Why is my Car Leaking?
If your car seems to be acting as it normally does (minus the puddle it left behind in its parking spot), chances are you’re scratching your chin and left wondering why your car is leaking. In general, car leaks have a bad rap for signaling some serious issues. The reality is that a leak could be a warning sign of a major problem about to strike or just a simple fix, so it’s important to pay attention and get them quickly accessed no matter what.
At CarTek Collision, we’ve seen a lot of major car care faux pas that ended in the need to replace an entire system, some of which started out with, you guessed it, a pesky leak. Since we want all of our drivers in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale to stay safe on the road, we’ve compiled a color guide that helps you quickly solve your car’s mystery leak.
Leak Color and Consistency
Since most car fluid leaks will look dark or black in color on your driveway, placing a piece of paper underneath your car where the leak is accumulating is an easy trick that can help you see the leak’s true colors. See below to determine what the color of your car’s leak could indicate for its various systems.
• Brown to black: A leak with a brown to black hue is typically associated with a motor oil leak. As motor oil travels through your engine and does its job in lubricating your car’s system, it gets dirty and takes on a darkened color.
• Dark red or brown and thin: If your car leak has a reddish-brown color, it’s most likely transmission or power steering fluid. Transmission fluid is commonly accompanied by a burning odor.
• Clearish brown and shiny: A glossy light-brown leak could indicate brake fluid’s escape. As an integral part of what keeps you safe on the road, a possible brake fluid leak can cause serious trouble, so be sure to bring your car in for service at first sign of a brake fluid accumulation.
• Slimy yellow, green, or pink: A colorful ooze of any of these vibrant hues typically signals either a coolant or an antifreeze leak, which could indicate loose interior components.
• Blue and slick: A blue leak normally indicates windshield wiper fluid escaping from the inner system that carries and distributes this cleaning solution onto your windshield. Since the various tubes in this mechanism break down over time, it’s possible for it to spring a leak.
• Transparent and thin: A puddle under your car that’s clear like water is probably just that. Your car’s release of a little condensation from your air conditioning system is perfectly normal.
Leaks can be very telling of the status of your car’s internal systems, so the sooner you know the type of liquid that’s on the run, the sooner you can match it to the system that’s in trouble. That means patching leaks up early can also prevent a leaky wallet.
Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule can help combat leaks too, which is all the more reason to commit to care car today. Drivers in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale can contact CarTek Collision for any questions about vehicle leaks or to schedule a systems checkup online.