Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's Leaking Under My Car?

Let's face it, there are a lot of things that can wrong with your vehicle and often the first tell tale signs of trouble are overlooked. One sign you should be paying attention to however if you want to avoid a costly car repair bill down the road is what is leaking from under your vehicle.

Car leaks can be subtle and unless you park in the same spot consistently, the subtle leak may go undetected by you. Or you simply hope or presume that any leak is okay and if your vehicle is still running, you simply don't worry a whole lot about it. However a leak is your car's way of telling you something is wrong and the sooner you address what is wrong, the better your car repair prospects will be.

There are a few basic fluids that go into every vehicle to make it run smoothly and these fluids ideally should not leak out. Oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and radiant coolant are some of these fluids. You can generally tell what is leaking by the color of the fluid and where it is leaking from if you can determine a location.

If the fluid is a bright green it is likely radiant coolant. If you don't change your radiant coolant every 3,500 miles however the fluid can be a light or medium brown color which can be a little harder to identify.

Windshield wiper fluid can be just about any color from green, pink, yellow or orange and finding this leaking is usually just a result of over filling the holding tank too much.

Red fluid is usually power steering fluid which will affect your ability to handle the steering in your automobile, or it can be transmission fluid. Either way, if your automobile is leaking red, you need to have a mechanic look at it and diagnose what is leaking and why before your automobile becomes non-operable.

Brake oil can be a clear oily substance or it can be yellow or brown, depending on how old it is. You will usually find this by the wheels of your automobile if it is brake oil. If your brake oil is leaking, it is probably a problem with your master cylinder and your brakes may have trouble working properly if you continue to drive.

Amber colored liquid can be fresh oil, while a brown or black liquid can be used oil. An oil leak is usually the most common fluid leak and can be the result of a wide variety of car repair issues.

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