How to Identify Car Leaks
As you are pulling out of the garage this morning, you notice a spot of liquid on the ground. Your heart drops… what is leaking from your car and where is it coming from?
To get a better idea of what is going on with your car, you can put a piece of white cardboard under your car to identify the color of the leak and where it is coming from. Then you can compare what you find with the chart below to get a handle on the situation. Be sure to consult your owner's manual if you have any questions regarding the fluids in your vehicle.
Brown fluid leaking from your vehicle is likely motor oil. Newer motor oil will be light brown while older oil is dark brown. An oil leak can be traced to a worn gasket or seal, an oil plug that isn’t properly secured, high oil pressure or an oil filter that isn’t put on properly.
Red fluid can indicate that the transmission or power steering system is leaking. Transmission leaks will appear near the front or middle of the vehicle while power steering leaks will be toward the front.
Orange or amber fluid can indicate a leak of extended-life coolant. Coolant leaks can occur from a worn gasket on the engine, from the radiator or from heater and radiator hoses and engine core plugs.
Yellow liquid is likely a leak of radiator coolant. Coolant leaks can occur from a worn gasket on the engine, from the radiator or from heater and radiator hoses and engine core plugs.
Green liquid points to an antifreeze (coolant) leak. Antifreeze leaks can occur from a worn gasket on the engine, from the radiator or from heater and radiator hoses and engine core plugs. Clean up leaks promptly, antifreeze is poisonous and dangerous to your pets because it has a sweet smell and taste.
If you notice blue liquid coming from your vehicle, it likely is windshield wiper fluid. Inspect the tubes leading from the wiper fluid reservoir for leaks.
If on a hot day you see water coming from your vehicle, don’t worry it’s just condensation from your air conditioning system.
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The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.
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