Mechanic Tips

Is Your Car Leaking Oil? Here’s What to Do

Discovering an oil leak under your car can be a worrying sight. However, you should never ignore such oil leaks. It will compromise your safety on the road and can potentially damage your vehicle pretty soon. In this article, we will share what you need to do when you discover an oil leak in your car. As a car owner in North Brisbane, be familiar with what to do, so that you can proceed with prompt car repairs. 

Engine damage from oil leaks
Engine damage from oil leaks

What does oil do in your car? 

Before looking at the specifics of oil leakages, let’s learn more about the important role that oil plays in your car engine. Motor oil is being used in the car for many different reasons. They include: 


Your car engine consists of numerous moving parts. Oil is responsible for reducing friction between these moving parts of the engine. As a result, you can minimise the wear and tear of the engine.


Engine oil can also dissipate heat generated by the engine effectively. This will help you to keep the vehicle at optimal operating temperatures. In other words, oil will support the overall engine performance

Cleaning of engine 

Oil is responsible for picking up dirt and debris within your engine as well. This will help you to keep the engine clean.


Oil creates a seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls. As a result, your engine is capable of maintaining proper compression ratios.


Oil creates a protective barrier within your engine against rust and corrosion. It will contribute a lot towards the overall longevity of the engine.

Oil leak symptoms
Oil leak symptoms

Types of oil leakages 

As a vehicle owner, you will have to deal with many different types of oil leaks. Let’s learn more about what those types are.

Brake fluid leak

Brake fluid is responsible for making your vehicle stop as you hit on brakes. But when there is a leak in brake fluid, you will notice your vehicle having less braking power. It would take a longer distance for the vehicle to stop after you hit the brakes. This leak can happen due to worn-out brake pads or a faulty brake line.

Anti-freeze Coolant leak 

Coolant is responsible for cooling down the engine of your car. But when there is a coolant leak, your car engine can overheat. 

Power steering fluid leak

If you have to put more effort into steering your vehicle, or if you hear a hissing sound coming from the engine, the culprit can be a power steering fluid leak. It can also happen due to a faulty belt or hose. 

Engine oil leak 

do you seek a pool of oil under the car after you park it for some time? Then it could be an engine oil leak. Another symptom of an engine oil leak would be getting the smell of burning rubber.

Transmission fluid leak 

Transmission oil gives a burnt oil smell. It is reddish or pinkish as well. Therefore, you can easily identify a transmission fluid leak. 

Coolant leak 

When there is a coolant leak, your car engine will take more time to heat up. This can cause damage to the engine as well. 

Car oil leak
Car oil leak

Possible causes of oil leakage 

Many different factors can lead you to leak oil in your car. Here are the most common causes. 

Worn-out seals or gaskets 

Along with time, the gaskets and seals in your car engine can deteriorate. This will allow oil to seep through. That’s where you can experience a puddle of oil under your car.

Having a damaged oil pan 

An oil pan is a component located at the bottom of the engine. It can get damaged by accidents or road debris. When there is damage, it can result in an oil leak. 

Loose or missing oil filter 

One of the common reasons behind oil leaks is a loose oil filter. This can be an easy fix, as you just need to re-install the oil filter. But it can also happen due to a missing oil filter. In such situations, you will need to find a new oil filter and install it.

Cracked engine components. 

If there are cracks in any of the engine components, you may have to deal with an oil leak. Such cracks can often happen in the valve cover and cylinder head.

Overfilled oil 

When adding oil, it is important to be careful not to add too much. If that happens, you will have to experience oil leaks. That’s because oil will leak through the seals or overflow from the oil pan. 

What to do if you notice your car leaking oil? 

When you notice an oil leak, or even if you suspect an oil leak, there are a few important steps to follow. Here’s a detailed overview of those steps. 

Confirm the oil leak 

The very first thing you should do is to find and confirm the oil leak. You can do it by placing a clean cardboard or a light-coloured cloth under the car overnight. If there are stains or drips on it the next morning, you can confirm that there is a leak. 

Identify the type of leak.

Based on the symptoms, you will need to identify the exact type of oil leak that you are dealing with. It can be a seepage, drip, or spray as mentioned earlier.

Check the oil level.

You can use the dipstick in order to check the oil level of your car. If the oil level is low, you will need to top it up to the recommended level. It can help you with preventing further engine damage. However, you should address the issue before you continue to drive. Hence, take your car to a mechanic immediately, without worrying too much about the cost of repairs. 

Clean the leakage area.

You can do some cleaning around the leak and discover the exact source behind it. By doing this, you can also prevent dirt from entering into the engine. 

Assess the severity of the oil leak.

If the oil leak is a minor one, you don’t have to schedule an immediate repair appointment. But you need to closely monitor it and schedule the repair appointment at your earliest convenience. But when you are dealing with a more significant leak, you should get it inspected by a professional. 

Keep records.

It would be good if you could make a note of when you first noticed the oil leak. Include all other relevant information such as the type of leak and other related details. Then you can help the mechanic to diagnose probable causes and proceed with appropriate repairs.

How to prevent oil leaks in your car? 

By taking good care of your car, you will be able to prevent oil leaks from taking place. Make sure to follow these tips, so that you can minimise the possibility of encountering a fluid leak.

Do regular oil changes.

It is important for you to make regular oil changes according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. This can help you to maintain the overall quality of oil while preventing the buildup of dirt and debris.

Check oil levels regularly. 

Some oil leaks can be difficult to spot as they don’t indicate any clear symptoms. This is why you need to make it a habit to check your oil levels. This is something you need to do at least once every month.

Use the correct oil.

You must always use the correct oil type and viscosity as recommended by the car manufacturer. This can help you avoid leaks and engine damage.

Final Words 

As a vehicle owner, make sure that you don’t ignore oil leaks. If you are in North Brisbane, drive to SNC Automotive immediately when you spot an oil leak. Then you will be able to get a professional diagnosis and figure out why that is happening. Our expert mechanics can also help you with promptly fixing the oil leak in your car. 

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