks On Your Car And Car Parts

Engine oil leaks can lead to major damage to your vehicle if left and you continue to drive the vehicle. The fluids in the engine allow the engine to run smoothly and safely and if any of these are left to run low or even empty, the damage to your vehicle may be irreparable. An engine leak that has not been attended to properly will cause the engine to dry up and result in the internal temperature of the vehicle to increase. This will lead to the entire vehicle overheating and causing lots of damage to your engine, as well as putting your safety at risk. The decreased lubrication of the engine parts that each engine fluid provides, will lead to irreparable damage and result in you having to change your vehicle.

If you are still unsure of how to identify what type of engine leak is coming from your vehicle, or how to find the cause of any engine leak, you should take your vehicle into a reputable garage for advice, guidance and repairs.

At FMP Motor Factors we work with a wide network of garages and car dealers as well as individual car owners to provide the best quality car parts  and engine oils to ensure the smooth running and maintenance of your vehicle.

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