You may be wondering if you can drive your car long distance with an oil leak. Oil leaks are notoriously panic-inducing dilemmas.
For long-distance journeys, it can be even more stressful to identify an oil leak. Immediately you would start wondering if this is a cause for concern and if you can continue driving.
Driving a car long distance with an oil leak can be dangerous to you and others on the road. Oil is highly flammable and, as such, can ignite when it reaches high temperatures. A car oil leak is not only possibly causing a potential fire hazard, but it can also damage various car components. As you can imagine, this situation is less than ideal.
This article will address these worries and discuss the factors involved in identifying if you can continue driving or have no choice but to stop. We will look at why car oil is essential, what causes oil leaks, and how to prevent and fix them.
Why Car Oil Is Important
Car oil is vital to ensure your car operates how it should. Most people should be aware that regular oil changes are necessary to ensure that your vehicle is maintained. Regularly checking your car’s oil would also potentially alert you to any oil leaks that could be occurring.
An average car’s oil needs to be changed every three thousand miles to maintain your car’s performance levels.
Your car engine needs oil to lubricate the various car components. This oil travels in your car’s system and lubricates the engine itself. This prevents your engine from experiencing friction. The oil also lubricates the other car components to ensure that they are also not at risk of friction.
As your engine filters through the oil, it keeps debris from building and essentially cleans your car’s engine. Perhaps most importantly, oil keeps your car engine cool.
Why This Matters?
If you are traveling long distances, it’s vitally important to keep checking your car’s oil. If you haven’t been checking your oil regularly or if you have been using inferior oil products, you could be subjecting not only your car but yourself to a host of problems.
Furthermore, not having enough oil in the engine while driving is detrimental to the engine and can cause accidents. Not only is this a genuine worry, but you could also be subjecting yourself to potentially astronomical costs.
What Causes Car Oil Leaks?
So what exactly is causing your car oil to leak? There are many reasons for your car to be leaking oil while you are driving long distances. You will have to see how much your vehicle is leaking, as this would indicate what is causing your leak. If your car is leaking large amounts, it is a genuine concern.
If you are losing small amounts of oil, it might not cause too much concern. However, it is vital to remember that all car leaks should be addressed as even if it is a small leak now, it can turn into a big problem later.
There are many reasons why your car could be leaking oil while you drive short or long distances. Worn engine gaskets cause a majority of oil leaks. A degraded head gasket is the most common reason for your car to be leaking oil. If you are driving long distances, this is a genuine concern.
A worn head gasket could lead to your car breaking down and numerous car faults, the least of all being a blown head gasket. Besides a degraded head gasket, your vehicle could be leaking oil for a few other reasons. You have an oil pan leak, worn oil plug, worn oil filter, seized oil ring, faulty connections, or a missing oil cap.
Why This Matters?
Knowing precisely what is causing your oil leak can help you identify where your oil leak is coming from.
How Do I Know My Car Is Leaking Oil?
There are a few ways that you can tell if your car’s oil is leaking. Firstly use a dipstick to check the oil level of your car. A dipstick should have two levels on it, displaying a maximum and minimum level. The oil in your vehicle should fall somewhere between the two.
You don’t want it on the minimum level as that’s too low, and you don’t want it on the maximum level because that’s too high. When checking your car oil frequently using a dipstick, you will tell if your car is leaking oil if you notice that you always see a minimum level.
Secondly, you can often tell if your car is leaking oil by any unusual smells. If you have noticed a distinctive burning smell recently, this could indicate that your car oil is leaking.
Thirdly if you see blue smoke coming out of your car exhaust pipe while driving, this is usually a good indicator of an oil leak.
Lastly, remember that your car’s dashboard is there to tell you when your vehicle is experiencing issues. Be sure to check your car’s engine light or oil light as these often come up on the dash when your vehicle is leaking oil. Additionally, any stains on your driveway would be a dead giveaway to an oil leak.
Why This Matters?
It is incredibly important to know what is causing your oil leak so that you can get it fixed before going on a long-distance drive. This will ensure that you don’t run into any problems while on the road.
Fix The Oil Leak Immediately Or Practice Caution?
If you have noticed an oil leak, you should avoid driving long distances. Depending on the nature of the leak, you will have to determine if you can continue driving if the leak is small. You shouldn’t drive your vehicle with a significant leak and instead should take it to a mechanic to get it fixed.
If you have to drive long distances and the oil leak is small, you can use chemical additive solutions to stop the leak temporarily. Ultimately you will have to take your car to be looked at as leaving the leak to progress could lead to significant damages and costs.
Why This Matters?
Attempting to drive long distances with an oil leak is a bad idea. Chemical additives will only last so long, and you will eventually have to go to a mechanic. Being proactive about the oil leak will save you money and time in the long run.
Driving Long Distance With A Car Oil Leak – Conclusion
To conclude, assess the oil leak that your car is experiencing. You should carefully monitor both small and large leaks.
If you don’t watch the leak or identify what is causing it, you won’t know how to prevent it or fix it. You could cause yourself large-scale costs in the future, so it’s better to resolve the oil leak as soon as possible rather than to wait.
James has been a car enthusiast since his childhood when he learned the differences between a ford and a chevy from his father. He loves to drive and restore old cars with a special drive for Italian marvels. Currently, he has a 1968 Alfa Romeo. He has studied aeronautics and civil aviation in his college and still gets smitten by Galant SS and Lancer GSR.
He is a New York-based product training director working with a giant automotive retailer. He loves to review and uncover the vehicles and their fascinating stories. He believes in keeping it legitimate with a keen passion for research on the latest technological upgrades in cars. While reading his articles or blogs, you can sense the extensive research and dedication backing the piece of text. He loves fried chicken, music, and spending quality time with his pet dog.