That small spot beneath your car might be attempting to communicate with you.
Now is a good time to figure out what’s leaking if you have a reoccurring drip, stain, or spot in your parking lot. Unfortunately, searching under the hood or under the hood of your automobile or truck does not always yield a solution. Even a clean engine might accumulate a variety of liquid due to road grime.
To assist you solve the challenge, we will use features like colour, texture, and scent to identify your leaking fluid.
Automatic Transmission Fluid: Dextron Type
Automatic transmission fluid of the Dextron type is a dark red colour with a strong odour. It’s fairly thick, so it will sit on top of a driveway and gently soak in.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is a medium-thick, somewhat yellowish liquid that looks like cheap waffle syrup mixed with water. It instantly absorbs into the concrete. It has a weak odour, but a keen nose can detect a dull, mechanical odour. It’s a type of hydraulic fluid.
Power steering works by utilizing a hydraulic pump-and-dump system, which uses hydraulic fluid pressurized by your power steering pump to assist the steering rack in pushing and pulling the wheels from one side to the other as needed. When the fluid level in the system drops too low, there isn’t enough volume in the system to maintain constant pressure in the desired direction, causing the steering to feel sluggish. It may also cause the power steering pump to squeal due to a lack of fluid.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Windshield washer fluid is quite thin and smells like a combination of coolant and window cleaning. It can be blue, green, or orange, but it will have comparable qualities regardless of colour. It instantly absorbs into the concrete.
If you reside somewhere where it gets cold, don’t use plain water to refill your windshield washer. Even doing so in the summer, if you neglect to swap the fluid for real stuff before winter, it can be disastrous. Frozen windshield washer fluid reservoirs, electric pumps, washer hoses under the hood, and even plastic windshield sprayers can all be damaged by a frozen windshield washer system. This can quickly build up to be a very costly fix. Keep in mind that you might have a washer.
This can quickly build up to be a very costly fix. Remember that you can have a washer for the back window as well!
In every way, brake fluid is similar to power steering fluid. Their properties are close, if not identical, because they are both hydraulic fluids. Brake fluid is medium in thickness and smells dreary and mechanical. It has a yellowish hue to it.
Brake fluid leaks are serious business. Even if you need to take it to a mechanic, if you feel you have a brake fluid leak, you should diagnose it with confidence. First and foremost, safety!
Oil is, without a doubt, the most likely fluid you’ll discover beneath your engine. The used engine oil is dark brown in colour and has a faint gassy odor. I say slightly because if it smells particularly gassy, there could be other issues that need to be investigated. It eventually absorbs into the pavement and leaves a dark trace behind. You may also detect an oil leak before it becomes severe enough to spill onto the driveway. It smells like something is cooking in the hot oil, but it’s not something you want to eat. If you detect a hot, oily odor, open the hood and look for faint signs of smoke. Minor oil leaks are common in cars with high mileage, but they can go for years without causing serious problems.
It’s a good idea to have an oil leak looked out by someone who understands what they’re looking at if you detect one. Always check your oil and replace it on a regular basis!
Coolant (antifreeze) leaks are the second most prevalent type of leak, after oil. Coolant leaks will gradually decrease your engine’s coolant supply, exposing it to overheating. A coolant leak, however, has another drawback: it can be fatal to animals. Because even a tiny amount of coolant consumed by an animal can be fatal, appropriate coolant leak cleaning is just as vital as treating the leak itself.
Coolant can be pinkish or greenish, but the green version is the more common. It has a pleasant aroma and is thick.
Did you know that as coolant degrades, it can start reacting with the metals in your cooling system, breaking it down and causing a large leak? Many cars with aluminum heater cores are prone to this type of problem, which can result in hot coolant being splashed all over the driver’s feet! To avoid this, it’s a good idea to flush your radiator once a year.