Why Is My Engine Leaking Oil?

October 31, 2023 2:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Black,Mechanic,Woman,Fixing,Underneath,Car,In,Auto,Repair,Shop,Many car owners have experienced the frustrating and alarming issue of finding oil stains under their vehicles. Not only does an engine oil leak create unsightly stains on driveways and parking lots, but it can also indicate a serious underlying problem with the vehicle. In this blog post, we will explore some common reasons why your engine may be leaking oil.

1. Worn or Damaged Gaskets:

One of the most prevalent causes of an oil leak is worn or damaged gaskets. Gaskets are crucial components that create a tight seal between different engine parts, preventing oil from leaking out. Over time, gaskets can become brittle and fail due to heat, pressure, and general wear and tear. Common gasket failure points include the oil pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, and head gaskets. When these gaskets fail, it can lead to significant oil leaks that require immediate attention from a professional mechanic.

2. Faulty Oil Seals:

Similar to gaskets, oil seals are designed to keep the oil contained within the engine. They are typically found in components such as the crankshaft, camshaft, and timing cover. However, oil seals can wear out or become damaged due to age, excessive heat, or poor maintenance. When a seal fails, it allows oil to escape from the engine, resulting in visible leaks. Replacing faulty oil seals is essential to prevent further damage to the engine and ensure its proper functioning.

3. Loose or Broken Oil Drain Plug:

The oil drain plug is located at the bottom of the oil pan and is used to drain old oil during an oil change. If the drain plug is not properly tightened after an oil change or becomes loose over time, it can lead to an oil leak. Additionally, a damaged or broken drain plug can also cause oil to escape from the engine. Regularly checking the tightness of the drain plug and promptly replacing any damaged plugs can help prevent oil leaks.

4. Cracked or Damaged Engine Components:

Excessive heat, pressure, and age can cause engine components to crack or become damaged. Common components that may develop cracks include the engine block, cylinder heads, and engine oil cooler. When any of these parts develop cracks, oil can seep out, resulting in a leak. Identifying and repairing cracks in engine components is crucial to prevent further damage and maintain the overall health of the engine.

5. Overfilled or Contaminated Oil:

Sometimes, an oil leak can be as simple as an overfilled or contaminated oil system. Overfilling the engine with oil can cause excess pressure, resulting in leaks. Similarly, if the engine oil becomes contaminated with coolant or fuel, it can affect its viscosity and lead to leaks. Regularly checking the oil level and ensuring that it is clean and free from contaminants can help prevent oil leaks.


Finding oil stains under your vehicle is never a pleasant sight. It is important to address an oil leak promptly to prevent further damage to the engine and maintain its performance. By understanding the common causes of engine oil leaks, such as worn gaskets, faulty oil seals, loose drain plugs, cracked engine components, and overfilled or contaminated oil, you can take appropriate measures to prevent and resolve oil leaks. Remember, if you are unsure about the cause of the oil leak or if it persists despite your efforts, it is always best to consult with a certified mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing is a full-service auto mechanic and repair shop in Chino, CA. For over 20 years, our auto repair shop has provided expert automotive technicians that are highly trained in both foreign and domestic vehicles. It is always our goal to satisfy you and enable you to get the most out of your vehicle. A well-maintained vehicle will give you years of enjoyment. We specialize in BMW vehicles and offer work on a variety of parts, including brakes, carburetors, charging systems, air conditioning systems, electrical components, and emissions. We also perform diesel tune-ups and repairs. For drivers throughout Chino and Chino Hills, CA, give us a call or stop by the shop today!

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