Have you ever pulled out of your driveway or a parking spot and found drops of fluid under your car? When this happens, it can be quite alarming, especially since it’s hard to know where the liquid is leaking from and whether or not you need to be concerned.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to detect and diagnose a leak just by using your eyes and nose.
Here are seven tips to keep in mind:
1. Clear water dripping from your engine is typically caused from condensation accumulating on your AC condenser, especially on a hot day. This type of sweating is normal and nothing to be concerned about – the water will evaporate quickly, especially on hot pavement.
2. If you’ve just filled up your washer fluid reservoir, you may notice light blue liquid on the pavement. If that’s the case, it’s nothing to worry about since it’s just over-spill. If you haven't recently topped up the fluid, check the connections to the reservoir for leaks and make sure that the cap is on tight.
3. Pink or reddish liquid could be a sign of a steering or transmission fluid leak – both of which need to be addressed by a Technician. If it smells like burnt oil or the dipstick shows a low register of oil, it’s likely the power steering fluid. If the leak is further back or towards the centre of the car, it is likely the transmission fluid. This type of liquid usually has a rubbery or mildew type smell.
4. Anti-freeze is often bright yellow, green or orange and has a viscosity similar to water. If you take a whiff of it, you’ll notice a sweet smell, like syrup. This fluid is extremely toxic and should be cleaned up immediately. After that, call our Service Department to book an inspection, so that the issue can be addressed.
5. Brake fluid leaks are easy to detect since they're commonly found dripping on the inside of the rims, down the tire and on the ground near the brakes. This type of fluid ranges from clear in colour to amber and is extremely corrosive. Not only will low brake fluid reduce your stopping abilities, but the liquid can damage the finishes on your vehicle.
6. Oil is the most common leak and is characterized by a thick, greasy fluid that ranges from amber to dark brown, depending on its age. Check your dipstick to match the colour and smell. If you think it's the culprit, it’s time to pay our Service Department a visit.
7. Gas or fuel leaks are the most concerning and require immediate attention. You're likely to smell the leak before you see it because fuel is known to evaporate very quickly. To determine if you are dealing with a gas leak, look under the carriage for long rusted lines running from the gas tank to the front of the car. If you spot these, be sure to call our dealership right away to book an inspection.
Remember, regular maintenance is a smart way to avoid or detect fluid leaks before they do harm to the key components of your vehicle. To book your next appointment, please click here or call our Service Department to speak with an advisor.