The engine in your car produces heat and converts it into the mechanical energy required to move the vehicle. Similar to your body, which requires fluids like water and cooking oil for replenishment, your vehicle's engine cannot run smoothly without engine oil.
Engine oil acts as the lubricating agent that keeps your engine running smoothly and efficiently. If the oil leaks, you'll experience a drastic decline in engine performance and a breakdown of the engine will be inevitable if you don't take corrective action immediately.
But what causes engine oil leaks, and why should you address this problem immediately? Read along to get answers to these questions.
What Causes Engine Oil Leaks?
Various engine components require lubricating oil to work smoothly, and an oil leak can occur anywhere where the oil flows. However, some engine parts are more susceptible to oil leaks than others.
If the 'low oil pressure' warning light on your dash comes on while you're driving or you notice a puddle of engine oil under your car, begin troubleshooting by checking the following components:
- Engine oil filter — it might be overly worn or improperly aligned.
- Valve gasket — it might be damaged or worn-out.
- Oil pan — it might be damaged.
- Bolts — the bolts that secure various components of your engine, including the oil drain pan seals and valve gasket covers might be loose.
The engine oil leak repair you'll need depends on the outcome of the diagnosis.
Why Should You Fix Engine Oil Leaks Immediately?
Engine oil is more than just a lubricating agent for your engine. In addition to keeping the engine running smoothly, it provides the following benefits:
- Minimises general wear and tear of your engine's moving parts.
- Minimises power loss while you're driving.
- Keeps your engine clean.
- Cools your engine.
- Provides a cushioning effect against the shocks experienced by your engine.
In addition to these benefits, engine oil maintains an effective seal against the high-pressure gases that may leak towards the crankcase. This minimises the risk of serious damage to the engine.
Although all fluid leaks found on cars need to be checked and addressed immediately, engine oil leaks should be treated with the utmost urgency. The problem won't go away on its own — you have to take deliberate steps to have it deal with. Contact a car mechanic near you if you have seen the signs of an engine oil leak.