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Car Oil Leak Symptoms

So you see a dark patch appear under you car engine whenever it is parked for a while or you hear a loud screech when the engine is running. These are all symptoms of  possible Oil Leak.
What you first need to do know is determine how large the leak is as that will determine how long you have to fix it.

How large is the Oil Leak?

All modern cars have an oil pressure warning light. Usually this light is RED and looks like an Oil Can or Oil Drop. When oil in the engine gets too low this light will come on. If you regularly see this light and have to add oil before your scheduled Oil Changes then you have a large leak. Large Oil Leaks should be dealt with as soon as possible because they will usually get bigger.
If you do not see the Oil Light between Oil Changes then you have time to think about what is causing the problem.
Please note that all oil leaks are not good for the environment and should be fixed sooner rather than later.

Locating an Oil Leak?

Oil that gets on the belts that causes the screeching noise usually comes from a few places:
  • Valve Cover Gasket at top of engine - This gasket wears out often and needs to be replaced.Valve Cover Gasket Replace
  • Crankshaft Seal at side of engine - It is behind the main pulley that the belts run on. There is also another Crankshaft seal that is hidden by the Transmission. These are difficult to replace. The seal behind the main pulley requires that the main pulley be removed to replace the seal. This pulley is on very tight and if the pulley does not have much room around it, it is very hard to remove. Seal beside the Transmission needs the Transmission to be removed to access it. When it comes to Crankshaft Seals it is usually easier to get a mechanic to work on them.
  • Your vehicle may have either a Timing Belt of Timing Chain. For vehicles with Timing Chains, the chains are covered in Oil and the cover stops the oil leaking out using a Timing Cover Gasket. When the Timing Cover Gasket goes bad, Oil escapes out the side of the Timing Cover. For cars with Timing Belts, they do not get covered in Oil and they have an extra Oil Seal on the Camshaft. When the Camshaft Oil Seal goes bad it lets oil escape onto the Timing Belt and shortens its life - causes it to break when not expected damaging the engine. For Camshaft Seals, the Timing Belt will need to be removed and if not re-installed correctly, the engine can be destroyed. Timing Chain cover gaskets can sometimes be easy to replace - depending on access to the engine. Other times the main pulley has to be removed to allow the Timing Cover Gasket to be replaced. This is another job that can be best left to a mechanic.
  • Oil that appears at the bottom of the engine can come from many different sources including the ones just mentioned.
  • Oil Pan - This is a common place for oil to leak out as the gasket for the Oil Pan wears out. The Oil Pan is located at the bottom of the engine.Oil Pan Gasket Replace
  • Drain Plug - Sometimes the bolt in the Oil Pan that is removed when changing oil is not put back correctly and this causes oil to leak out.Oil Pan Drain Plug

  • Wherever the Car Oil Leak is coming from, a dye can be added to the engine oil to make it easier to see the location of the Car Oil Leak. After the dye is added to the engine oil, the engine is run for a little bit to pump the dye to the location of the leak. Using a special light, the trail of the dye can be seen on the engine and then the source of the Car Oil Leak discovered.

    Check out these other leaks for additional information on Car Oil Leaks .
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