Picture this, you walk into the parking lot, maybe you’re on your way home from a day of hard work, and the first thing you see is the black puddle of engine oil under your car. At this point in time, you know it’s an oil leak, so what are you going to do about it?
Engine oil plays a massive role in every vehicle with a fuel-powered engine in it. It shouldn’t be taken for granted and needs a constant inspection to make sure there’s no problem with it.
There may be different signs and sources of where these oil leaks came from, especially if you had oil leaks a day or two after recently changing oil. It’s kind of a bummer having to replace your car oils a day after you recently changed them.
In this article, we’ll talk about the job of engine oil, signs of oil leaking and its possible sources, what would happen if there was no engine oil in a car, and the frequently asked questions about oil leaks.
What Does Engine Oil Do?
Oil is one of the most essential fluids found in a car that allows it to operate as a typical transportation vehicle. Oil is also one of the most accessible fluids to maintain in a car to make sure it’s working as it should be.
This begs the question, what does engine oil do in a vehicle? It makes sense that you know the engine oil’s job in a car before you actually proceed to do maintenance routines. Besides, since engine oil is important in every vehicle, it’s essential to know why.
Watch Castrol’s video on How does car engine oil work? To get a better idea of what it does in every vehicle.
The most basic function of a motor/engine oil is to lubricate the engine’s moving components. Adequate lubrication allows the engine components to move past each other without too much friction between moving parts.
Not only does it lubricate, but it also helps clean out the engine and the components around it. Excess amounts of dirt, dust, and debris buildup can cause an increase in wear and tear in the vehicle, potentially reducing the lifespan of the engine.
Since the engine oil is in liquid form, it can squeeze through the different parts of the engine, it gathers all the dirt and debris buildup. Hence, improve the quality of the engine’s performance while making sure the engine parts are absolutely clean.
Modern motor oils are highly specialized products that engineers and scientists have developed to ensure your car is running at its maximum potential. The additives in the oil will increase the car’s performance since it reduces friction, cleans internal parts, and many more.
Since we’re talking about signs of oil leaking after an oil change is completed, we might as well know the crucial functions of motor oil. If you didn’t know already, motor oil and engine oil are entirely the same. Some brands use these words interchangeably.
In this section, we will talk about the 5 essential functions of motor oil in every vehicle. Here’s the list explaining the functions of motor oil in detail:
- Reduce Friction
Since the engine/motor oil is mainly used for lubrication, it reduces the friction between engine parts. Many problems can arise when there’s too much friction between components. There are special additives in engine oil that’s responsible for the oil’s thickness. It’s called viscosity.
Viscosity is the property in engine oil that separates it from normal fluids. For example, a type of oil called multi-grade oil can keep up with the engine’s heat. Before turning up the engine, it has a low viscosity, and it gradually increases when the operating temperatures rise.
Regardless of what type of engine oil you use, problems like loud engine noises, excessive car shaking while idle, and increased fuel consumption will be present if you fail to change/renew the engine oil in your oil pan.
- Clean Out the Engine and the Components Around It
Cleaning the engine and the components around it isn’t the primary purpose of engine oil. Still, it’s great at keeping dust and debris away from the engine from time to time. Every vehicle with engine oil has oil filters because these oils can passively clean out components.
However, over long periods, the oil filter can be full of dirt that doesn’t have the capacity to filter sludge anymore. That’s also one of the reasons why you need to change the oil and oil filter. The oil becomes a black sludgy liquid, and that’s ineffective for the engine in terms of lubrication.
- Serves as a Coolant
Similar to cleaning the engine’s components, it also passively serves as a coolant. Since there’s less friction between parts, heat is less likely to transfer between parts quickly. It acts as an invisible sheet between parts almost.
Think about it, the engine oil is like this extra layer of protection before metal parts pass through each other. It’s incredible.
- Protection Against Corrosion
Because oil has special additives, manipulating the viscosity depending on the temperature at will, some engine oils have features that can protect your engine against corrosion.
Engineers decided to add this additive in oils and a standard to make sure that the engine oil is a multi-purpose fluid that can keep up with the engine as it becomes older and older to make sure the driver gets the most out of their vehicle.
- Lessens Car Problems While Reducing Wear and Tear
Since engine oil provides lubrication, protects against corrosion, and serves as a passive coolant, it tremendously lessens the possibility/risk of having car problems in the future. For example, you’ll save more fuel compared to a car with poorly maintained engines.
So those are the 5 important and essential functions in every vehicle. Judging by the list, we can clearly say that engine oils and motor oils play a huge role in car maintenance.
Overall, suppose you regularly do car inspections, checkups, and routine checks. In that case, you shouldn’t be worrying too much about your car’s condition. Generally, problems in cars only arise if the owner has not been paying attention to the car’s performance.
The Engine Without Engine Oil – What Could Happen?
According to AlohaAutoRepair, when there is no oil between the parts, they will begin to come in contact with each other at high speed. It will take no time to destroy the engine. This is just a little heads up on why YOU SHOULDN’T run your car without engine oil.
Some people might say, “It’s just some engine oil. It’s not like it’s going to break my car!” Well, if you’re one of these people, then you’re definitely wrong because if engine oil was absent in a car, it wouldn’t even go that far.
Still curious about what would happen? Check out Fifth Gear’s video on Driving a Car With No Oil and see how far he goes.
In order for a vehicle to move at high speeds, the engine needs to generate so much power to make the engine move incredibly fast in a short amount of time. There is not much distance between each engine part to be as efficient with fuel as possible.
Without the engine oil, you’re risking your engine to excessive friction and an overheating engine which can cause even more significant problems if not repaired right away.
So what are you supposed to do when your car apparently doesn’t have engine oil anymore? Well, we have simple steps to follow to make sure you can get to your destination safely and quickly.
- When there’s entirely NO ENGINE OIL in your vehicle. You should stop immediately. This can happen when there are leaks in your oil pan, causing your engine oil to exit your vehicle.
- Pullover, kill the engine, make sure it gets cooled down before you drain it, and add new engine oil. If there’s an oil leak, you should call your local towing services and request a rescue because using the car even for just a few seconds could ruin it.
- Take your car to the car shop. We know that taking it to the car shop will be a bit costly, but think about it, it’s a safer option of determining where the problem lies in your car, rather than fixing it by yourself and it ends up getting broken again and again.
Never drive your car without oil. Keep this in m. Never ever disregard your oil engine levels because it can significantly cost you a lot on repair fees. Driving your car without engine oil is like constantly scratching a metal surface with a steel bar.
In case you get yourself in a situation where your car has a leak, and there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s always helpful to have a car shop or a towing service number in your contacts. They’ll be your last hope when it comes to getting out of bad situations with cars.
In the end, it’s always important to fill in your car with some good oil all the time. Changing oil is not hard. You can even do it yourself at home. All you need to do is constantly check the engine oil level from time to time to make sure you know when to change your engine oil.
Signs of Oil Leaking After an Oil Change: How to Fix It
Picture this, it’s a typical day, you’re leaving after work, and you notice this little puddle under your car. At first thought, you may think that “Maybe there’s water underneath my car before I parked there,” but as you closely observe the puddle, you notice it’s actually engine oil.
First, seeing this messy leak under your car, you may think that it would cost you a lot of money, well you’re right. Fixing an oil leak isn’t easy.
Here’s a list of the signs that your car is leaking oil after you get an oil change:
Oil Puddles Underneath the Car
This should be the most apparent sign amongst them all. The first thing you should notice if there’s an oil leak in your car is a puddle forming underneath the vehicle. Leaking oil will find its way around the parts, and if it drips for too long, it creates a micro pool of oil.
Run Out of Oil Quickly
After changing oil, you should notice that your engine oil level is up, and the oil sensor light is not on. However, if there was a leak and you left your car overnight in your garage unnoticed, the oil level light is going to turn on the next day.
This will leave you in confusion. You might think to yourself, “I changed my engine oil yesterday. Why is the oil light on?”, this should be a great indicator that there’s a leak in your oil pan gasket.
Engine Is Abnormally Overheating
The worst-case scenario of having oil engine leaks is having an overheated engine being run at high speeds. In some cases, it may even be possible to see some visible smoke going out of the engine’s hood, which is incredibly bad for your car.
Longer Engine Starts
This may be a subtle sign, but it’s a sign after all. Usually, this happens to cars with low engine oil levels, but since your vehicle might be running an engine with an oil leak, there’s a high possibility that after 3-4 days, there’ll be little-to-no oil in your engine.
Now you know some of the signs of oil leaking after an oil change. So, what would a responsible car owner do? Get the leak fixed, obviously.
A professional mechanic in your local car shops could accurately point out the source of the leak, but in the meantime, we have a few ideas for you to guess where the leak might be.
DISCLAIMER: There are many different car manufacturers and models around the world. The list of possible signs and sources of oil leaks is just the common origins of oil leaks. The list is not a thorough walkthrough. Instead, we’re just pointing out the common signs.
So let’s get on with it. Here are the possible signs and sources of oil leaks in your car after getting an oil change:
- The Oil Pan Gasket
- The Oil Filter and the Oil Drain Plug
- Valve Cover Gasket
- Front and Rear Crankshaft Seals
The most common place to check for engine oil leaks is from the oil pan gasket. Although it’s rare for the oil pan gasket to directly have an oil leak, it may just be a timing belt cover leak or a camshaft seal leak causing the problem.
Keeping all those things in mind, you’re probably better off sending your car to the car shop rather than trying to fix the problem yourself.
Changing The Engine Oil Regularly
Since engine oil plays a massive role in every vehicle, it just makes sense that you need to change it regularly, right? Changing oil is very simple to do, so simple that with the right tools and knowledge, you can change the engine oil yourself.
Changing oil regularly should be on your car maintenance checklist (if you have one, we highly recommend you make one if you haven’t). Changing oil yourself will cost around $75. The money is mainly spent on the engine oil and the tools you use.
Want to change oil by yourself? Watch CrisFix’s video on How to Change Your Oil (COMPLETE GUIDE).
However, if you decide to take it to the car shop, it will cost an average of $300 because they charge extra for the mechanic’s service fee.
We highly recommend you. Some change the engine oil regularly to prevent most common problems like an overheated engine, increased fuel consumption, and longer car starts.
The frequent time to check your engine oil level is around once a month. Regardless of the recommended frequency to check your engine oil level, you can always do it in your spare time if you want to. You know, just to make sure you check the engine oil level from time to time.
Oil Leak Problems: Preventive Measures and Maintenance Tips
Oil leaks are unfortunate events for you and your car. You won’t be able to use your vehicle for a long time, plus it’s probably going to cost you a lot of money letting a professional mechanic look into your problem and fix the oil leak.
- Regularly Check the Engine Oil Level
- Spot Out Puddles of Oil Underneath Your Vehicle
- Make Sure the Drain Plug and Other Seals are Closed Tight
These are just simple tips on doing preventive measures to avoid oil leaks. It’s straightforward yet effective, so you should try doing them from time to time to make sure you won’t experience this problem in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Drive a Car With an Oil Leak?
Yes, but high DON’T RECOMMEND IT. Driving a car with an oil leak is possible. However, the car won’t even last long enough if you continue driving without engine oil. It’s so dangerous that your vehicle will shut down before you can go for 1 hour.
So, what are the damages that could happen if you drive your car with an oil leak? First of all, there might be little-to-no oil in the oil pan gasket, so you’re probably running your engine with zero lubrication, zero protection from corrosion, and run the risk of an overheating engine.
If you still decided to continue driving a car with an oil leak, well, think again because every minute that you run your car without oil, it’s progressively getting wear and tear because there’s no layer of protection between the engine’s components anymore.
How Much Will an Oil Change Cost Me? Are They Expensive?
Both yes, and no. An oil change is one of the cheapest maintenance expenses when it comes to car maintenance. It really depends on who’s doing it. If you know the DIY (Do It Yourself) Method of changing oil, then you’re going to save a tremendously large amount of money.
However, taking it to the car shop may cost you triple the amount it would typically cost you if you did it yourself. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that taking it to the car shop is a bad deal. Some car shops offer free car inspections to see if your car has current issues.
How Does Engine Oil Protect the Engine?
Other than reducing A LOT of friction by providing adequate lubrication, it also protects against corrosion. Engine oils have special additives that make it possible to serve as an extra layer for protection against corrosion.
Do I Have to Drain the Engine Oil Every Time I Change It? Why Not Add More?
Yes! It’s VERY IMPORTANT to drain the engine oil every time you change it. More importantly, you should give your car a slight cool down so that all the oil will gather in the oil pan to make sure you drain all the old engine oil.
It isn’t ideal to simply add more oil because, one, you will overfill your oil pan, two, it isn’t ideal to mix new engine oil with old engine oil simply because of the difference in quality between the two.
Why Is the Engine Oil Important in a Car?
Engine oils are small portions of liquid found in a car primarily responsible for lubricating and cooling. It’s important because it reduces contact between engine parts by acting as a layer between parts to ensure less friction than usual.