If you pride yourself on the condition of your garage at home, then you may have sealed the concrete floor to avoid any dust and painted the surface with a hard-working coating. You may not be very happy, therefore, if you can now see some tell-tale spots of oil on the surface after having removed your car from the garage in the morning. Still, you should be worrying more about the loss of oil than the mess that it has left. So, how can you find out where it's coming from and take further action?
Looking for Clues
It is certainly possible to lay down some newspaper and to get a general idea of where the oil is coming from. In other words, with a bit more investigation, you should be able to focus in on the axle casing, the transmission or certain parts of the engine. However, the oil may not necessarily drip down in a straight line from its point of origin and may seep out slowly before running along certain other components and dropping down to the floor.
Locating the Source
The best approach here is to clean as much of the residue from the general area as you can first. Most vehicles, no matter how well they are maintained, will attract a certain amount of dirt and debris that will stick to any oil residue and form an outer layer. You can get rid of this by using a stiff brush and plenty of degreaser. The area will then be a lot cleaner and easier to inspect.
Once again, lay down some newspaper and then run the vehicle for some time so that the oil is as free-flowing as possible. Inspect the underside with a flashlight, and you should see evidence of the oil leak and be able to systematically trace it back to its point of origin.
Usually, a leak like this will emanate from a joint of some kind or where a gasket sits in between two separate components. For example, oil may seep out from between the timing cover and the front of the engine or from the sump gasket in between the oil pan and the block. Alternatively, you may notice that the rear seal of the gearbox has given up the ghost and transmission oil may be coming out from the point where the driveshaft enters the case.
Once you've determined what is going on, you can then schedule a visit to your mechanic. They will be able to service the vehicle and change any gaskets or seals that may need to be replaced, so that you can once again take pride in your garage floor.
To learn more about car servicing, contact a mechanic in your area.