You never want to see fluid leaking from your car. However, some leaks may be more concerning than others according to the Colorado Springs auto repair experts at LightHouse Automotive. Here are some helpful tips for identifying a fluid leak and how to deal with it.
1. Look at the Color
Different automotive fluids have different colors. For example, transmission fluid is usually red while engine oil is typically gold/brown. Check out our past article on different types of vehicle fluids to help you identify where the leak might be coming from.
2. Look at Where the Leak is Coming from
Another way to identify the source of a fluid leak is to see where the leak is coming out under the vehicle. The engine and cooling system are in the front while the transmission is in the middle of the chassis. Or, if there's a leak under one of your wheels, it could be brake fluid or hydraulic fluid from the suspension system.
3. How Thick or Dirty is the Fluid?
Another key issue is to see what the fluid looks like. It is dirty and full of debris or metal shavings? Is it thick and burnt? Or, does it look brand new? When the fluid looks fresh, it's often just a leak somewhere in the lines or connections and it may be an easier fix. If the fluid looks bad, then it might be a sign that there is a more significant internal problem that needs to be addressed.
4. Does it Only Leak When Driving or Continue When You Are Parked?
Some leaks will happen whether the car is running or not. Again, this may be the sign of something more superficial. Other leaks only occur when the car is running or driving, which will usually point to an internal problem.
5. When in Doubt, Bring it to a Mechanic
Unless you can clearly see the source of the leak and it's something as easy as re-tightening a line connection, you don't want to take any chances. At the first sign of an automotive fluid leak of any kind, you will want to have the vehicle properly inspected by a professional mechanic. The team at LightHouse Automotive can diagnose the specific problem and the exact source of the leak, as well as determine any internal damage that may be there. Then, we can get the repairs done right to fix the damage and eliminate the leak(s).
If you have a fluid leak or low fluid levels in your transmission, engine, radiator, power steering system, brakes, suspension or air conditioning system, call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-0302 or schedule your service appointment online.