Why is My Car Leaking Oil?
Recently, you’ve noticed a dark spot on the ground where your car is usually parked. Then, you remember smelling something acrid and burning when you were driving the other day.
These are telltale signs of an oil leak—but why is your car leaking oil? Our service team at BMW of Atlantic City is here to help drivers in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, and Vineland figure out why your car is leaking oil and help you solve the problem.
Signs Your Car is Leaking Oil
Signs your car is leaking oil can include:
- A dark puddle on the ground under your car
- Blue smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
- A bitter, burning smell coming from the engine
- Dashboard oil light
- Low oil levels on the dipstick
Start by checking the oil level on your dipstick to see if your car is running low on oil. If you recently filled your oil, you may have spilled some oil or added too much, which could lead to the burning smell and puddles on the ground. Additionally, if your oil is still full, your car may be leaking coolant instead of oil. Check the color of the liquid on the ground: bright colors such as green, orange, or blue mean your car is probably leaking coolant.
If your oil level is low, keep reading to find out why your car is leaking oil.
Reasons Why Your Car is Leaking Oil?
Oil keeps engine components lubricated to keep everything running smoothly and help prevent your engine from overheating. However, this means your oil runs past a lot of seals and moving parts, so there could be many reasons your car is leaking oil. Below are some of the top reasons for oil leaks.
Loose oil filler cap: This cap is located at the top of your engine and usually has a picture of an oil can on it. This is where you add oil to your car during an oil change or top it off when it’s low. If this cap is loose, broken, or missing, it could cause your car to leak oil when your engine is running.
Broken dipstick tube: In some cars, the dipstick tube is prone to break based on its location and the materials it’s made of. Luckily, this problem is easy to diagnose because you’ll usually notice it when you check your oil. Oil could leak out of a broken dipstick tube until it’s replaced.
Improperly installed oil filter: An improperly installed or loose oil filter could also cause your car to leak oil. You can usually find the oil filter next to your engine.
Damaged oil pan: Your oil pan is located under your engine, leaving it prone to damage if you run over obstructions in the road such as rocks that scrape the bottom of your car. This damage to your oil pan could lead to oil leaking out of it.
Loose oil drain plug: At the bottom of your oil pan, you’ll find the oil drain plug. If the plug isn’t on properly, it could easily cause an oil leak. Sometimes, the threads on the plug become stripped from age or over tightening, which can also cause leaks.
Degraded engine gasket: Your car could also be leaking oil from a degraded or faulty engine gasket. Engine gaskets are meant to seal off various parts of the engine to prevent leaks, but they can wear down over time. Waiting too long between oil changes can speed up the deterioration process as the oil develops impurities that can wear down these seals faster.
What to Do if Your Car is Leaking Oil
The solution to your car’s leaky oil problem depends on the reason for the leak. Sometimes, it’s as simple as tightening a cap or drain plug. But other times, it can be hard to find exactly what’s causing the problem. If your car is leaking oil, be sure to schedule an appointment with your trusted service technician today.
Schedule Service Today
Drivers in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor, and Vineland can visit our service department at BMW of Atlantic City, where our highly trained technicians will be happy to help you diagnose and fix your car’s oil leak. Give us a call today or visit our online scheduler to set up an appointment.