An automobile dripping fluid could become a harmful situation when not fixed promptly. In this post, I will deal with the 6 most common fluid leaks from an automobile, from the fluid leaks that will leave you stranded, to ones that should be leaking. Yes, a few fluids should trickle out naturally from automobiles and we’ll cover that at the same time. With that being said, let’s try and figure out what fluid is actually leaking from your automobile and what you should do about it.
Dude is that my car leaking fluid?
First of all, be sure the fluid leak is actually caused by your automobile rather than the automobile that had been parked in the place before you decided to park there.
Just get on one knee and check out underneath your automobile, gain access to a flashlight and also relax and take a good glimpse, you do not need to be worried about a fluid leak when it’s not really caused by your automobile. in the event the fluid is originating from your automobile, we have to figure out the fluid’s color.
The easiest method to determine the particular fluid’s color is to slip a white piece of cardboard or perhaps a piece of plywood underneath your automobile and allow it to leak.
As soon as your automobile has released fluid on top of the board, it will explain to you in a couple of ways, one, it is going to show you color and it also will provide you with a good suggestion with regards to the place that the fluid is dripping from.
First of all, without relocating the board, observe the location where the drips are on the board, because of this it is possible to lookup underneath your automobile and find out where exactly your leak is coming from. After you have a clear view of the spot that the fluid is dripping from, remove the board and take a look at the color.
What are the most common fluid leaks?
The most common fluids that will leak from your automobile are usually; engine oil, transmission oil, coolant, water, differential fluid and power steering fluid. I left brake fluid because it’s not typical for it to make a mess underneath your automobile, if you think it’s likely you have a brake fluid leak, see your local certified brake inspector.
Simply for a brief reference point, brake fluid color is clear to amber and it has a smell like fish oil. It may sound strange however it may be the only way for me personally to explain it. Take the brake fluid reservoir cap off and smell the cap. You tell me what it smells like.
What to do with that engine oil leak?
For those who have an oil leak, the oil will be light amber to dark brown, depending on how well you maintain your car. If you have an oil leak, chances are that it will be underneath the engine, I am aware common sense tells you that, but now you have to know just where your own motor can be found.
Do not laugh, on a front wheel drive car, the engine could be found on the front left or front right, depending on where the tranny is located, check the transmission could be in the rear of the car if you’re operating a Porsche or a VW bug.
As soon as you determine the oil is leaking from the engine, all you have to try and do is find the leak, you may want an auto mechanic to look at it if you can not discover exactly where it really is leaking from. Oil leaks can get pretty complex often times a crankshaft seal under the timing cover, or something easy like a valve cover gasket.
I might have a coolant leak, what should I look for?
Coolant is very tricky these days because of all the colors it comes in, it had previously been green for most automobiles but now it comes in a variety of colors, it all will depend on the manufacturer or vendor of the coolant. Honda uses a blue coolant, Mercedes uses clear, Toyota has a red coolant and I also have observed orange and green and each of the colors of the rainbow.
Coolant has a sweet smell in addition to a sweet flavor, not that we want you to taste it simply because it’s poison, I have had the knowledge of tasting it a few times during my career, not by choice. A coolant leak could be anywhere because of all of the coolant hoses that revolve around your motor, you even have coolant hoses that will enter your car.
The most common coolant leak will be your radiator and that will be located right behind the grill in the front of the car. When you believe there is a coolant leak, you will usually smell a sweet odor in the surroundings like candy, take a quick glance at the coolant overflow container, it is usually see-through and it has high and low markings on it.
If it is empty, let your motor cool entirely and look inside the radiator, if you do not see any coolant, you may have a leak. (Do not remove the radiator cap on a very hot motor, it will send hot coolant or steam in your face and result in extreme burns)
My transmission is slipping, what is going on?
The majority of automatic transmissions use red or pink colored fluid, the first indication that your transmission is leaking will be when the transmission will begin to slip, and ultimately the automobile will not shift at all.
Manual transmissions use gear oil or just normal motor oil, Honda cars are definitely the only automobiles I know of that use standard motor oil with their older standard transmissions. The new Honda standard transmissions use Honda Standard transmission fluid.
Honda also offers their very own automatic transmission fluid, if you do not use Honda automatic transmission fluid in a Honda automatic transmission, you are going to compromise shift quality and also void your warranty, therefore I suggest adhering to Hondas guidelines and use their advised fluids to avoid issues.
The most common transmission fluid leak with a front wheel drive automobile is from the axle seals. On a rear wheel drive car, it could be the output shaft seal. When you see red or pink liquid under your automobile, pull your transmission dipstick and check the transmission fluid level.
Take a look at the owner’s manual for the best way to check the transmission fluid, different companies have various ways of checking out transmission fluids, a few manufacturers don’t even let you check the fluid.
When will I notice if my differential fluid or power steering fluid is leaking?
Differential fluid, hypoid, or gear oil is extremely heavy or think, it looks like honey but it smells like a highly greased Mac big rig waiting in a truck stop. When you get this grease on your hands the particular odor does not go away for days. Gear oil will be dark brown or darkish amber when it’s fresh or clean.
If your rear differential starts leaking or the standard transmission contains a leak, this is actually the fluid you will find leaking. Gear oil may also leak at the wheel bearing seals or rear axle seals, sometime you will notice oil being slung from the middle of the wheel all over the rim of your automobile, airborne dirt and dust will probably collect around the wheel and turn black.
If you have a 4 wheel drive, gear oil can easily leak from the front axle as well. The particular smell by itself will certainly allow you to determine if it is gear oil or not.
Power steering fluid is extremely difficult to explain because some manufacturers use transmission fluid and some use their very own brand of power steering fluid. Honda recommends their brand of power steering fluid and its color is light amber.
Power steering fluid has a distinctive smell; it stinks somewhat like burnt oil. If you think you could have a power steering fluid leak, the first place you should look is at the reservoir.
The reservoir should have high and low markings and you ought to easily notice if the fluid level is actually low, another good indication associated with low power steering fluid is; the power steering pump motor will certainly whine whenever attempting to turn the steering wheel, or the steering wheel may feel restricted when turning in a parking lot or perhaps at low speeds.
The most typical place the power steering may leak will be on each end of the power steering rack. The power steering rack has seals on both sides of the power steering rack; they can be the very first to start leaking simply because they go through the most wear and tear.
There’s water dripping from underneath my car
The three H’s, hazy, hot, and humid, are what lead to the most typical complaint of fluid leaking from your automobile. Just like the air conditioning unit hanging out a window of a home or business, it needs to be able to drain the moisture that it removes from the air.
The air conditioner in your car works the same way; it eliminates the moisture from inside the vehicle’s passenger compartment and drains it onto the ground underneath the automobile, via a rubber hose. This particular hose is usually located near the foreword end of the passenger compartment on the passenger’s side (near the passenger’s feet area) or the center of the cabin.
For those who have a newer minivan or big SUV that has front and rear climate control, it’s possible to have 2 evaporators and 2 air conditioner drains, one in front and one in the rear.
On extremely humid days, the water will pour out from the air conditioner drain just like a faucet until the cabin humidity is virtually removed. It is best to keep the recirculation switch on the on position whenever you utilize the air conditioning system.
If you leave the fresh air button on, it is going to continue to drag moist air in and overwork the air conditioner. This approach won’t cause any difficulties, however, the air inside the automobile’s cabin will never reach the best possible temperature.
Sometimes when it is highly humid, the air conditioner might be on high and you may really notice fog originating from your vents.
If you ever experience this phenomenon, reach over and press the recirculation switch, you will be grateful you did. It is not a problem; it’s just humidity coming back into the vehicle’s passenger cabin, any time you recirculate the cabin air through the air conditioner, it will have less humidity every pass through the evaporator, and your air conditioning unit is going to be working at maximum effectiveness.
Be smart, if its too good to be true then it most likely is
Well, I believe I covered the most common fluid leaks the very best I could without having to be too long-winded. I got one particular last tip; I do not recommend using any leak stop solutions unless of course it truly is absolutely necessary. These products do more damage to your car’s drive train, and it also will be a short-term fix that could cause an irreversible problem, do your car a favor and avoid using them no matter what.
If you have any concerns about a fluid leak in your car, simply leave me a comment and I will reply quickly. Furthermore, if you know somebody who requires help with fluid leaking from their car, share this article on Facebook. Thanks and good luck with your vehicle. If worst comes to worst and the leak causes a major problem with your vehicle you can always sell it to a junkyard.