Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Is it Safe to Drive With an Oil Leak?

Is it Safe to Drive With an Oil Leak?

Oil Leak

Oil lubricates the engine, and is an essential part of your vehicle. Oil reduces corrosion, helps to cool the engine, and reduces the wear on moving parts. If you notice a black puddle under your vehicle, you may have an oil leak. This should not be ignored, and should be checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Here are some things to know about the common signs and dangers of driving with an oil leak:

  • An oil leak that is left alone can cause seals or rubber hoses to wear prematurely. Furthermore, oil leaks are a fire hazard and can cause your vehicle to fail without warning. If the oil catches fire or the engine fails while you are driving, there is potential for injury to yourself and others.

  • One way to check for an oil leak is to look at your oil dip stick on a regular basis. If your oil drops over time, chances are you have an oil leak. Once you notice the oil is low, add some oil to your engine and contact a mechanic, so they can determine the cause of the oil leak. Do not just add oil and forget about the leak, because this is a potential fire hazard.

  • Another sign of an oil leak is the smell of burning oil. Oil leaking onto the hot parts of the engine gives off a distinct smell. If you notice a bad smell coming from the front of your vehicle, it is also time to get in touch with a mechanic.

  • If you are driving down the road and you notice blue smoke coming from the tail pipe of your vehicle, this is another sign that you may have an oil leak. Blue smoke is typically a sign of burning oil, which can be a sign of an oil leak. In addition, check beneath the vehicle and see if there are any puddles or stains that are black in color. These two signs combined indicate an oil leak.

Driving with an oil leak is potentially dangerous because it is a fire hazard. If the leak is not attended to in a timely manner, the engine can wear down prematurely causing larger problems. If your concerned that you have an oil leak, look at oil levels, be conscious of smells, and look at the color of the exhaust coming from your vehicle. For peace of mind, and to ensure safety while driving, contact a certified mechanic as soon possible to have the oil leak inspected.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: What does the Service Power Steering message mean?

The Service Power Steering message can appear on your driver information center (DIC). When the DIC displays this alert, it means that there is an issue with the power steering system, and the system should be serviced as soon as...

Q: Q: Coolant leaks

You may be able to spot the leak by performing a cooling system pressure test. This test is just as it sounds; a special tool is used to apply pressure to the cooling system, making leaks visible. Sometimes however, leaks...

Q: How does the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) indicator work?

The SRS indicator is tied to your car’s air bag system and provides important information for drivers about the condition of the system. The SRS light should flash on briefly immediately after cranking the engine and then go...