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What Causes Engine Oil to Leak?

Oil changes are the single most important thing you should have done for your vehicle. It is also a service that occurs the most frequently over all the other services. Nevertheless, it is a maintenance task that car owners delay or skip. And doing so can result in major backlash. 


The purpose of motor oil is to lubricate your engine parts to minimize friction and damage. When you have clean oil flowing through your engine, the components can work seamlessly without bumping against each other. Over time, oil loses its viscosity and effectiveness. If you do your duty of changing this fluid, it can wear down your engine parts quickly and cause corrosion and other failures.


A common side effect of poor engine maintenance is oil leaks. If you notice a dark or greasy-looking puddle under your parked car, there’s a good chance your car is leaking oil. However, most cars nowadays are made with protection underneath to catch leaking oil. To make sure your not car is leaking oil, we recommend regularly inspecting your oil levels using the dipstick. 

What Can Cause Engine Oil to Leak?

  • Worn Gaskets and Seals

Most of the time, oil leaks through old and worn engine gaskets or fluid seals. These components can wear down naturally over time. Plus, leaving an old or dirty engine can wear them down quicker, causing leaks. 

  • Damaged Oil Pan

The oil pan can be found in a vulnerable area. Often, they get damaged by road debris. Rough roads and large bumps can puncture the pan, causing leaks. 

  • Bad Filters

Whenever you bring your car to a repair shop for an oil change, they will also change your oil filter. This component sifts out the dirt and other contaminants lingering in the oil so that your engine can get clean oil. When you forget about your oil changes, you also forget about your filter too. This filter will eventually get dirty and clogged, leading to leaks.

  • Poor Installation

Poor installations of gaskets, valves, and even the oil filter can cause oil to leak out. Make sure you bring your car to a trusted auto repair shop, with the right experience, for your oil changes. Otherwise, you can pay the price later for cheaping out.


Regardless of why your engine oil may be leaking, you should get help immediately. Your engine parts can break down and your engine may overheat. If you’re overdue for an oil change service, we invite you to Autotrends in Greensboro, NC, today!

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