Eek! What is that Leak?

It’s the dreaded spot under your car that chances are will send you to your Kanata garage.  No one likes to see it, but chances are that as your car ages, eventually you will.  Before you panic, we thought we’d give you a little color guide to give you a chance to identify what might be happening before you head to your Kanata auto technician.

We recommend you get a white rag or paper towel and blot where the spot is to help uncover its color.

Transmission Fluid
Automatic transmission fluid is deep red, is fairly thick and will tend to sit on top of a driveway and soak in slowly.

Power Steering Fluid
Slightly yellowish with medium thickness, power steering fluid soaks into concrete quickly.

Windshield Washer Fluid
Almost all of us have had the opportunity to purchase if not refill windshield washer fluid – most often it’s a light blue.

Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is similar to power steering fluid in all aspects. They are both hydraulic fluid, so their properties are similar if not identical. Brake fluid is of medium thickness and has a dull, mechanical smell. It is slightly yellow in color.

Coolant (antifreeze) leaks are probably the second most common, with oil taking the top spot. Coolant can be pinkish or greenish, but most of the time you’ll find the green variety. It has a sweet smell and is somewhat viscous.

Used engine oil is dark brown and smells slightly gassy. Cars with high mileage often have minor oil leaks, and can go years without any real problems. If you find an oil leak, it’s a good idea to have it checked out by your favorite Kanata garage.

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