Before you try to determine which fluid is leaking on your vehicle, know this: Every fluid can leak. Automotive fluids by nature are held in a circuit, often with a reservoir, tubing or piping and a component or piece that contains the fluid during use. Cracks, worn gaskets, faulty caps and broken fittings are just a few of the potential sources of leaks under your hood.
A leaking engine doesn’t necessarily mean you need a major repair, though. It just means you need to identify where the leak is coming from, which type of fluid it is, how much it is leaking and what steps you need to take to correct the leak. We’ve got you covered.
All Leaks Should Be Repaired
Some automotive DIYers feel that many small leaks can be ignored since they don’t leak enough to cause a problem with your engine, transmission or other under-the-hood circuit. The problem with this is that all leaks can become more serious, and even a small leak can drain a reservoir over time.
Small leaks also accumulate on the road and can be washed into gutters, sewers, waterways and green spaces.
What’s My Vehicle Leaking?
You can determine the nature of your leaks according to the color and consistency of the different fluids, such as:
- Coolant: Coolant is traditionally green, but some modern vehicles now come with yellow, pink or orange coolant (or antifreeze). This colorful fluid flows much like water, but it is slick to the touch and has a sweet smell in pure form. Most coolants come with additives to make them bitter so that children and animals won’t drink them.
- Engine oil: This yellowish/brown fluid is much thicker than water and gives off a bluish-rainbow color when spilled on the ground, especially when it’s in the presence of water. Oil and water don’t mix, so oil can quickly be dispersed down driveways and into the ground where it is an environmental hazard.
- Transmission fluid: Another common fluid that leaks is automatic transmission fluid or ATF. It has the same general consistency as engine oil but is usually more red in color. You’ll often see transmission fluid leaking from the transmission cooler or lines, where they connect to the transmission under your vehicle.
These are some of the most common fluids you’ll find leaking from your vehicle. Here at Bar’s Leaks, we carry a wide range of products designed to stop leaks in a single use. Contact us today for more information and to get more tips and pointers for identifying annoying automotive fluid leaks. If you have a leak, we can help you fix it.