Not all engine oil leaks are the same. Some are visible all the time, with puddles of oil visible wherever you park. Others appear when you’re parked on an incline. Others may not show up when your engine is cold and only appear while you’re driving. This last type of engine oil leak can be hard to detect, but it can create big problems.
The only way to see if your engine is leaking oil while you’re driving is to keep a close eye on your engine oil level. While most modern vehicles include an oil level and life monitor, older-model cars need to be checked using the dipstick. We suggest checking it on a regular basis. Make a habit of checking your oil level several times per month, or before you head out on a major drive. If you detect your oil level dropping, start checking the level more often.
Very slight oil consumption is normal, but your oil shouldn’t need to be topped between changes. If you discover that you’re losing oil while driving, it can be because of a few reasons:
- Your engine is burning oil. This can occur as your piston rings wear down, allowing your engine oil into the combustion chamber where it is burnt off when your engine fires. This will usually be accompanied by dark smoke out of your tailpipe.
- Your seals only leak at temperature or under high pressure. At rest and with a cold engine, your engine seals and gaskets may be able to stop oil from leaking. When your car is running, pressure and stress can force oil past your seals as you drive down the road.
- Oil is leaking out but pooling on heat shields or frame components. Small engine oil leaks can often go undetected when you’re stopped because the oil has pooled on shields and shrouds and doesn’t collect on the ground. This oil often will run off onto the road as you drive.
As you can see, it’s hard to find definitive proof of an engine oil leak that occurs while you’re driving. The only sure sign is a loss of oil when you check the dipstick. If this is the case with your vehicle, it’s time to turn to Bar’s Leaks. A single application of one of our engine oil leak repair formulations is often enough to stop your leak, so you can get back on the road and not worry about losing oil while you’re driving.
Not sure what product to choose? We can help. If you have questions about your oil leak problem, we’ll be happy to talk you through it. Hit us up on Facebook, or simply contact us and we’ll have someone get back to you right away.