Your vehicle's engine relies on an uninterrupted flow of oil so that it can function under duress in hot conditions and at high speeds. Without this supply of oil, mechanical components can come into contact with each other, wearing down and severely curtailing the life of your motor. As the owner, it's your job to ensure that this oil is always in perfect condition and that there is enough of it. Consequently, if you notice some significant drops of oil on your garage floor, you need to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. Where should you start, though?
Inspect the Engine
It can be difficult to determine the exact source of an oil leak without some preparatory work. Over the weeks and months the engine will attract a lot of dust and debris which will be mixed with oil and humidity to create a messy gunk. Get some engine degreaser and a stiff brush and then clean the surface of the engine as efficiently as you can. Make sure that you do not disturb any electrical components when you're doing so, but you should end up with a much clearer area to inspect.
After all this is done, start the engine and let it run for some time before turning it off. You should then be able to see an oil leak, but you need to trace it back to its origins. These leaks will sometimes follow a circuitious path from their origin until they get to the lowest part of the engine and drop to the floor.
Find Key Trouble Spots
There are a number of places to take a closer look and you should begin with the timing cover seal. This is at the front (or side) of the engine, where the crankshaft pulley is located. Typically, however, these leaks only happen when the engine is under pressure and not when it is simply idling. A tell-tale sign of a leak here is a spray on the side of the engine, near the seal.
You should also have a look at the gasket that is positioned between the block of the engine and the sump that holds the oil. You may notice beads of oil that seem to bulge around the periphery of the gasket if the leakage is here.
Another key area to look is around the head gasket, which is in between the engine block and the crankcase. Sometimes, the bolts that connect these two parts can come loose and allow oil to bleed out and you may need to retighten them.
Get Replacement Parts
When you find the source of the leak, it will typically involve the need for new gaskets. Always ensure that you get the right part and check to see that they are made from the manufacturer recommended materials, as well. Contact a company that supplies Fiat spare parts and parts for other car makes to find out more.