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Early Warning Signs that You Have an Oil Leak

Published on: 23 October 2015

Early Warning Signs that You Have an Oil Leak

The most common and obvious symptom of an oil leak is the presence of a puddle beneath your vehicle that forms whilst the car is parked.

However, while most people might automatically assume that the leak in question is an oil leak, the fact of the matter is that there are actually over six different types of fluid that may be leaking – oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid, to name a few. Read on to learn how to tell the difference and how to look out for warning signs that your engine oil reservoir has been compromised.

Generally, you can tell what kind of a fluid leak your vehicle is experiencing by taking note of the colour and consistency of the puddle that forms below the engine:

  • Oil is usually light brown or black in colour with a medium consistency.
  • Transmission fluid is usually reddish; however, it can also be brown or black. The puddle will form underneath the car towards the centre.
  • Power steering fluid looks exactly like transmission fluid, but will pool towards the front of the car.
  • If you notice a leak that is slippery in consistency and a pale brown colour, you are most likely dealing with leaking brake fluid.
  • Brightly-coloured fluid that is either green, yellow or red could indicate a coolant leak.

Below are a few other tell-tale signs that your engine oil is leaking:

  • Your oil is consistently low
    If you find that you constantly have to top up your oil every time you visit the petrol station, the chances are high that you have a leak. In order to tell whether the leak is minor or a sign of something slightly more serious, top up your oil at home and check the level every half an hour or so. If the oil drains rapidly, you could have a hole in your oil pan.
  • You see oil that is milky in appearance
    If your oil looks slightly milky, there might be a crack in the engine block which is causing the oil to mix with water and slowly leak out.
  • Your clutch slips
    If your vehicle has manual transmission, your clutch might start to slip if there is an oil leak towards the back of the engine.
  • Your car emits blue smoke
    In the case that oil leaks onto your car’s exhaust while you are driving, you will likely notice the emission of blue-tinged smoke.

By keeping an eye out for the aforementioned signs, you will be able to detect an oil leak quickly, leaving you with plenty of time to remedy the problem before it can cause any permanent damage to your vehicle.

Protect your vehicle from harm, and don’t forget to invest in reliable car insurance! Contact MiWay today for a personalised quote.

Need to top up your oil? Watch this MiWay video to see how it’s done.