When you notice any kind of a leak under your car, this is by no means good. There are up to seven options of what it might be and the repair bills can have a pretty wide range. However, almost everything that can leak is a part of a closed system and a leak means that the system is not good.
In this article you will find a number of cues that will help you determine what is leaking, how serious the issue is and if you are allowed to drive your car at all.
You will recognize it by its lighter colour and slippery fluid. The leaks can appear in numerous places, but they are most often found right under the pedals, of near the wheels. If you notice this, do not drive your car. Brake fluid is used to maintain the hydraulic pressure through which the brakes work. Any leak from the brake system can lead to weaker, or completely dead brakes. If you notice that your brakes are significantly worse during a ride you should rapidly press and release the brake pedal several times, as this will build up the pressure and help you to stop. However, this can be done several times only and then your brakes are gone. Make sure you use these several times to stop.
Its colour ranges from light brown to black due to many factors including the condition of your engine. A small drip is most likely not a serious issue – just yet. Engine oil goes through a number of seals and gaskets and the leak can be almost anywhere. Engine oil usually comes out in small drips and you can drive for a relatively long time, before you actually fix it. However, it is highly recommended that you find out the source of the leak as soon as you can. The fixes can range from simple and rather cheap things like bad oil filter placement, but this is rare. If your engine oil is leaking, you might be in for a pricey fix.
This is a bad one. Transmission fluid works both as lubricant and coolant and it is usually lighter or darker red. If this leaks and gets too low, your transmission can be completely destroyed and this will prevent you from driving anywhere and it will cost an arm and a leg.
Power steering fluid
Pretty often it looks like transmission fluid since – it is. There are many cars that make use of automatic transmission fluid as power steering fluid. If this is not true for your particular case, than it is most likely yellowish and the leak will probably be towards the front. You will also notice that turning the steering wheel Is getting increasingly difficult. Although you can drive with this leak, it is highly advised to drive only to your mechanic and have the issue dealt with immediately.
It is usually green or orange and it is most likely to be leaking at the front. It also has a sweet smell which makes those leaks pretty appealing to animals. However, it is toxic. If destroying the household fauna is not a problem for your, then you should know that if your car becomes devoid of coolant, the engine will overheat and it might even be completely destroyed. Anyway, fixing a coolant leak is a must.
You’ll know this one by the smell. Contrary to what Hollywood has thought us all, leaking fuel will not spontaneously combust. However, a simple spark could cause serious fire, so you should see where the leak comes from and fix it ASAP. The most common source of the fuel leak is the fuel pump or the fuel lines.
Windshield washer fluid
It is not oily and it’s usually light blue, although it can be other colour too. This is the least serious leak of them all. The leak can come from the reservoir or the tubes and both of these should be cheap and quick fixes.