Why Is My Car Leaking Oil When Parked?

Why is my parked car leaking oil

Why Is My Car Leaking Oil When Parked?

It is often said that changing the oil is the single most important thing you can do to take care of your car. Nevertheless, it is something that many automobile owners delay—and the results of procrastination can be dire.

The purpose of oil is to cut down on friction within your engine. When you have high quality, clean oil that is doing its job properly, it means the components of your engine are working well without rubbing together and causing corrosion. Over time, though, oil becomes contaminated and loses its viscosity. In a word, it gets dirty. And when that happens, it loses its ability to prevent friction—which means the components of your engine will literally be wearing each other down, causing erosion and potentially significant mechanical failings.

 

Common Signs of Oil Leaks

One way to know that you’ve gone far too long without an oil change is that oil is leaking from your engine. One of the most typical signs of oil leak is seeing a puddle of greasy-looking brown liquid under your car, after it has been parked for a while. (By contrast, if the liquid is pink, it’s transmission fluid; if it’s green or orange, it’s coolant.)

However, many vehicles today have shielding underneath, which will most likely catch the oil before it hits the ground. That can hide a potentially major oil leak. In this case, a low oil level indicator will be your sign of leakage.

An engine covered in oil is also a pretty good sign of leakage. Open your hood every once in a while, and check your vehicle’s fluids. You will be able to notice if the oil is leaking or seeping from several places. Last, but not least, when oil is leaking, it can get in contact with hot engine surfaces, which means it will burn, and you’ll be able to smell it.

 

But What Causes Oil To Leak, Exactly?

Usually, it is due to degraded engine gaskets or oil seals. Sometimes these components will erode over time, but more likely than not, if you have this kind of leak, it’s because you have old, dirty oil—perhaps because you have not had your oil changed recently enough.

Damaged Oil Gaskets or Pans

Your vehicle’s oil pans and gaskets can easily be damaged by road debris since they are located at the bottom of the engine. Rough roads can lead to a hole which will cause an oil pan leak. The pan’s gasket usually suffers a lot of wear and tear, or it can also get damaged, which leads to an oil gasket leak.

Incorrect Installations

It may happen that one of the gaskets that keep oil inside is Improperly installed. Most commonly, this happens when the oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket are over-tightened. It can also happen when tightness is not evenly distributed. Another reason can be the improper attachment of the oil filter, as the engine oil flows continuously through it, and if it’s loose, you can experience a leak there.

Bad Rings or Valve Seals

Leaking rings or valve seals can also be contributing to your car losing oil. However, if there are no holes in your gaskets, the oil will not make it outside the engine, so you won’t notice it, as it will get burned up in the combustion process.

Regardless of the specific cause, it is urgent to stop an oil leak, so take your vehicle to the Meineke shop immediately. Following the oil leak, you may encounter the smell of burnt oil, followed by blue smoke and ultimately some major damage to your engine. Do not delay in addressing this issue.

Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil vs. Conventional Oil

Conventional and synthetic oils begin in the ground. But that’s where the similarities end. 

Synthetic oil is not only refined but also distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules. This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines. These customized molecules provide higher levels of protection and performance than conventional oils. But the synthetic base oil is only half the story. The correct blend additives must go into the mix to create the oil.

Our Synthetic Oil has a unique, balanced formulation to keep your engine running like new. So what are the benefits of using professionals? We will pick the correct oil for your needs like Synthetics typically outperform conventional motor oils in providing more protection for your vehicle. Here’s how all that chemistry translates to the real world.

Synthetic motor oil keeping your engine clean

Keep your engine cleaner
As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits. Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine’s efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine. Synthetic oils contain fewer impurities compared to conventional motor oils and can better resist the formation of sludge thereby preventing deposits from forming in your engine.


Synthetic motor oil for engine wear protection

Offer greater engine wear protection
Engine parts are in constant contact with each other. They’re also moving at high speeds. In the extreme environment of your engine, components can wear and break down. Your motor oil is the protective barrier between these components. As conventional oils break down, their ability to prevent engine wear diminishes. Synthetic motor oils, on the other hand, retain their wear protection properties for a much longer time, increasing engine life.


Mobil 1™ oil in car driving in cold weather with snow on ground and trees

Flow better in low temperatures
When your car sits for awhile (let’s say overnight) the oil settles. But, when you fire up the ignition, it begins flowing through critical engine parts to protect against friction. With conventional oils, it takes more time until they are able to flow smoothly through the engine. During the cold winter months, or if you live in an extremely cold environment, this flow process takes even longer. Synthetic motor oils, however, are engineered to flow quickly even at low temperatures, and they start protecting your engine right after you start your car.


Synthetic oil in car protects in desert high temperatures

Protect better at high temperatures
When running, engines are hot. Really, really hot. Over time, the high temperatures in your engine can cause conventional motor oils to break down or evaporate exposing your engine to wear. Synthetic motor oils are engineered to resist these high temperatures, which is especially important if you’re driving in hot climates.


Synthetic oil protects turbocharger engine parts

Protect critical turbocharger parts
To meet consumer demand, automakers are building cars with smaller engines (for greater fuel efficiency) but adding turbochargers (to boost power). We already mentioned how engines run at high temperatures, which can break down conventional oils faster, but today’s turbocharged engines are even more aggressive. The shaft inside a turbocharger can spin upwards of 200,000 revolutions per minute, so it’s critical that your motor oil can get to that shaft and lubricate it properly very quickly. Conventional oils can break down faster under these conditions and leave deposits on turbocharger components, which can lead to failure. Synthetic oil can protect these components much better than conventional oils, keeping them operating at peak performance and boosting your engine’s power.