Fluid Leaks as Car Trouble Indicators

Automotive vehicles make use of various fluids to lubricate and cool down its moving parts that are made of metal. Various problems on these parts are usually indicated by the leaks of the fluids running through and around them. These fluids are usually in different colors. Problem diagnosis is greatly aided by looking at the location under your car, amount of leak and colors of these fluids.

In terms of the amount of leaks, the gravity of the problem can be estimated as follows: A puddle that is at least 3 inches wide is a serious leak and requires immediate attention while a puddle from 1 to 2 inches wide is referred to as “seepage” or a “drip.”Unless it’s brake fluid, the condition isn’t as serious as the wider puddle.

What are the types of fluids and their respective colors that could leak from a vehicle?
1. Water can drip from the AC or defroster system when moisture from the air condenses. It’s not a problem indicator but just a normal by product.

2. Engine oil is slippery usually light to dark brown or black in color and has that dirty, burnt-rubber smell. Check the engine oil level in your car with a dipstick.

3. Engine coolant smells sweet. It is also usually slippery to the touch and could be colored light green, yellow, purple, pink and blue. You can find it near the front of the engine or beneath the radiator. Coolant leaks should be immediately washed off if you have young children or pets because it’s a toxic liquid.

4. Automatic transmission and Power steering fluids sometimes look the same. Reddish to reddish brown in color, they feel oily. It’s a transmission fluid leaks if found under the transmission or transaxle. It’s a Power steering fluid leak if found under the front of the engine near the power steering pump.

5. Manual transmission and differential fluids also look almost the same, a thick oil with rotten-egg smell. They can be found under the front and rear differential, transaxle or manual transmission.

6. Brake fluid feels oily and appears like white wine (new) or dark tea (dirty).

While the location and appearance of the leaking fluids are strong evidences of where the problems are, the cause still needs the diagnosis of an auto mechanic unless you are an expert.

Prevent these fluid leaks with an Albuquerque Car Tune Up at Nob Hill Auto Repair Albuquerque. Nob Hill Complete Auto & A/C Service is at 4505 Lomas Boulevard Northeast (corner of Lomas and Washington), Albuquerque, New Mexico.