Why Is My Car Leaking Oil? (Key Causes of Oil Leaks)

As a car owner, oil leakage is an issue you may deal with eventually. But why is my car leaking oil?

Well, your car engine needs enough lubrication and proper cooling to work. If it’s lacking either of those things, then it may overheat, leading to irreparable harm.

Many sections, including the gasket, oil pan, valve cover, or oil filter, can cause leaking. There are several potential causes for oil leaks, including obsolete parts, inadequate care, and damage to the car.

In this article, we will examine the usual causes of oil leakage and how to promptly pinpoint and repair the issue.

Knowing why your car is leaking oil could help you take the right steps to avoid any further harm and ensure the lasting operation of your vehicle.

Why Is My Car Leaking Oil?

Oil leakage problemsarise from myriad sources. It is essential to identify these issues' specific symptoms and implications.

1. Worn-Out Gaskets and Seals

Worn or cracked gaskets and seals are one of the primary sources of oily fluid seepage from the motor. Valve covers, oil pans, and other engine seals become brittle and cracked over time, letting the oil escape.

If you have a gasket or seal leak, you might see oil on the ground below the car, observe smoke rising from the engine, or check the dipstick and find the oil levels low.

2. Damaged Oil Pan

Another potential cause of oil leakage is damage to the oil pan. This component is placed at the engine's base in cars to keep the oil in place.

If the pan is damaged or fractured, the oil may come out, causing severe and lasting damage to the engine. Check for low oil levels and oil beneath the automobile.

3. Spoilt Engine Parts

Sometimes the deterioration of engine parts leads to oil leaks. An imperfect piston ring or valve lets oil move into the combustion chamber, which puts the engine at risk. Signs of this situation include exhaust smoke and weakened output or speed.

4. Excess Oil

Occasionally, too much oil fills the motor, which causes additional pressure. Eventually, the gaskets and seals leak.

Signals such as smoke from the exhaust, a smoky smell, and impaired motor capacity suggest excess oil.

5. Lack of Maintenance

Lack of keeping proper maintenance may also create oil leaks. If the oil is not changed regularly or is unsuitable for the motor, over time, it will become too thick and seep from the engine.

Using the wrong petroleum can also cause leakage. Different oils have varied viscosity levels, which might not be compatible with the engine's gaskets and seals.

How To Know Your Car Is Leaking Oil

Noticing the symptoms helps you avoid further engine harm brought by an oil leak. Knowing the telltale signs of a car oil leak is essential.

One indicator of a possible oil leak is the fluid visible on the ground underneath the vehicle. The oily fluid could be black or brown and have a thick or sticky feel. If you find this substance beneath your car, investigate if an oil leak is present.

In addition to this, you might smell burning coming from your engine. This smell, often similar to burning oil or rubber, happens when oil drips onto hot engine parts. If you encounter this scent, immediately shut off the engine and look closely for signs of a leak.

Low oil levels on the dipstick also indicate an oil leak. When oil leaks from the engine, it reduces the overall oil level in your car. Left untreated, this can cause severe engine damage. Regularly check your oil levels regularly and promptly address any leaks.

Smoke coming from your engine or exhaust is another sign of an oil leak. When oil leaks onto hot engine components, it creates smoke that's visible from under the hood or the exhaust. If you notice smoke coming from your engine, turn it off and inspect it for signs of a leak.

Finally, a loss of engine performance may signify an oil leak. Oil leaks from the engine can reduce the lubrication available to your engine's components. This can cause your engine to run rough or lose power or acceleration. If you notice a loss of performance in your car, inspect your engine for signs of a leak.

How To Fix Oil Leaks

Fortunately, many oil leaks can be fixed with basic maintenance and repairs. Let’s explore some of the best ways to fix oil leaks in cars.

1. Identify the source of the oil leak

Identifying the source of an oil leak is the first step. To do that, inspect your motor for leak signs, like oil on the ground, low oil levels, or smoke from the engine or exhaust. After determining the source of the leakage, move ahead to begin the remedial steps.

A worn-out seal or gasket is one of the most frequent sources of an oil leak. These components may break down after a certain period, which causes oil to flow out from the motor.

2. Replace damaged parts

You must replace any damaged engine parts. Let's say that a defective valve cover is the cause of the leak. To mend the issue, you will need to change the valve cover.

Turn to a professional mechanic or an experienced automotive owner with the appropriate tools and know-how.

3. Use oil additives

Oil drips might be rectified with advanced engine oil additives in a few cases. The dditives may help advance the role of gaskets and seals, reduce torque and deterioration on engine elements, and prevent leaks from happening.

Refer to your operator's guide or an approved mechanic to decide which oil enhancement is the most suitable for your engine.

4. Use a professional

Take the car to a professional mechanic who can diagnose and repair it correctly. Also, routine upkeep protects against leaks and other engine predicaments.

How To Prevent Oil Leaks on Your Car

Preventing oil leaks in cars helps maintain the longevity and performance of your engine.

While some causes of oil leaks are out of your control, several preventive measures help reduce the likelihood of an oil leak.

Here are some of the best ways to prevent oil leaks in your car:

1. Regular maintenance

The first step in preventing oil leaks is to maintain your engine correctly. This includes regular oil changes and filter changes based on the manufacturer's recommendations.

Old oil becomes thick and sludgy, which can cause it to leak out of the engine. Additionally, using the wrong type of oil can cause leaks. Consult your owner's manual or a qualified mechanic to ensure you're using the correct oil.

2. Keep the engine clean

Another way to prevent oil leaks is to keep your engine clean. Dirt and debris build up on the surface of the engine, which can cause gaskets and seals to wear out more quickly.

Regularly cleaning your engine with a gentle degreaser and a soft-bristled brush prevents oil leaks.

3. Regularly check the engine

Check for splits and other indications of harm on your gaskets and seals. Also, search for any visible discharges under your vehicle.

If you notice an oil spill, take care of the issue immediately to avoid severe engine harm.

4. Avoid overfilling the oil tank

To prevent oil spills, abstain from overfilling the motor with oil. Ensure you add the correct oil measure to your motor by consulting your proprietor's manual or an expert repairer.

5. Use quality oil additive

Consider utilizing a quality oil additive to help forestall oil spills. These additives can improve the exhibition of gaskets and seals, reduce grinding and wear on engine parts, and help forestall spills from happening.

Consult your proprietor's manual or an expert repairer to decide which oil additive is ideal for your engine.


Car oil leaks happen for many reasons: a worn-out gasket, a damaged oil pan, or a faulty oil filter. It's best to address the problem as soon as possible.

Ignoring an oil leak can lead to severe engine damage, costly repairs, and even a breakdown on the road.

Catch a leak early and prevent further damage by regularly checking your oil level and paying attention to any warning signs. Keep an eye out for oil spots on the ground or an oil-burning smell.

Taking your car to a professional mechanic for an inspection and repair is the best way to ensure your vehicle stays in top condition and runs smoothly for years to come.