What’s something you look for but hope never to see? Sounds like a children’s riddle, but since the answer is “an engine oil leak,” this is most definitely not fun and games!
IT CAN START WITH BROWN OR BLACK SPOTS ON YOUR DRIVEWAY
Oil can leak as you’re driving, but a dark puddle of liquid under your car is more noticeable than fluid dripping on the road while you’re moving. Why is your car leaking oil? The culprit could be something simple:
Loosened or broken filler cap on the oil tank
The oil drain plug needs to be tightened
A degraded oil filter
These could be straightforward fixes that you handle yourself. Or you can bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube® and let a trained technician diagnose and repair the problem. One thing you don’t want to do is ignore the leak. Either DIY or have a professional look at your car right away.
GASKET TROUBLE IS A COMON CAUSE OF OIL LEAKS
Gaskets carry oil throughout the engine. The gaskets themselves can degrade over time, and their seals eventually wear out and become brittle. When this happens, they can’t perform as they were designed to, and motor oil leaks can occur.
Repairing a broken gasket is a job for a professional. Bring your car to Jiffy Lube, where technicians have the time, training and tools to do the job right. Then the Jiffy Lube tech can suggest ways to avoid the problem in the future. For example, a switch to high-mileage motor oil may be in order. High-mileage oil is formulated with conditioners that can help seals retain their original pliability. Did you know most Jiffy Lube locations use quality Pennzoil® products that meet or exceed vehicle manufacturer recommendations?
IS BLUE SMOKE COMING FROM THE EXHAUST?
That can be the sign of an engine oil leak, too. The problem is likely a faulty valve seal or piston ring. When working properly:
Valve seals help prevent oil from leaking into the main engine area
Piston rings provide lubrication control within the engine
Blue smoke is a sign that the valve seals or piston rings are allowing oil to leak into the engine’s combustion chamber. Bring your vehicle to Jiffy Lube for a diagnosis and, if necessary, an oil leak repair.
Drivers sometimes see black liquid coming from the exhaust and assume it’s oil coming out of exhaust. It’s probably not oil, but water. Water should come out of the exhaust as thin white vapor, but it can condense into liquid if the surface of the exhaust is cold enough. Black smoke is an indication that there’s a problem and you should discuss it with a car care professional.
GET THE OIL LEAK SERVICED RIGHT AWAY
You may have seen the signs of a leak — the dark spots under your car or the blue smoke from the exhaust — and now you wonder if a car leaking oil is safe to drive. The answer is NO, and here’s why:
As the engine heats up, the temperature of the oil will heat up, too. If that heated oil leaks onto the hot exhaust, it could catch fire.
When oil is leaking, it’s not providing adequate lubrication, and you could find your engine could require expensive, extensive repairs.
REMEMBER, JIFFY LUBE KNOWS OIL
With many locations around the United States, one is likely right there in your neighborhood and ready to handle oil leaks. Bring your car, truck, SUV or minivan to Jiffy Lube at the first sign of trouble. You can rely on the technician to inspect your vehicle, diagnose the problem, answer your questions and give you an estimate before any work is done.
THE JIFFY LUBE SIGNATURE SERVICE® OIL CHANGE IS MORE THAN JUST AN OIL CHANGE
It’s a comprehensive preventive maintenance check for your entire vehicle in four steps:
Oil, with the type, weight, and volume recommended by the manufacturer
Exterior windows and mirrors
Vacuum interior floors
Engine air filtration
Brake fluid level (in transparent reservoirs)
Chassis (lubricate where available)
Differential/transfer case fluid
Power steering fluid
Windshield washer fluid
Battery water (excluding sealed battery)
After these four steps are completed, the technician can place a sticker on the upper left corner of your windshield to remind you of when your next oil change is due. Or, if your vehicle has a dashboard message center that displays oil life, the monitor will be reset to reflect your new engine oil change.
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE MAKES SENSE...AND CENTS
One of the best ways to avoid finding yourself with a car leaking oil is to stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Routine general maintenance will leave you feeling confident because your car is performing dependably. It’s also good for your wallet because:
Regular maintenance may keep your vehicle in compliance with its warranty (where applicable)
An efficient vehicle will get better mileage
A well-maintained vehicle may bring you more at trade in
Count on Jiffy Lube for maintenance that follows your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations and takes your individual driving habits and conditions into account.