Try to determine where the fluid leak is coming from.
Most of the fluids in a vehicle have a defining colour, smell or viscosity to them.
Identifying the fluid can help narrow down and eventually pinpoint where the leak is coming from.
Here are some of the common fluids that leak from a car.
Coolant or Antifreeze:
This fluid is often neon greenish in colour, it can also be pink or bright orange.
If the fluid level does not hit the full line, there could be a leak.
Never add straight water to the system, use a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and antifreeze.
Coolant should never be added to a hot engine.
Allow the engine to cool first.
Oil leaks are another common fluid leak.
If the puddle you found on the garage floor is oil, you should have the vehicle inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Old oil is a black or dark brown colour while newer oil has a yellowish brown colour to it.
Oil will smell like oil and have a slick viscosity to it.
In most cases, a professional mechanic should inspect and repair the system.
If the puddle in your garage smells like petrol, you should have the vehicle inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Petrol leaks can be dangerous.
Regardless of where the leak originates, the car should be repaired as soon as possible.
Do not drive the vehicle until the leak is identified and repaired.
Brake fluid leaks tend to be rare but they do happen.
Look for fluid that is clear or yellowish brown in colour.
It will have an oily feel but will be thinner than oil.
If you find a puddle of brake fluid, do not drive the vehicle.
Has the vehicle inspected and repaired immediately?
Windshield wiper fluid is blue, green or sometimes orange but in most cases it is blue.
It looks and feels like water because it is mainly water with a little ammonia added to help it enhance its cleaning ability with some colouring.
Power steering fluid:
If you find a red, brown or black stain on the floor of the garage, and notice the vehicle is harder to steer or makes a whining noise when turning, you should have the vehicle inspected and repaired immediately to prevent damage to the power steering components.
This is the best kind of puddle to find on the garage floor.
Water usually puddles on the garage floor because the air conditioning has been run and condensation has built upon the condenser.
This is normal and should not be a problem.
Resolve the problem.
The truth is that a professional mechanic should deal with most fluid leaks.
Most leaks are due to a problem with a failed component or seal and may need special diagnostic procedures that a mechanic can help you with.
Remember to not drive the vehicle if you are not sure it is safe to drive.
If you are not sure then do not drive it for your own safety.
Have a qualified mechanic from Top Tread Tyres diagnose the leak for you.