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Oil leaking onto the concrete of a driveway on Long Island, NY.

Why Is My Toyota Leaking Oil When Parked?

Posted at Fri, Aug 26, 2022 9:00 AM

Of all the regular maintenance duties you should adhere to in order to keep your Toyota in good working order, keeping an eye on the engine oil is one of the most important. Despite this, a lot of vehicle owners are often lax about it, which can lead to some serious and expensive problems.

Oil leaks are a common problem and are typically easily fixed, but neglecting to get them addressed quickly can lead to unnecessary damage in the engine. Whenever you spot oil beneath your parked car, it is important to first try and figure out the reason and then from there figure out the best course of action to take.

Leaking Valve Seals or Rings

Bad rings or valve seals can be a major cause of your vehicle losing oil while it is parked. It is important to note that even with bad valve seals and rings, if there are no holes in the gaskets, the oil will not make it outside the engine and will instead get burnt during the engine’s combustion process. An indicator of this is the smell of burnt oil and blue smoke in the exhaust. Letting this go unattended can ultimately lead to serious damage to your engine, so be sure to book your Toyota in with us at the first sign of an oil leak.

Broken Pans or Oil Gaskets

The oil pans and gaskets in your Toyota are easily damaged by debris thrown up by the road due to their positioning at the bottom of the engine. Repeatedly traversing roads that are full of potholes or are in bad shape can lead to holes developing in the oil pan, which in turn leads to an oil leak. The gasket of the pan endures a lot of similar wear and tear, and once it is damaged it will lead to leaking around the oil gasket.

Improperly Installed Gaskets

If one of the gaskets that helps to contain the oil is installed the wrong way, it can lead to an oil leak. This is a common problem and usually results when either the valve cover or oil pan gaskets are incorrectly installed and over-tightened. It is also an issue when the tightness is not distributed as evenly as it should be. If an oil filter is not properly attached, it will also result in a leak.

Preventative Measures

Oil leaks often happen even to people who take great care of their vehicle – they are unfortunately a part of the car-owning experience. You can take certain measures to lessen your chances of getting one and to keep the oil in your car in good condition:

  • Avoid regularly driving over very rough roads to prevent damage to the gaskets and oil pan.
  • Check beneath your vehicle if it is parked for long periods of time to see if there are any puddles that shouldn’t be there.
  • Regularly take your vehicle in for the manufacturer recommended oil changes.
  • DO NOT ignore the signs of an oil leak – delays in getting the problem fixed can result in even more expensive issues.
  • If doing the repair work on an oil leak yourself, triple check to make sure all gaskets and filters are properly installed.

Adhering to all of these can go a long way toward keeping your oil – and the rest of your Toyota – in good condition.

Take an Oil Leak Seriously

Even if an oil leak does not look that bad, it should be taken seriously. The severity of an oil leak will depend on where it is originating from and its size. While a small leak is obviously of less severity, it will still lead to the loss of engine oil. Regardless of the size of a leak you should never drive long distances with one and should book your Toyota in with us here at Westbury Toyota as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary damage to the engine.

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