The Importance of Identifying an Automotive Fluid Leak

If you notice any fluids leaking from under your car or truck, you should be concerned. Some fluid leaks may seem like no big deal at first, and they may not be early on. However, leaking fluid could lead to major problems if left ignored. You may not have enough healthy fluids running through vital automotive systems like the engine, transmission or cooling system. This can cause parts to seize up or fail, which could lead to major damage that will be expensive to repair.

What Do Automotive Fluids Do?

Different automotive fluids perform different functions throughout your vehicle. You have engine oil, transmission fluid, radiator coolant, A/C coolant, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid and fuel. Some provide lubrication. Others provide cooling properties. Some are hydraulic fluids. And some perform multiple important functions within their particular automotive system.

For example, a transmission fluid leak could lead to significant internal transmission damage. You may start to experience shifting problems or the car may not engage into gear at all. Meanwhile, the engine has extremely fast-moving parts that require healthy motor oil for proper lubrication. When the oil becomes contaminated or loses viscosity, it can cause serious engine issues. Low engine oil is also a concern, which is why an oil leak could be very problematic.

Identifying an Automotive Fluid Leak

If you notice any fluid leaking underneath your vehicle, you shouldn't wait too long to get your car checked out by a professional mechanic. They can identify the source of the leak and repair it before it gets much worse. Even if the problem is already major, they can recommend the necessary repairs to prevent even further damage. 

Fluid Color and Leak Location

Otherwise, you can usually tell the difference between different automotive fluids based on visual differences, as well as where the leak is happening. Automatic transmission fluid is generally bright red in color. Radiator coolant is bright yellow-green. Meanwhile engine oil may be brown or yellow-ish depending on its age and viscosity. Brake fluid can also be yellow or brown in color, but you can usually tell the difference simply based on the location of the leak.

Location is another good way to identify sources of automotive fluid leaks. Transmission fluid leaks generally happen under the very center of the car where the transmission is located. Engine oil or coolant leaks will occur near the front of the car. Brake fluid leaks will happen near the wheels and tires. 

Get Your Fluid Leak Inspected

No matter where the leak is happening and what fluid is leaking, you should take notice and get your car inspected by someone who can help resolve the problem. Whether it's a minor issue or major repair, you can get it fixed before it causes even more damage. 

If you have a fluid leak in Northern Delaware, bring your vehicle into Fox Run Auto for a proper inspection and diagnosis. Call us today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.


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