Oil Leaking From Your Car? Tips On What Not To Do From A Car Maintenance Rookie.

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Oil Leaking From Your Car? Tips On What Not To Do From A Car Maintenance Rookie.
 

As a Public Relations major I have spent the last three years of college learning how to be quick on my feet when it comes to conversation. If you don’t know the answer to something, skirt around it until you do know it. If someone is engaging in a conversation with you, engage back and don’t let there be an awkward silence. I could pretty much talk to a rock and still never run out of things to say. However, if someone were to ask me about how to fix a car issue I would be at a loss for words. I may be a summer intern at an automotive company, but cars are not something my Baylor education has taught me about in the last three years. 
 

My very first car was a 1999 Land Rover. Not only was I over the moon to get a car, but a car that I thought was edgy and different from all my friends (who were driving Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords).

 

I was 15 when my Land Rover was passed down to me from a family friend and I was absolutely clueless on what was required to keep a car running. My dad kept telling me that the flashing oil light on my dashboard wouldn’t just “go away,” and was something I actually needed to pay attention to. Did I listen? Not quite.

 

I gave myself a little self-taught lesson from YouTube on how to make sure my oil levels were correct, and figured it was an easy fix-- just keep buying oil from the gas station when the light says low oil. Unfortunately, this seemed to be an everyday occurrence. What the YouTube post didn’t tell me is that if your oil is leaking so regularly you have to buy a new jug from the gas station every day, there are some serious problems with your oil tank. Obvious now? Yes. Then? Not so much.

 

Through this I learned a few things. Here are 5 tips on what not to do if your oil is always, and I mean always, leaking from your car.

 

      1.Assume the problem will magically disappear. If there is a flashing light on your dashboard, no matter how old the car, there is probably something wrong. “A flashing light is a major issue. It usually means it is or will affect the ability of the vehicle to continue to run if not addressed immediately,” said Keith Schulte, Service Manager of Walser Buick GMC Bloomington. Unlike your other teenage problems, this one could have serious side affects.

      2.Teach yourself how to “fix” the problem through YouTube tutorials. Now don’t get me wrong, YouTube is a great go to when trying to learn how to make DIY crafts for the Fourth of July or making homemade slime. But if it’s in regards to your vehicle, call any one of our Walser Service Departments and get that sucker properly checked out! There’s no point in digging around and messing up your manicure for no reason; you probably aren’t going to diagnose the issue yourself.

3. Park your car in your driveway or garage. This really doesn’t affect your oil tank at all, but your parents/roommates/landlord/etc. will be appreciative if you aren’t staining the driveway or garage with oil. Trust me, mine were not thrilled with the way this looked and smelled.


4. Consider this a lone wolf issue. When I would take time to deal with my oil problem (which usually wasn’t a lot), it was often already affecting other areas of my car. Smoke coming out from your front hood doesn’t just happen, its caused by something else. In my case, it was caused by, you guessed it, low oil.  “If one area of your car gets too bad it can make other areas off your car unsafe as well. Excess oil leaking onto exhaust can easily cause a fire. Brake pads that are worn so low can cause the brake rotors to fall apart,” Schulte said.

5. Drive a vehicle you don’t understand or can’t afford to service. For me, the price of fixing my precious Land Rover was a crazy amount of money. This was probably related to the fact that other areas of my car were now in bad shape, but also because of the make and model of the car. If the price is extremely high to fix one problem, that may come back in the future, maybe the price of a new car with no problems in sight would be a better fit for you.


All in all, be conscious of your oil in the future. If having this problem with my first car did anything, it made me extremely aware of how important oil servicing is to a car. Unfortunately, my Land Rover got traded in for a Nissan Altima (so much for the edgy vibe I had going). But, in my Nissan Altima and every car since, I wait no more than a day to get my car serviced after my oil or service light comes on. Great car maintenance is very important, so don’t make the same mistakes your teenage self (or my teenage self did), get that oil leak checked out!

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