Is Your Car Leaking Oil? Here's How to Tell and What to Do About It

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Is Your Car Leaking Oil? Here's How to Tell and What to Do About It

If you're like most people, your car is your lifeline. You rely on it to get you to work, take the kids to school, run errands, and more. But what happens when something goes wrong? One common problem that can cause stress and anxiety is an oil leak. How do you know if your car has an oil leak, and what should you do if it does? The Auto Shop in Jefferson City, Missouri, is here to help with these three signs to look out for.

Sign 1: Oil Spots on the Ground

One of the easiest ways to tell if your car is leaking oil is to look for spots on the ground where you park. If you notice small, dark spots, it could indicate that your car is leaking oil. Don't ignore these spots, as they can signify a bigger problem.

Sign 2: Burning Oil Smell

Another sign that your car may leak is the smell of burning oil. This can indicate that oil is leaking onto hot engine parts and burning. If you notice a burning oil smell while driving, it's essential to have your car checked out by a professional.


Here are some possible reasons why you might smell burning oil in your car:


Oil leaking onto hot engine parts: Oil leaking onto a hot engine part can burn and produce a strong odor. This can happen if there is a leak in the valve cover gasket, the oil pan gasket, or another part of the engine.

Oil leaking into the exhaust system: Oil leaking into the exhaust system can also burn and produce a strong odor. This can happen if there is a leak in the oil filter, the oil cooler line, or another engine part.

Worn piston rings: If your car has worn piston rings, oil can leak into the combustion chamber and burn, producing a strong burning oil smell.

Overfilled oil level: If you or someone else has overfilled the oil level in your car, it can cause the excess oil to burn and produce a strong odor.

Taking action quickly is essential if you notice a burning oil smell in your car. Continuing to drive your car with an oil leak can cause severe engine damage and even lead to a fire in extreme cases. 

Sign 3: Engine Warning Light

Finally, another sign that your car may be leaking oil is the engine warning light on your dashboard. This light can indicate many problems, including low oil pressure or an oil leak. If you notice the engine warning light on, a professional must check your car out as soon as possible.

Possible Causes of Oil Leaks

There are many possible reasons why your car may be leaking oil. One of the most common causes is a damaged or worn-out gasket. This can happen over time due to normal wear and tear or caused by an accident or other damage. Other possible causes of oil leaks include loose or damaged oil pan bolts, a damaged oil filter, or even a damaged engine block.

Taking Care of Your Car's Oil

To prevent oil leaks from happening, it's important to take good care of your car's oil. This means changing the oil regularly, as your car's manufacturer recommends. At The Auto Shop, we recommend changing your car's oil every 5,000 miles or every six months, whichever comes first. Regular oil changes can help keep your engine running smoothly and prevent costly repairs.


In addition to regular oil changes, there are other things you can do to take care of your car's oil. For example, check your car's oil level regularly using the dipstick. If you notice that your car is burning oil or losing oil between oil changes, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Make sure to have your car checked out by a professional if you notice any problems.

Trust The Auto Shop for Your Oil Change Needs

The Auto Shop is located at 612 Missouri Boulevard Court, Jefferson City, MO, 65109. Our shop is the only ASE blue-ribbon certified shop within 100 miles! We have diagnostic equipment in each tech bay, so you don’t have to wait around to get work done. Our business hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM. We accept cash, personal checks, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover for payments.