Is Your BMW Leaking Oil from the Lower Engine Area?by wp_germanmotorspb May 30, 2018
Having the privilege of driving a German-made vehicle such as a BMW is an opportunity most individuals don’t get in their lifetime. Therefore, it is essential to show appreciation to a brand that is so well engineered and designed. Taking care of your BMW can be made simple with the help of your owner’s manual and a BMW automotive repair specialist, but often it’s the driver of the vehicle who is the expert on its performance. If you begin to notice changes in your car’s behavior, it’s important to keep your eye out for any suspicious external signs, such as oil or fluid leaks.
Some fluid leaks coming from your BMW’s engine area are normal, such as the moisture from the condensation from the air conditioning system. However, if your car begins to lose any of the elemental fluids that it requires to function optimally, it can lead to serious problems and compromised safety on the road. In this article, we’ll talk about: the importance of engine oil for your BMW; how to differentiate between engine oil and other fluids; the possible causes of an oil leak; and what you can do to fix the problem.
The Importance of Maintaining Engine Oil Quality and Level
Many drivers think that routine oil changes, filter changes, and ongoing engine inspections aren’t necessary or are superfluous, but let us assure you that they are in fact quite important to your BMW’s performance. Chances are that if you drive a BMW you value the quality and efficiency, but without proper oil care, those qualities might as well be thrown out the window. Your engine requires oil in order to lubricate all the moving parts, gears, valves, and other key components that would otherwise cause friction, grind together, and eventually cause engine failure.
Is it an Oil Leak or Something Else?
Once again, it’s common for drivers to mistake the different fluids that their car utilizes. BMWs aren’t all that different from other cars in that they require the same basic fluids to run well. Brake fluid, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, coolant, and engine oil are all essential for your car’s functioning. Luckily, these fluids are all distinct from one another in consistency and appearance. For instance, coolant is usually a bright green or pink color, whereas transmission fluid is a deep reddish-brown. When it leaks, engine oil is usually a darker or yellowish, thick fluid.
Possible Areas for Oil Leaks to Occur
Engine oil leaks are rather common in certain BMW models, but that doesn’t mean they can be overlooked. The most typical place for engine oil to leak is out of any seal or gasket, including: the valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket, front crankshaft seal, rear crankshaft seal, or oil pan gasket. Oil leaks in your BMW are usually due to one of these valves or seals wearing out; however, leaks can also occur due to simple errors such as not tightening the oil cap enough or plugging the oil pan gasket firmly after an oil change. The latter is a common cause of lower engine area oil leaks.
What Causes Oil Leaks?
Depending on where an oil leak occurs, you can trace it back to its initial origin spot, or the ultimate cause of the leak. As previously mentioned, oil leaks often originate from faulty valves, seals, or gaskets, and can be relatively easy to fix; however, the effects of an oil leak can cause damage to other parts of your engine, such as the spark plugs.
How to Fix the Problem
Depending on where the problem begins, there isn’t usually a one-size-fits-all approach to fixing an oil leak. If the problem is related to a worn out valve or seal, there are temporary solutions like cleaning and patching the seal; however, eventually the gasket or seal will need to be replaced entirely. Here at German Motors and Imports in San Diego, we’ve serviced BMWs from all over La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Clairemont, CA; therefore, our clientele expects reliable results that they can put to use on the beautiful roads of Southern California. For cars like BMWs, temporary fixes just don’t cut it—they need solid repair work and maintenance in order to live up to their capabilities. As German vehicle specialists, our specially trained technicians have a diverse range of experience with various BMW models, and we’re confident we can fix your oil leak for you. Please call us right away to avoid damage to your engine and get the problem fixed quickly.
* BMW 5 Series E61 image credit goes to: Cpt212.