Fluid Leaks

19 Feb Fluid Leaks

The fluids that support a vehicle’s many systems are important and vital to a vehicle’s health; a leak—oil, transmission fluid, water, antifreeze, etc.—shouldn’t be ignored. Every fluid supports one of the systems that keep a vehicle in optimal condition. And, for one reason or another, sometimes those fluids leak. Fluid leaks are fairly common, especially in vehicles with higher mileage and that have older, worn components. It’s easy to spot the evidence of an oil leak because oftentimes the evidence will be in a puddle on the driveway or in the garage. But there are other less common fluid leaks to be aware of. For instance, the antifreeze can leak. And oftentimes an antifreeze leak will be visibly apparent as thick fluid colored yellow, pink, or green. You may notice the antifreeze in droplets either around your vehicle or under it. The steering fluid can also leak. Steering fluid is thin and colored brown or red. Transmission fluid is also brown or red, but will likely pool in the midsection of the vehicle while its parked or sitting idle. Brake fluid can also leak, and depending on the fluid or its cleanliness, it will appear as somewhat clear to brown, and oftentimes pool near the wheels.

An engine oil leak can be caused by a number of factors. And when oil leaks, it’s not always visibly apparent, meaning a leak can happen in the engine, but the leaking oil may not leave the engine compartment. Sometimes leaks are diagnosed by a noticeable odor: heat from the vehicle’s engine can burn up the leaking oil. Common causes for oil leaks are worn out gaskets and damaged oil pans. Consistently driving on gravel or rough roads can prematurely wear out the gaskets and the pan. Oil can also leak if the valve rings and seals are defective or damaged.

If you ever notice that your vehicle is leaking fluid, don’t ignore it. Your vehicle’s engine and its components rely on fluid to operate. If you do notice a leak, take the vehicle to your mechanic at Willard’s Garage to diagnose and fix it.

 

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