Volkswagens are full or character, allowing drivers to express their personality through the design of car. From camper vans to the classic Beetle, Volkswagen is a brand which offers value and personal expression for everyone. For many, some of the more vintage offerings from Volkswagens are their dream car. Many spend years saving up for the perfect model.
However, this dream can soon become a nightmare if the vehicle is not properly maintained. In this article, we will take a closer look at what causes oil leaks in the engine area of Volkswagens and what you should do about any oil leaks you find or are suspicious of occuring.
Identify the Type of Leak
Different car fluids have different colors. This is specific both for safety and to help the driver or mechanic assess which system might be leaking. If you find a leak that is:
- Dark brown/yellow (often accompanied with a slippery texture) – It is engine oil.
- Pink/red (with slippery texture) – It is transmission fluid.
- Green/Orange (sweet smelling) – It is antifreeze.
- Clear/Transparent – It is power steering fluid.
Causes of Oil Leaks From The Engine Area
There can be many causes of oil leaks of varying severity. Let’s explore some of the most common. It is important to note that any suspected issue with your engine, no matter how minor, should be investigated by a professional.
- Damage to the Oil Filter – The oil filter is responsible for catching contaminants from the engine oil, preventing debris from causing damage to other systems. If this has slipped from its position or become damaged, it could allow oil to leak. To help avoid this, replace your oil filter when you replace your engine oil.
- Damage to the Oil Drain Plug – The oil pan has a drain plug which is found at its base, accessible from the underside of the car. If this becomes worn out, it can allow oil to leak, often resulting in drips on the road beneath the car.
- Damage to the Oil Pan – In the same way that the plug can become damaged, so can the oil pan. This usually happens due to time and wear but can also occur when larger pieces of debris drop into the pan, causing it to crack. Like with the oil drain plug, you’ll likely find drops of oil under your car if the oil pan is damaged.
- Valves – If any of the valves in the engine oil system become worn out, oil will start to drip. This oil tends to leak within the engine system, and if it gets into the combustion chamber of the engine, the engine will start to emit a foul-smelling, blue-gray smoke when running.
- Poor Oil Quality – While saving money is great, in terms of engine oil, it can actually be more costly in the long run. Cheap engine oil typically has more contaminants and lacks the additives and conditioners required for optimum engine performance and care. This can cause other parts of the engine to work harder and in a poorer condition, causing them to wear out much faster.
- Cracked Cylinder Head – While uncommon, a cracked cylinder head can be one of the more prevalent cause of oil leakage in older cars. When the cylinder head cracks, it opens up what should have been a contained system, allowing oil to seep from the engine, where it typically can reach the coolant system. To diagnose this, check the oil cap and coolant cap for traces of engine oil.
Repairs and Maintenance
The main ways in which you can prevent any of the above issues from occurring is through regularly scheduled maintenance. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps ensure that all parts of your vehicle are in correct working order and allows any issue to be caught early before it can cause further or more severe damage.
If you’re a Volkswagen driver or a driver of Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Range Rover, or Lexus, and live in or around Spring Valley, Summerlin, Henderson, North Las Vegas, or Las Vegas, NV, take your car for service at European Motors. With highly qualified staff specializing in European cars, and a free car wash with every service, your Volkswagen will feel as good as new when you drive away.