Oil is a vital component for a car to work correctly, since it helps lubricate the engine cylinders so the metal parts are not rubbing against other metal parts. Not having enough oil can cause these moving parts to seize, which will cause the engine to stop working. It is always a good idea to make sure your car has the proper amount of oil in it, which means checking levels and identifying leaks. Here are some ways that you can spot a motor oil leak.
Smelly and Dark Smoke
One indication that you'll notice is smoke that is smelly and dark coming from the engine. One reason this happens is the motor oil getting into places that it should not be. Once the engine gets hot, the oil burns off. Smoke will then come from under your car's hood after you've had the engine on long enough for it to get hot. The smoke and smell will typically be worse if it has been a while since you last drove your car, since an oil leak will have caused more oil to escape and burn off when you finally start the car.
Puddles and Drips
Another indication that you have a motor oil leak is if you suddenly start noticing a puddle of oil underneath your car. An oil leak is going to leave a puddle that is dark in color. Do not confuse it with transmission fluid, which can have a bright red color to it when the fluid is clean. The bigger the puddle, the more concerned you should be, since dripping oil is not something that is normal for a vehicle.
If there is not enough oil in the system, you will start to experience engine overheating. This is happening from the metal parts in the engine creating a lot of friction from not having enough oil. You'll most likely see the temperature gauge for your engine increase suddenly, and the engine temperature warning light will turn on.
When it gets to this point, your car is not safe to drive. Consider having your car towed to a local auto repair shop so that they can diagnose the leak and fix it. Driving the car in this state will create even more damage, which can lead to an expensive engine repair. Get your car off the road and have it serviced immediately for the best chance at saving it.
For more information contact companies like Wolfe's Foreign Auto.