Identifying and Handling Auto Fluid Loss

Identifying and Handling Auto Fluid Loss

November 11, 2021

If you’ve ever seen a puddle underneath your vehicle and wondered, “What is leaking from my car?” you’re not alone. Fluid leaks can be serious problems—or they could be as simple as extra condensation coming off your air conditioner. It’s smart to know how to identify leaking fluids from a vehicle, so you know whether you need to take your vehicle in for repairs.

Here’s a quick guide on how to identify fluids leaking from a vehicle:

  • Engine oil: This is one of the most common leaks, and will take place up near the front of your car, where the engine is located. To identify it, stick a paper towel in the leak and look at the color. If it’s brown or black, it’s engine oil. This may be due to a problem with the oil pan. Take your car to your mechanic as soon as possible for repairs.
  • Antifreeze: Antifreeze or coolant will also appear near the front of your engine, but can also appear near the tail pipe. It’s usually either red or green, and smells sweet. Keep the fluid away from your eyes and mouth if you smell it. If it is an antifreeze leak, visit your auto repair center as soon as possible—it could be a problem with your radiator or water pump.
  • Transmission fluid: Transmission fluid will appear closer to the middle of your car. It may look reddish and smell like gas. Take the car to a professional so they can tell you whether it’s a minor fluid leak or a major transmission problem.
  • Power steering fluid: Power steering fluid is thinner than engine oil, and should appear underneath the front half of your car. If you let the problem continue, you may lose power steering while you’re driving, which can be a safety hazard.
  • Brake fluid: Brake fluid can easily be mistaken for power steering fluid. It can appear anywhere underneath your vehicle. Since a loss of fluid leads to a loss of braking power, you should take it in right away. It’s a matter of safety.
  • Gasoline: Gas leaks are pretty easy to identify, since we’re all familiar with the sights and smells of gasoline. They’re usually due to faulty fuel injectors. Get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible, since you could lose a lot of gas while driving around.
  • Wiper fluid: Wiper fluid is usually brightly colored and the consistency of water. It won’t affect your car if you let the problem go for a while, but it’s not ideal. You can change the wiper fluid yourself, or take your car in to see if there’s damage to the reservoir.

Now that you know how to identify any fluids leaking from your vehicle, you’ll know what you’re dealing with ahead of time. This can help you decide if you need to see a mechanic right away, or if you can wait for a better time in your busy schedule.

For your auto repair needs, call S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. today.

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