Leaking Oil? Here Are Some Common Reasons For Reno And Sparks Drivers

car oil leak

Different causes of car engine oil leaking

The most common symptoms of an oil leak are the tracks left when a vehicle stops. A frequent need for an oil change or an abnormally low level can also be an alarm. A pronounced smell of oil, when the car is not moving, can also be an indicator.

Recognize the type of oil leak

Some drops under your car is a sign of an oil leak, but that’s not necessarily the way to find out if your vehicle is experiencing leakage problems at all. In fact, the chances of you checking the ground in the parking lot just to find traces of oil leaks are very rare. There are better measures to help you find and repair oil leaks in your car’s engine. It is challenging to trace an oil leak in a thoroughly oil-coated motor, and so you may have to de-grease the car engine to know the leak source. Spreading newspaper under the car overnight is the most straightforward method of cleaning up your doubts about oil leaks in your vehicle.

There are several items to consider:


When engine oil is leaking from your motor, it is usually easy to distinguish because of its blackish color. The components responsible for the leak will most often be parts, screws, and seals related to the timing cover. The appearance of traces of oil on the outer body of the vehicle is also a good indicator of engine oil leakage. An abnormal consumption of oil makes it possible to diagnose a leak of engine oil. The oil pump extracts the lubricant from the crankcase and supplies the various engine components (camshaft, crankshaft, connecting rods, etc.) with lubrication via the oil filter.


If when shifting the lever tends to “jump,” this can be a symptom of transmission oil leakage. Transmission liquid is of an amber color, with a clean and thick fluid, characterized by a pungent and unpleasant odor. Leaks can come from the transmission drain plug if it is loose, from the transmission oil pan when it is punctured or cracked; even a faulty torque converter, for the case of automatic boxes which it serves as a clutch.


For automatic transmissions, or for power steering, the oil leak is a red and liquid residue. The power steering is a hydraulic device for assisting driving by the maneuver of the steering rack.  In general, the liquid will escape because of a leak in the rack, steering pump, or hoses and fittings that connect the pump and the rack. Increased resistance of the steering wheel to a turning point like a roundabout is a good indicator. It will then be necessary to repair the element responsible for this leak. Power steering will always be efficient but at low speeds. The only solution will be to drive your vehicle to a garage.


Don’t mistake coolant for oil. If you are trying to determine which type of leak you are dealing with, a coolant leak will correspond to the collection of a fluid of a yellow, blue or green color but it is more viscous which is much different than the appearance of oil. As with all auto services, let your car’s owner’s manual direct how often you need a flush. As a typical rule, perform a coolant service every 30,000 miles or five years, whichever comes first. The coolant is used to maintain stable engine temperature at 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you’ve discovered the stain under your car, check what’s dropped on the floor. Wipe over it with a white cloth and look at the color of the mess. Smell: Is that more oil or gas?

Car drips: The finger test helps the fastest

Often the smell test is ambiguous because almost no family car has a clean engine and underbody. If, nonetheless, you do not want to hire a specialist, but rather solve the puzzle yourself, grasp the small puddle and rub the liquid between the fingers. When gasoline is present, it seems like the stain is washing itself off. Water and gas are also visibly thin. The oil from your car, on the other hand, is a thick, robust and blackish goo.

Define and repair the cause of the drops on the engine

If there is a stain on the car because oil comes out of the engine, you have been unlucky: a complicated repair might be the result. Older family car models that lose oil regularly pay the price for a hard, dense working life with worn engine seals. Water under the car usually means that a radiator hose has become leaky. Rejoice that you noticed it fast enough and replaced the hose. Hose repairs are not expensive. Also, it’s easy to replace leaky fuel lines. They are available for most car models at an auto parts store. Of course, the oil pump, fuel pump, carburetor or radiator can also wear out and have leaks.

How to repair oil leaks in the car?

Knowing how to fix the oil leak can be of great help in solving minor leakage problems, as well as in the case of emergency situations. An important source of oil leakage in cars is valve covers. Oil leakage from valve covers is caused mainly due to loosening of the bolts that secure the valve covers. If the leak is not very serious, just tightening the cover bolts can solve your problems. However, if the problem is significant, you may need to opt for a new cover valve gasket to repair the leak.

Car leakage problems are not limited to rocker covers. Even damage to the oil filter or oil pan can result in oil leakage. Another common cause of oil leakage is a hole in the oil pan. Most often, the hole in the oil pan is the result of hitting it on a rock or bumping up against a rise in the floor. The best way to solve the leak oil pan is to attach a proper sized bolt into the hole. You will also need to investigate whether you have a correctly seated oil filter. If you have an incorrectly installed oil filter, the chances of oil leakage only increase.

With any leak, it may be easier to have the experts at Wayne’s Auto Center diagnose and repair the problem.  It can be a dirty job be we are always ready to help Reno and Sparks drivers get back on the road.  Don’t wait or it might lead to a more costly car repair.

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Cars are complicated; financing shouldn’t be. Besides honoring all major credit cards, debit cards, and cash Wayne’s Automotive also offers a simple path to funding through Synchrony Bank. Applications are available.

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Wayne’s Automotive Center is a NAPA AutoCare center. As a gold certified shop, all qualifying repair or service work comes with a FREE 3 year/36,000 mile “peace of mind” nationwide warranty through Napa AutoCare.

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