What to do when your car leaks fluids

Published: 10/18/2010 by AutoShopit.com

What to do when your car leaks fluids

Noticing that your car is leaking fluids can be worrisome, and it definitely requires more investigation to determine whether it’s a harmless spot of water or something more serious. But how can you find out what’s dripping down there? Here are a few easy steps to figure out what fluid might be flowing onto the driveway.

Get a sample: An easy way to figure out whether your car is indeed leaking, and what might be the possible culprit, is by laying some newspapers under your parked car overnight . By morning you can check and see what you’ve captured, and work on identification.

On a hot day, water can be a likely culprit in the form of condensation dripping down from your car’s air conditioning system. This is a harmless byproduct of a properly working air conditioner, and no reason for concern.

Clear liquid pooling around the wheel s may be brake fluid, and is a serious matter that will need further investigation.  A car with leaking brake fluid is at risk of brake failure, and should be addressed immediately with your mechanic.

Dark brown or black viscous-like fluid is most likely the result of leaking motor oil in your car. Noticing a few drips is not something to worry about, but if your car is leaving large puddles of oil on the pavement you will need to get it serviced to find out what is wrong.

A sweet-smelling green, blue, or reddish fluid leaking from the front of your vehicle is most likely antifreeze dripping from your car’s cooling system. The danger of leaking antifreeze is that it can lead low levels left within your system which could allow your engine to overheat, necessitating an expensive repair down the road.

A thick black or tan liquid may be gear oil that is dripping out from the transmission, steering gearbox, differential or axel. This is a problem that should be seen to immediately, before your car undergoes damage that will require pricy repairs to get things back on track.

If you see pink, red, or clear drips coming from the area underneath your front seats it is likely transmission fluid , and if it’s coming from the area of your engine it might me fluid from your power steering.  If this is the case, you will want to top up the fluid and then consult with a mechanic to find out why it is leaking in the first place.

Blue or pink liquid watery liquid is most likely just leaking window washing fluid, and not a problem that needs immediate attention. Top up the fluid, and get it checked out during your next scheduled tune-up.

A clear liquid that smells like rotten eggs is easily identifiable as sulphuric acid leaking from your car’s battery.  Be careful not to touch the fluid with any part of your body, as it is a very poisonous and corrosive substance. Get into your garage as soon as possible for a replacement battery.

It is important to be aware of any fluids that may be leaking out of your vehicle, as they can be indicative of a major problem. If you are concerned about unidentified fluid leakage, you should seek out the advice of a trained mechanic in order to address any issues in need of repair. By visiting autoshopit.com, we’ve made things easy for you by providing you with a searchable database of local mechanics and garages within your chosen area. 

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