Locating an Oil Leak

Locating an Oil LeakAn oil leak in your car can be a very serious thing, and unfortunately it seems like it can happen to anyone at any time. The signs of a leak are many—you might smell burning oil in your car, or while you’re out driving the streets of Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg, Doylestown, or Flemington, you could see that oil pressure light ignite on your dash. You might also see the black puddle under your car.

One thing is for certain; when you have a leak, you need to get it fixed right away to prevent serious and expensive damage to your car’s inner workings. If you can locate the leak, however, you can sometimes mitigate the problem until you get it into the repair shop. Learn about oil leaks, what to do to address a car leaking oil and how to find the source so you can keep driving safely.

Finding Oil Leaks: Talcum or Baby Powder

One of the two most common methods of dealing with a car leaking oil is to use talcum or baby powder to find the source. This method is best suited when there are leaks that originate at the upper part of the engine, but what is really required is that you are able to reach the area of the leaks so that you can apply the powder.

First, you’ll open the hood and look for leaks. Use a flashlight and be as thorough as possible as you look for shiny, wet areas. Then jack up the car and inspect the underside. Be sure to take safety precautions and do your homework before getting under a car.

Apply talcum powder to any areas you think might be the source of a leak. Be generous with it; the more you apply, the better able to see the leak you’ll be. Then drive the vehicle a bit and re-inspect the areas where the talc is applied to look for wet stains that color contrast the white powder.

Locating a Leak with a UV Light

Locating an Oil Leak The powder method might not be conclusive, or you may be unable to access the area where the leak seems to originate. In this case, a UV dye and light can help to locate any oil leaks. This method is more conclusive but does involve specialized tools. Inspect the engine just as instructed in the talc method, above.

Next, you’ll need automotive grade UV dye. Follow the instructions to add the dye to the engine by way of the oil filter. Then drive the vehicle for at least 20 minutes, longer if the instructions say so. As the dye mixes with the oil, it’ll make any leaky areas detectable via UV light.

Dealing with Oil Leaks at Fred Beans 

If you’re anywhere in the Philadelphia, Doylestown, Flemington, or Mechanicsburg area, Fred Beans can help you deal with a leaky oil problem. Contact us today and let our trained and certified auto mechanics not only find the leak but take care of the problem before you end up with serious problems.