You drive off from your driveway and see that there is a puddle of oil sitting there, staining the concrete. We’ve all been there, and we’ve probably all gotten a little upset and confused about the cause of the leak, too.
An oil leak can be especially troublesome for drivers of Volkswagens, who depend on their car for the reliability and quality that VWs are known for. To address this troubling problem, we are going to offer a few different explanations for why your VW is leaking oil. In addition, there are going to be some brief things you can do to fix the leak.
First, let’s make sure that the substance leaking from your engine is indeed oil, and not water or some other engine substance like coolant.
Making Sure It’s Oil
Oil is dark brown in color, which will be the primary way to indicate an oil leak. Other colors, like red or green, are indicative of other engine liquids.
A red puddle is usually a sign of a transmission fluid leak, a problem which also needs to be addressed by yourself or a mechanic. A green puddle is a sign of a coolant leak, which will affect how well your car and its cooling system operates.
The dark-brown fluid puddle is most likely oil, so now let’s try to see what’s causing it.
Broken Seals or Gasket
The seals and gaskets around your engine’s many different holes and heads begin to degrade over time with wear and tear, thanks to the high temperatures and expanding metal within the engine head.
The seals and gaskets, intended to keep the oil in, may wear down and no longer be able to effectively do so, causing a leak of motor oil.
Depending on whether the faulty gasket is the head gasket, oil pan gasket or other will affect how one goes about fixing the faulty gasket. A blown head gasket is usually caused by warping due to an overheated car and can be costly, and may even mean the end of a car.
Remove the oil pan if the oil pan gasket is to blame, and replace the gasket. The bolts holding the pan in place all thread into the engine block, so be careful.
Oil Pan Plug Not Fastened Correctly
If an inexperienced mechanic changed your oil last time, there’s a chance you may have threaded the plug to the oil pan incorrectly, causing oil to leak from the bottom. It also may not be tightened fully. Hopefully, the threading has not been ruined.
There are temporary solutions for a leak coming from an oil pan plug, like a rubber plug. Eventually, however, you may have to get a new plug made for your VW if the threading on the plug or the pan has been damaged.
If not, the oil will need to be let out of the pan and the plug will need to be reinserted and fastened correctly.
Damaged Oil Pan
A damaged oil pan will leave a large puddle of oil below your vehicle. The pan is where the oil is stored and is susceptible to damage from rocks, debris and impact from potholes. If the damage is severe, a hole may form that causes the oil to leak.
A cracked oil pan can be fixed, at least temporarily, before being replaced. Fix this quickly before too much oil has leaked that causes damage to your vehicle.
You will need to drain the oil from your vehicle and clean the cracked area of your oil pan with mineral spirits. Then, apply cold welding compound and wait for the compound to dry. You must then wait for around 20 hours for the compound to fully set.
BavariumAutoworks Can Repair Your VW’s Oil Leak
If you have an issue with your VW, like an oil leak, and you don’t feel comfortable doing the repair, or are maybe just too busy, BavariumAutoworks in Mountain View, California is here for you. Our high-quality repairs and regular servicing are unmatched and our friendly staff make sure that you feel like family.
We proudly serve the communities of Cupertino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga and Mountain View, and we believe that our customers should be able to depend on us. Because we specialize in Volkswagens and other European vehicles, you know that you are getting the best repair and maintenance possible.