Identifying Oil Leaks In Your Car

Oil leaks happen in older cars often. How you get the oil to stop leaking will be determined by where the oil is leaking from. So, how can you tell where the oil is leaking from? Below, you will learn just that.

Clean the Car Engine

Before you can determine exactly where the leak is coming from, you have to clean the engine to get the old oil off. To clean the engine, you need an area to wash the engine that won't pose the risk of damage from the soapy water and sludge that will be washed off of the engine. The most suitable place is an auto wash center with an outdoor engine wash bay. This way, you know that the water is being treated with an industrial wastewater system.

Cover the electrical components and air intake with plastic wrap to protect them from water exposure.

Use a stiff bristled brush to remove debris and dirt from the engine.

Mix one cup of liquid dish soap with one-half gallon of hot water. You will need to refill the bucket a few times before the job is complete, but you want to keep the water very warm and very sudsy as you proceed.

Lift the front end of your car up with a jack and put it on jack stands for safety. Slide under the car and begin coating the components from the underside with the soapy mixture using a paint brush. Really work the sudsy solution into the cracks and crevices.

Now, work on the upper side of the engine using the same technique. After the suds sit for several minutes, use the hose to spray off the engine block.

Remove the plastic and start the engine to allow it to heat up and evaporate the remaining water.

Search for the Leak

Start at the top of the engine. Two components that could be causing upper engine leaks are the PCV valve and the valve cover gasket.  

Lower on the engine, about midway, you will see a seam that is the joining point of the cylinder heads and the engine block. Inside this seam is the head gasket. If you are leaking oil from this area, the head gasket needs to be replaced.

Lastly, the one area that you should be hoping is causing your oil leak – the oil pan gasket. This is the easiest fix and can cause quite a bit of oil loss.

These are just a few of the most common oil leak problems. If you are unsure of your ability to find the oil leak in your car, talk with your local mechanic for assistance. To learn more, speak with a business like Wolverine Automotive.