There is nothing as disturbing as coming home from a long day from school or work to find a nasty oil stain in your garage driveway. It surely did not seem that way the day prior, and now you may be concerned about what may be leaking from the undercarriage of your vehicle.

On this episode of Inside the Garage we discuss tips regarding those pesky oil leaks.

The very first basic tip of any suspect leak is to always ensure there is fluid in the engine crankcase, transmission, steering, and brake system. Remove the related dipsticks and check the levels. Topping off these fluids will immediately ensure that you do not damage the hardware of those systems. Additionally, always make sure that you utilize the correct fluids for the correct system/s of the vehicle. Mixing these fluids will cause more problems.

Smoke emanating from the tailpipe of your vehicle is a sure sign that either your piston rings or valve train components are tired and worn, which in most occasions will require major mechanical to remedy. If you're not seeing any oil on the ground, you are probably dealing with these type of concerns.

In most occasions where you may be leaking engine oil on to the hot exhaust manifold components, you will smell a burnt odor as well as see smoke from under the hood from the engine bay area. Don’t take this particular symptom lightly, as this could be a potential fire hazard as well as intoxicate the inside of your cabin of the vehicle making you dizzy or perhaps noxious.

A common area of these smokey odorous leaks can be from the valve cover gaskets. They are not terribly expensive to replace and will make a huge difference.

If your engine is consuming oil, and your tailpipe does not seem to blow or puff blue smoke, you more than likely have leaking spark plug tube grommet seals. These seals are mounted internally in the valve cover body, and you won't see any external oil leaking on to the ground. If the valve cover rubber gaskets are being replaced and you have this design of tube grommets, make sure to replace those rubber seals while you're in there.

After a recent oil change, you may have developed a new oil leak.

What can be common during an oil leak is an oil filter that is not torqued properly or the vital rubber seal on the body of the oil filter may be leaking. Replace it with a new oil filter. Additionally, it is always a good measure to replace at least the oil drain plug o-ring/gasket or even better yet, the complete drain plug. These drain plugs are inexpensive and will give you peace of mind and of course a clean driveway.

If you're in the Chandler, AZ neighborhood, stop on by for a cup of coffee and we can give you a tour of the Garage.

Stay tuned for next weeks episode of car care tips from Inside the Garage.

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