Everyone’s car leaks fluids once in a while. Most of the time it’s not even a leak – it’s just water condensation from your car’s air conditioning. Seeing a puddle beneath your car is still a little worrisome – especially if it turns out not to be water. Your car relies on a number of different fluids in order to run properly, which means that if there’s a leak, the performance of your car will most likely suffer – not to mention that there could be a safety risk involved with operating the vehicle as well. The following will help you figure out what exactly your car is leaking, if it’s not leaking water:

  • Bluish water-like – If the liquid is leaking out the near the back of your car and looks somewhat like water, except slightly more bluish, then it could be a gas leak. How can you be sure? Gas smells incredibly strong, there’s no mistaking its scent. While you’re not in immediate danger (the odds of your car suddenly becoming enveloped in flames and exploding are pretty minimal), you should have it fixed quickly to avoid wasting money on gas, if anything.
  • Yellowish-brown or dark brown/ black – This is most likely engine oil. An engine oil leak will cause its levels to drop, which, in turn, can cause damage to your car’s engine if left unchecked. If the oil is seeping more than it is dripping, then you probably don’t need to worry about it – oil seepage is relatively normal in high-mileage cars. Just be sure to keep an eye out on it in case it turns into a drip.
  • Yellowish-clear with medium, oily texture – This is probably the last fluid you want to be leaking from your car, because it’s most likely your brake fluid. If you suspect the leak to be brake fluid, have your car towed to a mechanic as quickly as possible – don’t even think about driving it there! Your car’s brake fluid is essential to the function of the hydraulic pressure system of your brake system. This means that if you are losing brake fluid, then there will be a drop in pressure, which could potentially cause your brakes to fail – not something you want to risk while out on the road.
  • Light red or dark red/brownish with thick, oil texture – If this color fluid is found leaking from the front or the middle of the car, then it is probably your automatic transmission fluid. Your automatic transmission fluid is essential to making sure your car shifts properly and smoothly in addition to serving as a coolant for the transmission. This means that if your automatic transmission fluid levels drop below their required level, your transmission could break down completely, requiring a huge investment to replace it.
  • Yellowish or dark brown with medium thickness – This is probably your power steering fluid. The power steering fluid is what makes steering your car so effortless. Once it begins to leak, it makes your steering more difficult. This can pose a danger on the road; your car will be harder to control. However, keep in mind that some cars will use automatic transmission fluid as their power steering fluid. Take a look through your car’s owner manual to find out what fluids are used for your power steering.

These tips will help you to identify any leaks you find in your car. To have your car serviced, be sure to bring it in to Collision 24 located at 97 Manley St. in Brockton, MA.  You can easily schedule your service online.