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What's That Leak? An In-Depth Look into Different Kinds of Automotive Leaks

If you notice a fluid leak under your vehicle, it's probably time to visit your mechanic. And knowing what's leaking from your car is always essential because it helps you know what to expect concerning repairs. However, numerous systems in your car rely on different kinds of fluids, so it can be challenging to pinpoint the culprit. Here are some common fluid leaks you may see and a guide on how you can differentiate them.

Engine Oil Leaks

Engine oil leaks are among the most common you will see. They occur because of worn or damaged engine components such as the engine gaskets and seals, engine valves and oil pan. A puddle of fluid towards the front of your car will, in most cases, be an engine oil leak. The oil is generally black or brown and may have a burnt odour. Take the vehicle to the mechanic as soon as you notice this. However, if the leak is quite massive, consider having the car towed because driving it while it's low on oil could result in overheating.

Transmission Fluid Leaks

The transmission fluid is usually red or pink but may turn reddish-brown with time. It feels slick and oily to the touch and often has a petroleum smell. If you have a transmission fluid leak, the puddle will be closer to the centre of your vehicle. Transmission leaks generally come from damaged transmission lines and broken axle and shaft seals. It would be best if you also had this checked by your mechanic because you will struggle with the gears, which can be quite dangerous when driving.

Brake Fluid Leaks

Brake fluid is a significant element in your vehicle's braking system because it transmits the force you apply when you step on the brake pedal through the braking system to the brake pads. A brake fluid leak is, therefore, equally dangerous and should be corrected early enough. The brake fluid appears yellow or light yellow, but it can turn brown over time. It is very slippery, which can help you distinguish it from the engine oil, especially if it has become brown. A brake fluid leak will often appear near the wheels.

Power Steering Fluid Leaks

Low levels of power steering fluid will affect your steering ability, which is a crucial safety hazard. Therefore, be keen to notice these leaks. Usually, the leak will appear under your vehicle's front half. It has a similar colour to engine oil, but it's typically slightly thinner, which can help you make the distinction. Get your mechanic to investigate the source of the leak as soon as possible.

Contact a local mechanic to learn more about these automotive leaks.