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Drip, Drip, Drip: Diagnosing Your Carís Leaks



ou just got out of your car and you notice a big leak when you get out of your car. Well, if it isnít water then it could be a little problematic or it could be a big problem for you. However, before you panic, there is a way to determine what is going on by simply locating where the leak is coming from and checking the color of the leak. Thatís right. In diagnosing what is causing the leak, you can tell a great deal by determining what color the leak is. For example, is the leak black, clear, blue, red, green or clear? Once you determine this, it will be much easier for you to pinpoint what is going on with your car. In this article, we will discuss what each color means.


  • Red Leaks: Red leaks signal leaking in the area of the transmission. To determine if this is the case, check to see where the leak is coming from. For example, if the leak is coming from the radiator area, the cooler hoses from the transmission to the radiator are leaking. Note: With these types of leaks, you need to fix them quick-before they ruin the transmission.


  • Clear or Light Red Leaks: Clear and light red leaks indicate power steering leaks. The color will depend on the color of automatic transmission fluid that your car uses. The important thing is to pay attention to the exact location of the leak.


  • Black Leaks. If you see a black puddle then you likely have a motor oil leak. If your engine is using more than a quart every 800 miles this engine oil leak could be dangerous and if the oil is leaking on the exhaust system, it can cause fire so be careful and get it checked out right away.


  • Clear, oily leaks: If you see this color, you likely have a manual transmission or differential leak. If you also smell a strong odor that smells like machines, you might have a gear lube leak.


  • Blue Leaks: You probably have leaking windshield washer fluid.


  • Green Leaks: If you see a green leak, you likely have leaking cooling system parts. If it is coming from the front engine are, check the water pump. If you have a leak in the grille area, check the radiator and if you have a leak from the dashboard, check your hoses or heaters. However, make sure that you fix any of these leaks right away or you might damage your engine.


*** Whatever the drip, you want to be sure to get it fixed right away! ***

Also see

Your Car's Mechanical Condition

What Grade of Gasoline to Use? -Regular, Mid-Grade, or Premium.  How do you decide?

Emergency: What To Do If Your Brakes Fail -you're driving down the road and the brakes fail.  5 tips.

Finding a Good Mechanic Doesn't Have to Give You a Headache -part 3 in a series.

Three Reasons Why Your Car May Not Start -Can't get the car out of your driveway?  Read on!



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