How to Identify Fluids Beneath Your Vehicle

a leak under the carHave you recently started to notice fluid under your vehicle? Whether the leak could be tiny, or it could have spread out into the size of a basketball, or larger. Knowing how to identify fluid under your vehicle allows you to have a much better idea of what the problem is. When you can say to your mechanic what is leaking, it allows them to know where to begin looking. If you are your own mechanic, then it is good to narrow down the area to begin your search as well.

Oil Leaks from Your Vehicle

When you see a brown or black, oily fluid under your vehicle, oil is the most likely culprit. This can be leaking out from numerous different parts of your engine, or it could be leaking from hoses connected to the engine. If you only have a small drip, make sure you keep an extra quart of oil on hand when you are driving around until you can get it fixed. Pick one up at your local Florence auto parts store, and keep it in your trunk. When you get below half a bottle, buy another one.

Red Fluid Leaking from Your Vehicle

When you see red fluid under your vehicle, you should definitely take notice. Red typically means one of two things – power steering fluid loss or transmission fluid loss. Both of these issues need to be checked out immediately, so you can stop the leak from progressively getting worse. Power steering fluid under your vehicle is often very thin, and ranges from a red color to a light brown. Transmission fluid is bright red if it’s fresh, and it is very thin, or it is much thicker and brown if it is older fluid. If you aren’t sure which it is, wipe up a small sample on a tissue or paper towel, and put the sample in a plastic, zip-top bag, before you head to the mechanics. They can likely tell what it is by looking at it.

Antifreeze is Not a Leak You Want

Antifreeze is a leak you don’t want to have all over your driveway. If you have pets, they are likely going to want to try and lick up antifreeze, and it is toxic to ingest. Most of the time, antifreeze will look somewhere between a neon yellow and a neon green, but it can be other colors as well. If you see yellowish-green, even with brown mixed in, or if you see a slimy pink puddle of fluid under your vehicle, then you are looking at a leak with antifreeze. Again, buy some to keep in your vehicle until you get it fixed if the leak is small, or get it checked out immediately if the leak is medium to large.

Clear Leaks Are More Common

There are two things that typically leak clear liquid. One is no big deal, and the other is a massive deal. If you notice clear water dripping from your tailpipe or under your vehicle, it is likely just water. This is most commonly coming from your air conditioning unit. Which is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice clear liquid, or even a slightly brown liquid, you need to stay out of your vehicle. Typically, this is leaking brake fluid from under your vehicle. If you were to drive, your vehicle may not be able to stop, potentially causing you to crash.

If you aren’t sure, have someone drive you and a sample of the liquid on your driveway to your local Florence auto parts store, like Oakley NAPA. Let them see the sample, and use their professional expertise to help you keep your car running safely for a long time to come.

OakleyNAPA is an independently operated dealer of NAPA, heavy duty and small engine equipment, parts and supplies. In addition to NAPA’s standard automotive parts, we have much to offer agricultural, heavy duty and industrial customers.  We carry products from independent companies, like Trux Accessories‘ lighting and chrome parts for trucks, PAI Industries’catalog and Mahindra tractor parts. OakleyNAPA also carries Gates hoses and Martin Senour paint, making us a one-stop shop for your needs.

We have several trained mechanics on staff to work on any problems you may encounter. From warranty issues, to routine maintenance, and also carry parts for most yard equipment, including tillers, mowers and chainsaws.

We serve the following Lauderdale County, AL communities, but not limited to:

  • Florence
  • St. Florian
  • Killen
  • Rogersville
  • Cloverdale
  • Zip City
  • Oakland
  • Anderson
  • Lexington
  • Waterloo
By | 2017-11-02T21:41:13+00:00 January 7th, 2017|Car Care, Engine Care|Comments Off on How to Identify Fluids Beneath Your Vehicle

About the Author: