Why Your Car’s Engine Losing Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of any engine. Without it, the engine will be destroyed in seconds. That’s why we must check the oil level regularly in between oil changes, especially when using synthetics with longer oil change intervals, which could use up all the oil in some engines before the next oil change. So, what is causing your car’s engine to lose oil? The problem may be external or internal:
- External Oil Leak-Additives in engine oil today help keep the different seals and gaskets soft and pliable so they don’t shrink and get hard. However, if the oil is left in the engine longer than what it’s rated for, the seals and gaskets can shrink, become hard, and start leaking. This is commonly associated with sludge buildup. This can also cause leaking with valve covers, timing chain covers, oil pan covers, and sometimes even an oil drain plug. What’s especially at risk are things in the engine exposed to high pressure, such as oil pressure sensors, oil filters, crankshaft seals, and even head gaskets. if a positive crankcase ventilation valve fails, it can also cause major leakage issues with seals and gaskets. So if your engine’s dripping oil or you find oil stains on the pavement underneath your vehicle, it’s more than likely coming from one of those areas on your engine.
- Internal Oil Leak– The second thing that causes an engine to lose oil is internal oil consumption. This can be due to worn piston rings, which allow the oil to enter the combustion chamber and be burned. This is another reason why it’s important to regularly change or clean your air filter. A dirty air filter will cause premature wear the piston rings by allowing fine particles of dirt to enter the combustion chamber. Next are worn valve stems and worn hardened valve stem seals, which also allow the oil to enter the combustion chamber and be burned. Consuming enough oil on the inside of the engine can cause a catalytic converter to wear out prematurely. This is due to a rise in temperature from the oil being vaporized by the catalytic converter. If you’ve got blue colored smoke coming out of the tailpipe when you first start your vehicle up and before the catalytic converter warms up, then you probably have oil being consumed inside the engine.
One big caveat to remember is once the engine oil goes beyond its rated service life, it will be depleted of the additives put into the oil, which typically is six months to one year. What would happen is the oil will break down and evaporate quicker, which will also cause oil loss. You also need to remember that all engines are different and some engines just burn more oil than others due to engine design. So, the best way to avoid engine oil loss externally and internally is by simply changing your oil regularly before it gets dirty. Also, don’t leave the oil longer than its rated service life.
Is your BMW’s engine losing oil? Bring it to our facility and let our BMW repair specialist fix the problem!