As you were about to jump into your car, you noticed a puddle culminating below your engine. What is it? Does it mean your vehicle is in bad condition? Is it severe and requires immediate attention? These thoughts surround your head as you pace around your car, trying to identify the source of the leakage. As car owners, you’ll dread the costs and time it takes to fix when your vehicle breaks down or faces any sorts of car problems, which is why a suspicious pool surrounding your car can be alarming. Before you fret, keep calm and determine the liquid: Sometimes, it may not be as big of a concern.
Don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do when it comes to suspicious leaks.
Identify the type of leak
There are three main features to look out for: the colour, the liquid consistency, and the puddle’s location. By recognising the type of leak, you’ll be able to determine the cause and decide on your next course of action. However, as some of the liquid is harmful to the skin, please do not touch them with your bare hands or get into close contact.
So, what are the potential leaks that might be pooling under your vehicle? Let’s find out!
1. Engine Oil
The most common type of leak, engine oil, can be found consolidating at the front of your vehicle. A mixture of dark brown and black colours, it emits a burnt odour and sleek texture. In most scenarios, the engine oil leak is caused by misplacement of the oil pan plug or oil filter, so make sure to double-check that they are correctly fitted. If neither of them is the problem, it’s best to consult a car mechanic as it might indicate a more severe issue such as blown engine gaskets.
Gasoline or petrol liquid is the easiest to identify due to its smell and iridescent tones. Gasoline leaks might signify damaged fuel lines and injectors, so send your car to the nearest workshop as serious issues generally cause them!
Coolant or antifreeze are liquids that prevent your engine from freezing in cold, harsh temperatures and prevent overheating in extreme heat. They come in pink, green or yellow depending on the type of coolant, have a sweet smell similar to maple syrup and can be found at the front part of the car. If you noticed these features, it’s time to send your vehicle to a mechanic, as a coolant leak can lead to further engine damage that can be detrimental in the long run.
4. Power Steering Fluid
Reddish light brown with a thin and oily surface, power steering fluid leaks smells of burnt marshmallows. It’s best to consult a car technician as soon as possible as your steering might have a sudden loss of power in your steering, which will pose a safety hazard.
5. Brake Fluid
Due to similar texture and colour, brake fluid can be hard to differentiate from power steering leaks. They either come in red-brown or clear hues, smell like fish oil and are slick to the touch. When this occurs, do not drive your car and call for a towing service instead, as the lack of braking power can cause significant road incidents.
6. Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid can sometimes be difficult to distinguish due to their similarities with petrol in terms of colour and smell. They tend to come in reddish-brown and appear around the vehicle’s front and centre. Transmission fluid leaks may indicate a need for replacement or a more severe engine issue. It’s advisable to drive your car as little as possible or engage a towing vehicle service as you might cause further impairment.
Get your car checked at ZOZ
Still unsure about the type of leak? Let ZOZ help! With our team of experts, we are able to diagnose your issue efficiently and get started on your vehicle reparation as soon as possible. You can reduce potential vehicle damage with regular servicing to maintain your car in peak condition. At ZOZ, we provide reliable car servicing in Singapore. Check out our car servicing package or drop by our location for your customised solutions!