How to Fix an Oil Leak
Oil leaks are an annoying reality of car ownership and maintenance: From time to time, they happen…and if untreated, they can turn into a massive problem.
Fortunately, they can be diagnosed early with the right eye, and either addressed without a trip to the shop or taken care of by a professional service staff like the one here at the Emich Volkswagen service center in Denver. Here’s what to look for.
How to Tell if Your Car is Leaking Oil
Blue exhaust smoke: This can be hard to diagnose, and you may need a spotter to watch your exhaust pipe as you accelerate down your street. If your exhaust pipe is pumping out smoke with a bluish tinge, it could indicate that the engine is burning or leaking oil.
Spots under car: If you pull out of a parking spot and notice a very obvious oil slick under where your car was (usually the front half of it), that’s a pretty obvious symptom that oil is falling out of the vehicle.
Strange smells: If the car is producing a nasty burning odor–like, say, burning oil–that could be an indication that oil is leaking onto other hot components and burning off, which is a fire risk.
Low oil level: The easiest indicator will be your dipstick. Follow the instructions in your VW owner’s manual for correctly checking oil, and if you suspect a leak you should check frequently. If there’s a noticeable drop in oil level over a short period of time, that’s a pretty telltale sign there’s an oil leak.
How to Fix an Oil Leak
Because oil leaks can occur at any number of steps throughout the car’s mechanical system, the exact location might not be so easy to diagnose and fix. One thing you can try, especially if it’s a relatively minor leak, is an oil treatment product that you pour into the oil reservoir when the engine is cool. These can help to address the minor oil leaks that occur when rubber seals have hardened by softening those seals and allowing them to expand and cover the leak.
If you have access to a lift and the patience and wherewithal, you can look for loose bolts throughout the oil’s path and try tightening them, starting with the filter and release at the bottom of the oil valve.
But if not, or if that doesn’t solve anything, it’s wise to visit an experienced mechanic. If you suspect your Volkswagen is suffering from an oil leak, don’t hesitate to schedule service with us as soon as possible. And to avoid nagging vehicle issues and unexpected problems, make sure to stay on top of your manufacturer-recommended VW service intervals.