Reasons Why Engine May be Low on Oil from the professionals at Audi Gilbert

The engine in your Audi is a marvelous piece of precision German engineering--and it needs oil to run as it should. Oil keeps the moving parts lubricated, preventing damage from friction. Normally, if the oil levels are low, the oil pressure warning light will illuminate. But because low oil levels could lead to expensive engine damage, we recommend checking your oil frequently. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Because we believe that you deserve to be informed about your Audi, we've put together this list of five reasons you might find low engine oil levels in your car. But no matter what the cause, we recommend scheduling a service appointment right away so we can see what might be causing the problem.

A puddle like this under your car could mean an oil pan leak.

5. A Leaky Oil Pan

The oil pan is where the oil in your Audi rests when you turn the car off. Since all the oil is pooling in one place, a leaky oil pan will most likely leave a puddle underneath your car. The pan itself may have been damaged, in which case it will need to be replaced. However, the pan could also have a bad gasket or drain plug, and replacing these could do the trick.

The oil pressure light could indicate low oil levels.

4. Another Oil Leak

The oil pan is certainly a common place for oil to leak--after all, it's where all of the engine oil collects and the pan has a large gasket. However, there are other places where oil could leak from, and they're not quite so simple. While they may leave a puddle, they very well may not. This is because leaking oil can land on the engine, congealing before it can drip down any further. The only symptom you see may be a lower oil level (which is why it's important to check regularly). Since leaks are often hard to find, the technicians may use a dye test to pinpoint the location.

3. A Bad PCV Valve

If the technicians have ruled out an oil leak, that means the engine is probably burning oil somewhere. One of the primary culprits in cases like this is the PCV valve (short for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve). This valve keeps the crankcase from building up too much pressure by letting air escape. If the PCV valve isn't working as it should, pressure may build up--and this could cause oil to leak into the combustion chambers, where it will burn up with the air-fuel mixture.

Simply adding more oil usually won't solve the problem, so have your Audi inspected.

2. Bad Valves

The cylinders in your Audi vehicle's engine have intake and exhaust valves. The intake valves open up to let an air-fuel mixture into the cylinder; they then close while combustion happens. After this mixture ignites, the exhaust valves open up to vent the exhaust gases into the exhaust system. If these valves or their seals have become worn, oil could leak into the cylinders, once again causing it to burn.

1. Worn Piston Rings

Piston rings create a tight seal as the pistons move up and down the cylinders. They make sure that nothing from the outside gets in. However, if the piston rings have gone bad, oil could be seeping past them and into the engine's cylinders where it's burned up. If the piston rings are to blame, your engine may need to be rebuilt.

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