Choose Your Diagnosing Leaks Help Topic Below
Consequently, diagnosing Leaks under your vehicle is the first step; in determining where and what needs to be fixed. So, diagnosing leaks isn’t that difficult. In fact, the color of the leak or the smell it gives off; will usually point to the problem. Furthermore, properly diagnosing leaks can help you discover; small problems before they turn into a major repair bill.
In many modern vehicles, a warning light will appear if certain fluids are running low; which in some cases can indicate a leak.
Oil, coolant, and washer fluid warning lights are common. As a result, if any of these lights come on; you should check the levels and refill them. While running out of washer fluid is normal, if the oil or coolant warning light illuminates often; you should have the system inspected for problems.
Common Places To Check When Diagnosing Leaks
So, we know what gasoline smells like. But, it will look like water on the ground and may appear to be colorful in direct sunlight. This type of leak indicates an issue with the fuel pump; fuel injector or a leak in the fuel line or gas tank.
Transmission problems are not great, and a puddle of dark red or brown; will indicate an issue with the transmission pan gasket, fluid lines or seals. But, if the transmission fluid is newer; the liquid might be light red or light brown in color.
Leaking power-steering fluid has the smell of burnt marshmallows; and is oily to the touch. The color is usually pink or red; sometimes brown if the fluid is old. In many cases, a product to stop power-steering fluid leaks will solve the problem.
Brake fluid is usually clear or yellow, sometimes brown if it is old. It should feel oily to the touch; but, the big giveaway is its unmistakable fishy smell. A leak may indicate the master cylinder is on its way out.
The most common car leak color is transparent or clear. Although, if you park on a dark surface such as a street; you may think it is something else. Fortunately, that fluid isn’t a leak at all. Instead, what you have is water condensation from the air conditioner. Reach down and touch the fluid and you’ll see it is nothing but water.
NOTE: However, gasoline, like water; is also usually transparent. But, various dyes and additives can change its color. The determining factor is its odor: If it smells like gasoline, then it’s gasoline. Unless you overfilled the fuel tank and the leak is a spill; the gas tank may have cracked or a fuel line may have been broken.
Engine Oil Leaks
This leak should look black or brown; and will feel thick and slippery between your fingers. A slight acidic smell might also be a good indicator. Any of this under your vehicle tells us there’s an issue with a leaking oil filter seal; a loose oil pan plug or a worn/leaking gasket and sometime a head gasket.
Coolant or Antifreeze Leaks
Look for a puddle of neon green, pink blue or orange. And, is slightly slippery between your fingers and smells slightly sweet. This leak indicates an issue with your radiator; water pump, coolant reservoir, heater or radiator hoses.
Finally, the sooner you start diagnose leaks; the more likely you are to prevent further damage.
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