Oil is basically your car’s red blood cells. Without it, your car will not last long. In fact, without it, your car will not run at all, it will just grind itself to a halt within moments. You probably want to get an oil change before that happens, but the thing about oil changes is they only work when your oil is there in the first place.
Sometimes the oil does not have the good sense and decency to stay there and rot like normal. Sometimes it gets so ambitious and adventurous that it makes a daring escape out of the circulatory system of your car in the form of an oil leak. You will want to spot these soon, as they can only get worse.
So, here are a few ways to spot an oil leak before it becomes an even bigger problem.
• Brown or Black Puddles Under Your Car
Now, do not get confused: You will likely have liquids leak from your car every so often. The most common is water leaking from the tailpipe, which is really just condensation created by the heat of the engine. But there are a few kinds of liquid leaks you have to watch out for. Anything that is discolored is a problem.
But the most obvious one will be the pitch-black leak of oil. It can also be brown, but the big thing to look for is its’ thickness rather than a particular color. This indicates a serious oil leak is on the way, so address it quickly.
• Burning Smell
Since cars have combustion engines it can be easy to assume that a burning smell is par for the course in most cars. This is the thought process of someone who has only ever driven old, used cars that are not made of the metal that constructs them.
There is nothing wrong with that, but it will cause you to perceive cars differently. Most cars, especially newer cars, are built to avoid exactly this kind of design flaw. After all, if you smelled the burning of your engine all the time, you would constantly be breathing in dangerous fumes.
In short, a burning smell means that the oil in your car has escaped the system that contains it. In short, it is indicative of an oil leak, potentially a dangerous one.
• Different Colored Oil
Not everyone knows how to check their oil, but it certainly does not hurt to learn as it will enable you to check for an oil leak using this method. The thing is, oil is smooth and somewhat transparent when it is flowing through your car. It is only after it has aged and been exposed to heat that it begins to coagulate.
When it does this, it becomes darker and thicker. This is a sign that your oil is either being exposed to something it shouldn’t or that it has run the natural course of its life. In either case, it is time for an oil change.
Speaking more generally, oil should be changed every 5000 miles of driving that a car does. So, if your oil needs changing after 5000 miles, that does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your car.