Volvos are known for being safe and innovative vehicles built with the latest technology. However, they rely on oil to function smoothly.
An oil leak can have serious consequences for your Volvo, so it’s very important that you know how to handle a leak when one pops up. To help you with that, below is information about the common causes and symptoms of oil leaks in Volvos.
Oil circulates through many parts in your Volvo’s engine, so a variety of problems may lead to oil leaks. One of the most common causes of oil leaks is damage to the oil pan. The oil pan is where your Volvo’s oil sits when it’s not circulating through the engine, so a crack in this part can often cause large amounts of oil to leak.
Because the oil pan rests at the bottom of your vehicle’s engine, it can easily be dented by large rocks or other debris. The oil drain plug at the bottom of the pan may also come loose and cause a leak. Although an oil pan leak can often look serious, the issue is relatively easy to fix.
Another common cause of oil leaks is engine gasket failure. Gaskets are the seals between the metal components in your Volvo’s engine, and because they are often exposed to extreme temperatures and harsh substances, they can sometimes break down, allowing coolant and oil to leak out of the engine. Failure of the head gasket, which is specifically designed to keep coolant and oil separate, often leads to oil leaks. However, the over-tightening, poor installation, or failure of other gaskets can also cause oil leaks.
A third potential cause of oil leaks is a faulty oil filter. Your Volvo’s oil filter is frequently exposed to a lot of pressure, which can loosen the filter or knock it out of alignment. Additionally, if you go for too long without changing your vehicle’s oil filter, it may develop a hole. Either of these situations can cause an oil leak, as can improperly inserting the filter or inserting a filter that is too small.
A final, though slightly less common, factor that can cause oil leaks is a cracked cylinder head or engine block. Cracks in these components are commonly caused by overheating, and in addition to generating oil leaks, they can cause severe damage to the rest of your engine. If you suspect that your Volvo’s engine block or cylinder head has cracked, you should take your vehicle to a professional mechanic immediately.
Typically, the first symptom of an oil leak is increased oil consumption. If you notice that your Volvo is using a lot more oil than normal, then there is a strong chance that your vehicle has sprung an oil leak.
In addition, oil leaks may sometimes cause oil puddles to form under your vehicle. If you find oil puddles in your driveway or regular parking spots, then your car is definitely leaking oil.
That being said, not all oil leaks generate oil puddles. For example, leaks caused by a cracked cylinder head or engine block are notoriously difficult to identify because they don’t always cause puddles. The best way to identify a leak caused by a cracked cylinder head or engine block is by checking your vehicle’s oil and coolant caps. If both are muddy brown and smell like oil, then there is a strong chance that your Volvo’s cylinder head or engine block has been damaged.
Leaving an oil leak alone or trying to fix it yourself can make the situation much worse. Therefore, the best way to handle an oil leak is by taking your vehicle to an experienced mechanic as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to pinpoint the exact source of the problem, but they will also be able to fix it without causing more damage to your Volvo.
Additionally, the sooner you get the problem taken care of, the less costly and time-consuming the repairs will be.
If your Volvo is leaking oil, then you’ll want a technician you can trust to handle the problem. At Rowlett Motorwerks, our mechanics are experts at maintaining and repairing European vehicles.
We are the go-to auto shop for European vehicle owners in Garland, Rockwall, Sachse, Wylie, and Rowlett, TX. We would love to help you keep your Volvo in excellent shape. So give us a call or stop by our shop today.