3 Tips for Tracking Down a Fluid Leak on Your Car

//3 Tips for Tracking Down a Fluid Leak on Your Car

3 Tips for Tracking Down a Fluid Leak on Your Car

The weather is still a bit too cold these days, so you’re going to want to start noticing your car’s fluids. Vehicle fluids are susceptible to cold temperatures and could even end up freezing without you realizing it so it’s important that you know what’s up with your fluids at all times. A fluid leak is a big deal, but knowing how to detect them is also important. There could be fluids leaking from your car after getting into an accident, so make sure you take these tips below. Here’s how to check your car to see if the issue is there.

fluid leak


Think you may be experiencing a fluid leak? Here’s how to check your car to see if the issue is there.

#1 Check for Spots

First, you should look at the spots on the ground beneath your car, which may mean inspecting your vehicle in your driveway or garage to see if there are any patches of liquids left behind. If you’re uncertain, you can try using some newspaper or cardboard to sit under your car and see if anything accumulates. Let your car sit overnight and check in the morning to see if anything stands out. Depending on what liquid ends up coming out, you can start to figure out what’s leaking by thinking about the color, consistency, and smell of the leaking liquid.

Engine Oil

This is the most common type of fluid leak. If the puddle of liquid is towards the front of your vehicle, its source is probably the engine. Dip a piece of paper towel into it. If it’s brown or black and smells burnt, that is engine oil. Make sure you look under your car to ensure the oil pan plug is in its place and the oil filter secured. If neither of these parts is the culprit, you may need to take your vehicle to a mechanic or a quick oil change garage to have the oil pan inspected. A common cause for the oil to leak is that you have a cracked oil pan, and it can damage engine valves. Until you get it inspected, add a quart of engine oil and replace what was lost due to the leak.


Antifreeze is another fluid that commonly leaks from vehicles. Similar to engine oil, and antifreeze leak will be coming from the front of your car, near the engine. But, it could also be leaking for the exhaust pipe at the back of your car. Antifreeze is thinner than oil but thicker than water, and it’s normally red or green. The easiest way to identify it is its sweet smell. But be careful and don’t have it near your mouth or eyes.

If you see this leak coming from your car, take it to a shop as soon as possible. This can be caused by a malfunction of the radiator or water pump. This will cause damage to your engine later on.

Transmission Fluid

Unlike engine oil and antifreeze leaks, this one will be appearing at the center of the vehicle. Transmission fluid is hard to distinguish from oil. But, it is red and smells similar to gasoline. If you think your transmission is leaking take your car to a shop as soon as you can. Your car might need it’s transmission fluid changed or your engine will suffer a serious problem. Try not to use your car at all until you can get it to the shop.

#2 Look at Your Reserves

After doing spot tests, you also want to look at your owner’s manual and see if it has any info. This should highlight what fluids your car needs and where you can find them. Park your car somewhere level, pop your hood, and check your dipstick. You also want to look at your engine coolant tank, your brake fluid, and your power steering fluid tank if you’ve got it. Lastly, take a look at your windshield washer fluids and see if the levels have changed dramatically, which may indicate a leak.

#3 Swing By A Trusted Auto Body Shop

At the end of the day, you may need to go to an auto body shop. Fixing a fluid leak isn’t always difficult and it’s important you get your car back into working order. If you tried your best to fix it but the warning lights came back on, it’s a sign that you need to bring your car into a shop and get those vital fluids checked out. This is important in driving safely and preventing auto accidents.

Drop By Sudden Impact Auto Today!

Sudden Impact Auto is here to assist you. As a larger repair and paint shop working within the Las Vegas area, our expert technicians are capable of tackling every element of collision repair. We love working with our community and beyond, so drop on by and give us a visit! We can be contacted by phone at 702-457-3002.