Everyone seems to dread backing out of their garage worried the will find some sort of fluid on the ground, and rightfully so! Whether you pull out of a parking space or come back to the parking space you were in before and find a puddle of mysterious liquid, your heart probably sinks a bit. There is fluid is leaking from your vehicle, and you need to know what the problem is. We feel you. So, we created this post to help you identify the fluids that are coming from your vehicle, why this is happening, and what can be done to solve the problem. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to contact your auto insurance agency to find out if there is coverage for these types of repairs. The first step you should take is to identify the color of the liquid. This will help you determine the substance and then you can start with the following tips.
Engine Oil Is Either Brown Or Black
If you notice a puddle of brown or black fluid on the ground, it is most likely engine oil. You can also smell engine oil as it comes out of the vehicle because it has a distinctive smell that you cannot miss. If you have not changed your oil in a while, the oil might be extremely dark and even smell burnt. This could be part of the reason that it is leaking in the first place.
Most of the time when this problem occurs, you might have a leak around a seal or a gasket. While you cannot find these problems on your own, you can report the issue to a mechanic who will get it fixed. Mechanics know exactly where to look and what to do so that you don’t have to be stuck at their shop all day. You can drive the vehicle so long as you have good oil pressure on the gauge (assuming that it is working), but you should make time to visit a mechanic as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the engine will completely dry out which is terrible for the car.
Brown Or Red Fluid Is Transmission Fluid
You might get confused with this one because transmission fluid and engine oil can look pretty similar. However, you will notice that there is a red tint in the transmission fluid. Red dye has been added to most transmission fluids to make it easier to identify. The fluid leaks directly from the transmission, and it will be easy to see where the leak is coming from because there is a drip pan at the bottom of the gearbox.
You might also notice these leaks in the lines coming from the radiator or the AC unit. Since you can smell the fluid, you will know there is a problem. If you are able you should let your mechanic know where you found the fluid. This will help the mechanic find the areas of the transmission that are leaking.
You should also let your mechanic know about any problems you might be having with gear changes or any odd sounds coming from the transmission. Because the gears in the gearbox are so close together, a loss of transmission fluid could cause friction and other issues for the car. Even if the gear changes are a little more aggressive than normal, you should have the transmission checked out. There may be car insurance coverage or warranty coverage for these major repairs if you have the right auto insurance policy.
Power Steering Fluid Could Be Clear, Brown, Or Red
While power steering fluid is typically clear, it can change colors over time. Some manufacturers will put a red dye in the fluid to make it easier to spot, but it will change to a brown color if it is very old. When you notice these leaks beneath your car, you should work with a mechanic as soon as possible.
Power steering fluid makes it possible for you to turn the steering wheel and take the car in the direction that you want, which is obviously crucial while driving. When you do not have power steering fluid, you must work very hard to turn the wheel, and it might be impossible for you to do so. This is a major problem because you might lose control of the vehicle and not know what to do. Report these issues to your mechanic as soon as possible so that you can get the leak fixed before it causes dangerous issues.
Brake Fluid Is Yellow Or Even Brown
Brake fluid is sold as a light yellow liquid, and it will turn brown over time if it has gotten too old. The brake fluid will be extremely slick, and it will run the moment it hits the ground. This makes it much easier for you to know if you have a brake fluid leak. This is obviously a very dangerous circumstance to drive your car under, and you need to take steps to solve the problem before getting back on the road.
Check your brake flake tank which you can access after opening the hood. If you have some fluid left, you should immediately go to a nearby mechanic. If the tank is dry, you must call a tow truck. You do not want to try to drive to the auto shop and lose control of the vehicle because you have no working brakes.
You might also notice that the brake pedal does not have as much pressure as it once did. If you think that your brake pedal suddenly feels light, you should have your brake fluid checked. Lightness in the brakes is often the first sign of a brake fluid leak, so keep an eye out.
Coolant Could Be Pink, Green, Blue, Or Orange
Coolant is obvious because manufacturers make it in many wild colors that will be easy to see. Because the coolant has a wild color, you will notice it instantly when it begins to leak. While you know that you cannot run your vehicle without coolant, you may be able to fill the reservoir with water solely so that you can get to a mechanic. This is the only part of the vehicle that you can attempt to temporarily repair on your own if you are in a pinch before going to see the mechanic.
While the coolant tank is the easiest thing in the vehicle to access, you should not try to repair this problem on your own. Most people who have a coolant leak will have issues with the hoses and clamps which are difficult to locate. Plus, the tank itself may be damaged, and it could be replaced using your car insurance or warranty.
Water Is Clear
Water is clear and easy to detect when you pull away and notice a puddle is under your vehicle. However, you should not panic if you notice that there is water pooling under your vehicle. Condensation will build up under the air conditioning unit when you have been running it, and that condensation will drip on the ground. This is very common in the summer, and it is the only time you will notice water leaks around your vehicle. If you think that the vehicle is dripping too much water while running the air, you should visit your mechanic to have the air conditioning checked. Check with your auto insurance provider to see if there is any coverage for this part of the vehicle. For information about auto insurance when you work with our team at the Webb Insurance Group, please visit this page.
Your vehicle utilizes several fluids simultaneously in order to run properly, and you must ensure that you are prepared financially to have your vehicle fixed if you ever find any leaks. Remember that these leaks are difficult to spot if you are not paying attention. You should often look where your vehicle was prior to moving it in order to find any puddles that might have brightly colored liquids or water. You should never try to touch these liquids because they could still be very hot and filled with chemicals. Check the brake fluid tank in your vehicle, report this problem to your mechanic, and hire a tow truck if you are afraid to drive your car. When you get the problem fixed right away, you are also able to save money and give yourself greater protection in the long-run.