Once you know what you are looking at, finding the source of the fluid leak will be much easier.
As a result, let’s try to figure out what fluid is leaking from your car and what you should do about it.
Hence, most cars have a number of fluids that can leak from under the hood.
Any of these can contribute to a fluid leak.
- Brake fluid
- Windshield washer fluid
- Engine oil
- Power steering fluid
- Transmission fluid
Before you start worrying, take a moment to look at the fluid;
- What colour is it?
- Does it have a smell?
- Check the consistency.
Therefore here’s how to decipher the fluid leak:
If it’s clear, watery, and under the air conditioner:
Hence it’s probably normal condensation if you’ve used the air conditioner recently.
If it’s black or dark brown, greasy, and located under the engine area:
It’s probably oil. Figure out which part of the vehicle was over the spot. Furthermore look under the hood around the oil filter and the engine and under the vehicle for leaks around the oil drain plug, the crankcase, and the oil pan below it.
If it’s thick, black or tan oily liquid:
As a result gear oil may be leaking from a manual transmission, the differential, an axle, or the steering gears. Any of these leaks needs immediate attention.
If it’s red, pink, or reddish-brown and greasy and you have an automatic transmission:
It’s probably a transmission fluid leak. Check the transmission dipstick, and if the level is low, top it off with the proper transmission fluid. Then check the dipstick again in a day or two. Consequently if it’s low again, have a professional check the transmission to make sure that the seals are intact.
If it’s watery or slippery; green, red, blue, or yellow; and is coming from under the radiator or engine:
It’s probably coolant. Check the radiator, pressure cap, engine, and hoses for leaks.
If it’s oily; pink, red, or clear; and you find it toward the front bumper (usually on the driver’s side):
It’s probably power-steering fluid. Since the power-steering system is sealed and shouldn’t lose fluid.
If it’s a light-colored or clear fluid:
As a result it may be a brake fluid leak. Even if the leaks have dried, the stains should be visible. Leaky brakes very dangerous. Have a professional repair any brake fluid leak immediately.
If it smells like rotten eggs:
It’s battery acid. Avoid getting it on your hands or clothes and have the battery replaced.
If it smells like gasoline:
Most likely it is !
- Consequently if the smell is coming from under the hood, check around the fuel pump and the fuel injectors — or the carburetor if your vehicle has one.
- When the leak seems to be under the center of the vehicle, check the fuel lines.
- If it’s under the rear end, check the fuel tank.
(Don’t smoke while you do this!)
Now that you have identified what type of liquid is leaking from your car, What do you do ? Finally contact your mechanic to confirm the urgency and cost of the repair.
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