Understanding Car Leaks

There are different car fluid leaks that a car owner can encounter. Some are harmless and requires no or minimal effort in fixing. But there are some that are hazardous and needs immediate attention. Car leaks can happen on different parts of the vehicle. Knowing where it is, the color and texture will help you identify the problem.

Engine Oil/Motor Oil (Light brown to black)

Motor Oil smells like cooking oil. Its appearance is light brown to black. Its consistency can be semi-thick, thick and slippery. You’ll spot this kind of leak on the front part of the car. Small drops of engine oil are not dangerous. But, if there are oil drips that smells like gas and the engine oil level is below its mark. Bring the car over for a check-up as there is a possibility that there’s an underlying problem.

Brake fluid (Light yellow to dark brown)

Brake fluid starts clear to light yellow and becomes darker as it ages. It smells like fish oil. You can find this leak in the middle or rear wheels. Brake fluids are slippery than engine oil. If brake fluid is leaking, have the vehicle repaired right away. Losing even a small amount can affect how well your breaks will work.

Steering Wheel Fluid (Red or reddish)

If the steering wheel fluid is leaking, you will see a reddish in hue. It smells like a burnt marshmallow with a hint of fish oil. Power steering fluid will leak from under the front and middle part of your car. The steering wheel fluid is thin in texture. If you see this leak on your car, bring the vehicle for repair as soon as you can.

Transmission Fluid (Orange / Reddish / Dark Pinkish (Thin) or Brown (Thick))

Transmission fluids leaks come from the center of your vehicle. The fluid looks thick orange to reddish brown. An indicator that transmission fluid is leaking is when your car is revving up, but it’s not going into any gear. Orange leaks can also be rust from your radiator mixing with antifreeze. It will be thin, and holes can be from different locations.

Coolant (Yellow, Green or Pink)

This bright candy-like color and taste are the easiest to spot at the front part of your vehicle. For old cars, a little drip is reasonable especially when the engine gets hot. But if your car is new, the coolant shouldn’t be dripping. Thus, it’s time to bring the vehicle for a check-up. Do not attempt to drive the car if the coolant is dripping because the coolant regulates the engine’s

Windshield Washer (Blue / Green / Orange)

The color depends on the kind of solvent used for your windshield. Windshield washer is harmless. Same with water there is nothing to worry about unless there is a severe leak. Check the tubes that carry the solvent and see if there are leaks.
Fuels leaks have a strong gasoline smell that makes it identifiable. Fuels leaks can happen on any part of the vehicle. If you notice an excessive amount of leaking, it might be that the gas tank got damaged. Bring the car immediately for repair.
Water (odorless and odorless)
If the vehicle has been running with the car’s a/c on full blast on hot weather, you can expect a puddle of water to under the car. It’s reasonable because using a/c creates water condensation. Water is harmless and will not ruin the car.
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