Engine oil leaks are concerning and problematic for all drivers, let alone Volkswagen drivers who value efficiency and reliability. Though Volkswagen’s aren’t particularly prone to oil leaks over other types of vehicles, fixing such issues requires the expertise of a VW specialist to ensure the problem doesn’t occur again. In this article we’ll go over what causes oil leaks, how to detect them, and what you can do to fix them.
Is it Really Engine Oil?
Yes, the engine oil is important for your Volkswagen’s functioning. Keeping the oil in good condition and at the appropriate level is essential in order to keep the various components of the engine from causing friction, generating excessive heat, and prematurely wearing down parts. However, your VW also utilizes other fluids that can leak from time to time. Engine oil is distinct from other fluids in that is an amber or yellowish color, whereas coolant is bright-colored green or pink, transmission fluid is dark reddish brown, and regular condensation should be clear. Before you panic, make sure your Volkswagen is actually leaking oil.
Areas to Inspect
There are a few places that can cause disruption to the flow of oil in your Volkswagen, leading to leaks that are visible beneath the car or under the hood of the car. Leaks are problematic and can cause serious damage to your engine—especially if they go unaddressed for periods of time. If you notice any oil leaks, these are the first places to check:
The most common reason for oil leaks is improper servicing. A loose, worn, or untightened drain plug is a simple yet critical oversight in changing your VW’s oil. If the drain plug isn’t appropriately tightened back on, oil can leak beneath your car. If the drain plug is worn, then the service technician should suggest that it be replaced to avoid leaks.
Another common oversight by automotive services and individuals who change their own oil is forgetting to tighten the filler cap. A loose filler cap is far too common, and often leaks to messy, disastrous oil leaks. As the oil spills out over the cap, it drips down into the various parts of your engine; this is not only messy, it’s also dangerous and causes serious damage.
Valve Gasket Seal
The valve gasket seal is what’s responsible for keeping the engine oil contained within the system so that it doesn’t leak out and so that it circulates properly. Over time these seals and gaskets begin to wear under the high heat conditions of the engine. Volkswagens that have accumulated more mileage are at a higher risk for this happening, which makes ongoing maintenance a critical, preventive task.
Oil filters age and become worn over time, but they also accumulate gunk and debris which causes them to need to be replaced from time to time. A dirty oil filter can inhibit the proper flow of oil throughout your engine, and can cause deposits and buildup to occur. A dirty oil filter can cause an oil leak if it’s not able to filter oil through all the buildup quickly enough.
How to Prevent Oil Leaks From Occurring
It should come as no surprise that in order to prevent oil leaks from occurring in your Volkswagen, it is imperative to follow through with regular servicing. Here are a few things you can do to help:
The most important preventive task to keep oil leaks at bay is changing your oil and oil filter on a regular basis. It is usually recommended to change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first; however, if you drive in particularly dusty or rural areas, or are in a lot of stop-and-go traffic, you may need to change the oil and filter more frequently. It’s best to consult with a professional and follow your Volkswagen’s designated maintenance plan.
Routine vehicle inspections almost always involve checking the oil quality and level. Simply by keeping an eye on the oil, your automotive technician can determine if you are at risk of developing an oil leak.
Hiring a Specialist Can Save You Time and Money
Fixing an engine oil leak can be a relatively simple process, but it can also involve extensive repair work depending on the damages that have occurred and the origin of the problem. The Volkswagen pros here at Orion Automotive Services in Ann Arbor, MI, have diagnosed and treated countless oil leaks in VWs from all over the area. Oil leaks are relatively common, but when you hire a VW specialist to handle the issue it significantly reduces the likelihood of the problem occurring again, which will save you time and money in the long run. If you’d like to learn more about our pricing, appointment availability, or our qualifications, please get in touch with us directly.
* Volkswagen Touareg ІІ image credit goes to: PavloBaliukh.