The picture above shows what leaking oil under your car could look like.
When you notice wet areas under your car that has been parked for a while during work, after you are at the shopping center, or overnight at home in the garage, it could be a warning sign of a more serious problem with the engine or transmission, or maybe even the engines radiator. Most cars with an Air Conditioner will discharge a little clear water when the engine is turned off. A simple quick look around the engine under the hood might give you some clues as to what is leaking.
Automobiles have many different types of fluids moving through the engine and transmission to help the vehicle operate correctly and get you down the road safely. Some of these fluids are water based, like radiator Antifreeze/ Coolant. Most other fluids are petroleum based like power steering oil, engine oil, transmission oil and other power train fluids.
Here is a quick list of the fluids, oils that could be leaking under your vehicle and some clues that will help you to identify them so that you can inform the Auto Repair Technician.
1. Engine Oil
Engine oil is very important to the health of the engine. This liquid is generally light yellow and can leak from many parts of the engine. It usually appears at the front, rear or directly under the engine area after it has cooled down.
2. Automatic Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid/oil is reddish in color. It is very thin and almost looks like water on the parking surface. This oil is used in the automatic transmission to help shift the gears to move the vehicle.
Some cars have a standard transmission that uses a different type of oil and it is very dark in color quite smelly.
3. Power Steering Fluid
This oil is also very thin and doesn’t have much smell. It could be a clear color or also be reddish in color. Leaking power steering fluid will cause the steering on the vehicle to be very sluggish.
4. Engine Antifreeze/Coolant
Antifreeze/Coolant helps keep the engine cool and prevents the liquid from freezing in very cold temperatures. This fluid is generally yellow/green in color, maybe a little yellowish. Some late model vehicles have a red tinged coolant. Antifreeze has a very sweet smell to the liquid. If there are coolant leaks from the engine, this is the most likely fluid that you would see under the car.
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