Oil leaks can be one of the most challenging problems to identify on your truck because oil is the lifeblood of your truck's engine. As a result, it flows through most major locations and can leak from a number of places. However, there are a few common locations you can check for leaks before turning your truck over to a mechanic to replace engine parts.
The Oil Pan
The oil pan is the most common area for leaks on a truck, and these leaks can often be minor fixes. Check the oil pan plug to see if it is on tight. If it is grimy, clean it off and check again in an hour. If it is leaking from the oil pan plug and tightening the plug doesn't solve the problem, drain the oil from your truck by removing the oil pan plug. Once you have drained the oil, reseat the oil pan plug and put a quart of oil in. Wait for an hour and check the plug to make sure that reseating it solved your problem. If it did, finish putting oil in your engine and continue driving as normal. If not, you may have damage to your oil pan or oil pan plug that will require a mechanic's help.
If it isn't coming from the area of the oil pan plug, check the rest of the oil pan for cracks or leaks. Clean the exterior of the oil pan with a solvent and then check for small leaks. If you find any, you will want to enlist the help of a mechanic to repair the problem.
The Valve Cover Gasket
The valve cover gasket is on the top of your engine. If you notice oil spots on the top of your engine, it is likely that they are coming from this location. Because opening the valve cover gasket gives direct access to the valves and pistons of your engine, unless you are a trained mechanic, it is best to take it to a shop to have them replace the parts. This can be a rather expensive fix because there could be additional problems once they look under the valve cover. Nevertheless, if these leaks aren't stopped quickly, it can ruin your truck's engine.
The Oil Filter
Most people will go the life of their truck without ever noticing a leak from their oil filter. Nonetheless, there are times when it can be put on too tightly or too loosely. As a result, you will have leaks that drip from the filter down through your engine to the ground. Clean off any oil and grime where you think the leak is and watch for it to start leaking again. If it is the oil filter, you will be able to follow the drip back to the source. Try tightening the oil filter first. You don't want to tighten it like you would a lug nut - leave it slightly tighter than hand tight.
If tightening the oil filter either exacerbates the problem or doesn't solve it, try loosening it slightly. This should stop the leak. If this doesn't, you likely have a defective filter that needs replacement.
When you notice your oil leaking, take care of it right away by first looking for these three issues, and then taking it in for repairs immediately if you weren't able to identify the problem. By doing so, you can ensure a long life for your truck. Contact a company like 99 Truck Service & Repair for more tips.