The oil pan is a metal container that holds the engine’s oil, that’s located under the car and attaches to the bottom of the engine. The engine has a lot of moving parts that need to be kept lubricated with engine oil so, if the pan or the gaskets start leaking, you need to act fast– continuing to drive your car without the proper amount of oil can result in severe damage to the engine. Here are some signs to watch for:
Consistent oil leak in the same spot under your car
If you see a puddle under your car every morning, even if it’s small, that’s a huge red flag. There may be a small hole or tear in the pan that needs to be repaired before it grows into a larger problem. Monitor the oil level for a few days, both by checking with your engine’s dipstick and tracking the size of the puddle under your car. If the oil levels are noticeably lower or the puddle is getting bigger, it’s time to see the mechanic. Simply adding oil won’t solve the problem but it can help you make it to the mechanic if your levels are drastically low.
Not sure if the puddle you’re seeing is actually an oil leak? Use our guide to diagnose the stain.
Engine oil warning light in the dashboard
If your engine catches the problem before you do, you’ll definitely have to get your car serviced. If your oil low warning light becomes illuminated, call your mechanic as soon as possible and make an appointment to have the system inspected and repaired. Check the oil level with your dipstick and add a quart if needed, just to make sure you have enough to get to the auto shop.
Smoke sneaking out from the engine compartment
This can happen for a variety of reasons, none of which are good. The most common reason for this ominous smoke is due to oil leaking on hot exhaust pipes– but there’s no way to know for sure without having your car inspected by a professional. For your safety, and to prevent further damage to your engine, take your car to the mechanic.
Your engine needs oil to function properly and safely. Any time your vehicle is serviced or inspected, you should have the oil checked. At V&F Auto, our certified mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.