The sight of a strange puddle under your parked car is enough to send shivers down your spine. It clearly indicates that something isn’t going quite right, and if history is any guide, it usually means a trip to the service department at Joe’s Auto Sales is in order. But what exactly is that mysterious substance leaking onto your driveway or garage floor? Let’s look at some of the most common fluid leaks you might be experiencing with your used car so you never have to wonder: “What’s that fluid leaking from my car?”. What's That Fluid Leaking from My Car?

Is It Engine Oil?

Engine oil is generally dark brown or black and has a slick, oily consistency. It is crucial since it lubricates various engine components, ensuring they run smoothly and without excess friction. Common signs of an engine oil leak include:

  • A burning smell from the engine bay
  • Blue or gray smoke from the exhaust
  • Losing power or efficiency
  • A visible trail of oil where you’ve driven

Addressing an engine oil leak is critical. If left unchecked, it can lead to severe engine damage and may even cause a fire.

Is It a Coolant Leak?

Antifreeze, or coolant, is typically bright green but can also be pink or yellow. It’s often slippery and feels oily. Coolant’s primary job is to keep your engine from overheating, which it does by circulating throughout the system. Symptoms of a coolant leak include:

  • The car’s heater is not working
  • Overheating
  • A visible and sweet-smelling white smoke coming from the engine
  • The temperature gauge in your car reading higher-than-normal levels

Coolant leaks can lead to severe engine damage due to overheating, including a warped cylinder head or a blown head gasket. Don’t waste time getting a coolant leak fixed!

Is It Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid ranges from red to brown and is oily in texture. Your vehicle’s transmission relies on fluid to keep gears shifting smoothly. Signs of a transmission fluid leak include:

  • Difficulty shifting gears
  • Unusually loud noises from the transmission
  • A reddish or dark brown puddle under your car
  • A burnt smell coming from the transmission

Ignoring a transmission fluid leak can result in severe damage to the transmission, especially if the fluid level drops too low.

Or Is It Leaking from Your Breaks?

Brake fluid is clear to yellowish and isn’t as easy to identify. Brake fluid provides the hydraulic force needed to stop your car safely. Indicators of a brake fluid leak include:

  • A soft brake pedal
  • Increased stopping time
  • Visible fluid around the tires or under the car, often clear or light brown

Brake fluid leaks are extremely dangerous and should be repaired immediately to avoid brake failure. They can be caused by damaged brake lines, calipers, or master cylinders.

Is Your Vehicle Leaking? Schedule Service with Joe’s!

Fluid leaks from your car are more than just an environmental and aesthetic nuisance; they can signal severe safety and mechanical issues. There are plenty of places and causes for these leaks. So, if you notice one, schedule service with Joe’s Auto Sales Service Department immediately! Are you tired of getting that old clunker fixed? Let’s discuss your options for buying a new-to-you car, truck, or SUV. Browse our inventory online or give us a call at our Pendleton Pike location in Indianapolis, IN. Dial (317) 405-8545 today!