Tel: (02) 9419 2195
136 Victoria Avenue, Cnr. of Stanley Street, Chatswood 2067.
Monday to Friday: 8.00am – 5.30pm

Ask the Mechanic: Help, there's a leak under my car, what do I do?

A soggy patch under your car is enough to send most people into a state of panic, but it doesn’t necessarily mean bad news. However, if you do spot something amiss, it’s important that you do something about it right away. A leak can be something as simple as condensation, which is perfectly OK to ignore - but on the other hand, it could be an indication that your brakes are problematic, which could be extremely dangerous.

When it comes to diagnosing a leak, there are three main things to consider - the colour and consistency of the fluid, and where it's coming from.

Black or brown and greasy

If you find a dark, greasy spot under the engine area, then it’s probably engine oil. It’s a common issue and usually starts off as a few drops - but try to find the source (possibly the oil filter, drain plug, gaskets or seals) and have it checked out sooner rather than later.

Clear, watery puddle

Good news! If this is under your front passenger side, then it’s just condensation from the air conditioning - so there's no need to lose your cool.

Slippery red, blue or yellow fluid

This is probably coolant, which can leak from the radiator. Again, it shouldn’t be anything serious but check the radiator, engine, pressure cap and hoses for any leaks.

Red, pink or brownish - and greasy

If you find this under the centre of your car, it’s probably transmission fluid and may come from a broken transmission seal or a gasket. You should see a mechanic as soon as possible.

Very slippery fluid that could vary from clear to brown

Red alert! This could be brake fluid. New brake fluid is virtually clear, but as time goes by, it can turn brown. The clue will be that it’s extremely slippery, and anyone experienced in car repair in Sydney will say it’s a sign of a very serious issue, which requires immediate attention.

Preventative maintenance and regular servicing of your car will help prevent leaks, and always see a trained automotive professional.

Comments are closed.