Mechanic Tips

How to Tackle Leaking Fluids Under Your Car

Leaking fluids beneath your car can turn a normal day into a puzzler. Whether it’s a tiny drip or a concerning puddle, it’s crucial to address the issue swiftly. Not only does it keep your vehicle running smoothly, but it also saves you from future headaches and hefty repair bills. So, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide on tackling those pesky leaks.

Step 1: Identify the Fluid

First up, pinpoint what’s leaking. Different fluids have distinct colours and consistencies:

  • Engine Oil: Usually brown or black, it’s slick and might have a slightly burnt smell.
  • Coolant: Often bright green, pink, or orange, it’s sticky and has a sweet odour.
  • Transmission Fluid: Typically red or brown and slick, it has a slightly sweet or tart smell.
  • Brake Fluid: It’s clear to brown and has a medium thickness.
  • Power Steering Fluid: Similar to transmission fluid but might be slightly lighter in colour.
  • Water: Plain and clear, usually from the air conditioning system and generally not a worry.

Step 2: Check the Levels

Dip into your vehicle’s reservoirs to check fluid levels. Low levels might confirm a leak.

Step 3: Inspect the Ground

Where’s the fluid? Is it under the engine, near the wheels? The location can hint at the source.

Step 4: Examine the Components

Look for worn-out hoses, gaskets, or seals. Sometimes, a visual check is all it takes to spot the issue.

Step 5: Clean Then Recheck

Clean up the leaked fluid. After using your car, check again to see if the leak persists.

Step 6: Regular Maintenance

Regularly servicing your car at a trusted mechanic can prevent many leaks.

Throughout this process, remember, safety first! If you’re unsure, it’s always better to consult a professional.

Understanding the Implications

Leaking fluids aren’t just a nuisance; they can signal serious problems. For instance, a brake fluid leak can lead to brake failure, while an oil leak might cause engine damage. It’s not just about keeping your driveway clean; it’s about ensuring your ride is safe and sound.

When to Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, the issue might be beyond a simple DIY fix. If the leak is substantial, the fluid level drops quickly, or you can’t identify the fluid, it’s time to see a mechanic. They can provide a thorough check-up and repair any issues.


What’s the most common fluid leak?

Engine oil leaks are pretty standard due to worn seals or gaskets.

Can I drive with a fluid leak?

It depends on the leak’s severity and the fluid. Driving with a significant brake fluid or oil leak, for instance, can be dangerous.

How much does it usually cost to fix a leak?

Costs vary widely based on the leak’s nature and the vehicle’s make and model.

How can I prevent leaks?

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are your best bet against leaks.

In the end, if you’re in Brendale and need expert eyes on your car, SNC Automotive is your go-to. With over 20 years of experience, certified Brendale mechanics, and a reputation for honesty and friendly service, they’ll ensure your vehicle is leak-free and road-ready.

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