What Causes an Oil Leak?

What Causes an Oil Leak?

Catching oil leak problems early saves customers money and hassle down the road.

When a customer comes into your shop for tires, it presents you with an opportunity to assess their vehicle’s overall health. As tire specialists, you know the importance of inspecting beyond your core service, as catching small issues early prevents bigger problems down the road, and allows you to provide additional services.

One area we pay close attention to is oil leaks. Let’s talk more about that in this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video.

Oil coats nearly every moving part in an engine, providing essential lubrication. However, when external leaks occur, oil drips onto components it shouldn’t, like exhaust pipes, hoses and wiring. Prolonged dripping degrades these parts, potentially leading to breakdowns or electrical shorts.

Failed gaskets and seals are the most frequent culprits of oil leaks. The valve cover and oil pan gaskets endure extreme temperatures, eventually hardening and cracking. Pressurized leaks come from components like oil filters, switches and pump housings. Not to mention bad installation or incorrect torque that can cause leaks.

Worn crankshaft, camshaft and transmission seals also allow oil to leak and o-rings around canister oil filters can leak due to age and compromised tension. One of the most common mistakes occurs when drain plug washers get forgotten during routine oil changes – though designed as single-use, they often get reused until a leak develops.

Make it a point to show customers leaks when you see them and recommend replacing worn seals, gaskets, O-rings and drain plug washers to prevent future issues. Carefully following torque specs and using appropriate sealants also prevent leaks from faulty installation.

Catching problems early through inspections saves customers money and hassle down the road and shows you have their vehicle’s best interest in mind.

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