Whether you are walking out of the store after a quick grocery run or preparing to leave your house for work, if you see that your car is leaking a mystery fluid, it is best not to drive. Continue reading to learn the common types of car leaks, how to identify them, and what to do if your car is experiencing one.
Common Types of Automotive Leaks
There are seven vital automotive fluids your car uses, so you can bet that one of them is the mystery liquid leaking from your vehicle. These fluids are motor oil, transmission fluid, radiator fluid (coolant/antifreeze), power steering fluid, brake fluid, battery fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. Of these automotive fluids, the ones that most commonly leak out of vehicles include motor oil, transmission fluid, and radiator fluid. Vehicles can also leak water and gasoline, both of which are common car leaks.
▷ Water Leak – If your car is leaking water, it could just be condensation buildup in the AC, or beneath the shell, fender, or bumper of the vehicle. This is common in hot, summer months.
▷ Transmission Fluid Leak – If you notice a red or brown-like liquid leaking from the front-end of your vehicle, it could be transmission fluid.
▷ Power Steering Fluid Leak – Power steering fluid can also be red or brown in color. But unlike transmission fluid, which is thinner than motor oil, power steering fluid is quite oily. Many people describe the smell as being similar to burnt marshmallows.
▷ Coolant Leak – Radiator fluid, or coolant, is green or yellow in color. Sometimes it comes in pink or red hues. Coolant is a slimy liquid that smells sweet.
▷ Windshield Washer Fluid Leak – If your car is leaking a thin, watery liquid that looks blue or clear in color, it is likely windshield washer fluid. It also smells like soap or glass cleaner.
▷ Brake Fluid Leak – Brake fluid is typically yellow in color and very oily to the touch. It also smells similar to fish oil.
▷ Gas Leak – Gas leaks are the most obvious because of their noxious, distinctive odor.
▷ Motor Oil Leak – Motor oil leaks are dark brown or black in color. This fluid is thick and runs slowly.
Do Not Drive a Car With a Leak
Under no circumstances should you drive your vehicle after noticing a leak. This is especially important if your car is leaking brake fluid, gasoline, or motor oil. In the hot months, you do not want to operate your vehicle with an active coolant leak.
In all cases of automotive leaks, it is strongly encouraged to not drive. Instead, have your car towed to your choice of auto shop for inspection and repair. Contact a local and trusted Indianapolis tow truck company for affordable and prompt service.
Does your car or truck need a lift to the auto repair shop? Contact Zore’s Indy at 317-247-8484 for fast and affordable Indianapolis towing services you can trust. We operate throughout all of Central Indiana, offering full-service tow truck and roadside assistance solutions, around the clock.