If the car loses oil, it is a shock. Nevertheless, it is important to keep calm and find out where the oil comes from and which part is defective. If the engine is affected, this can have various causes, which must be remedied quickly.
Often there is only a small puddle under the car, which is usually only noticed by chance. However, when the smell of oil rises and is looked closer, there is concern. Even mechanically inexperienced drivers know that an oil loss is not a good sign. It is all the more important to find out why the engine loses oil in order to have the defect corrected in good time. This is the only way to prevent greater damage.
Simply refilling engine oil is not effective. Depending on the amount lost, the defect is simply moved backwards. It is better to go straight to the cause and take the car to the workshop.
Possible causes of oil loss from the engine
If your car loses oil, you should ascertain as soon as possible what the oil is. This is usually quite easy to recognize: Motor oil shows a very dark stain that has an unpleasant smell of combustion residues. Another test is to rub the oil between your fingers. If it looks thick and firm, it is motor oil. Hydraulic or gear oil, on the other hand, is very light and is sometimes traversed by very narrow, black oil streaks. If it is motor oil, you should start investigating the cause as soon as possible.
The search for the defect
A common mistake is that the defect is only checked where the oil stain has also formed. However, you should not forget that oil can also migrate. Small vibrations or shocks are sufficient here and the oil escapes from a completely different location. So if you are unsure whether you have found the defect or who cannot identify a cause, you should better go to the workshop. This is because possible engine damage can only be avoided if the cause is rectified quickly.
Possible reasons for engine oil loss
When a car loses oil, it is often due to the engine. The causes can be found in the units or the cables. In some cases it is even possible that the engine itself has leaks. It may be the case that the cylinder head gasket is no longer completely sealed and the oil can find its way out here. If this is the case, the engine has no more compression.
In addition, white foam may have formed on the leaked engine oil. This indicates that water has entered the oil. It can also be an indication of oil that has strayed into the cooling water. Both should be checked. Perhaps the leakage of engine oil is also due to the fact that oil has collected in the air intake system or in the fuel system. The reasons for this must be looked for in the air filter or in the intake pipes.
Check the oil pan and valve covers
If no causes for the oil loss could be found under the mentioned causes, it is important to check the oil pan and to check whether the seals are still closed here or whether they may need to be replaced. This also applies to the crankshaft. Another reason for engine oil leakage can be the valve cover. Their wear over time ensures that the seal no longer holds. Even small ones are sufficient so that oil can escape here.
Get professional help
If you have a good basic knowledge of the engine, you may be able to find the cause yourself. However, professional troubleshooting in the workshop is also an alternative and recommended. Based on their experience, car mechanics usually find the errors faster than the car owners. And when correcting this, it is also important that you pay attention to professional execution to avoid further damage.