Decoding the spill: what’s leaking under your car?

Jul 19, 2016 1 minute read

Decoding the spill: what’s leaking under your car?

If you pull out of your parking spot and see that your car has left a puddle behind, questions may rush through your mind. What is leaking? Should I drive straight to my mechanic or can it wait? Can I fix it myself? How much is this going to cost to repair?

Before you start worrying, take a moment to look at the fluid. What colour is it? Most cars have at least six different fluids that can leak from under the hood: brake fluid, coolant, windshield washer fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid and transmission fluid.

How to check what your car is leaking

 

Step 1: Determine the colour of the fluid

If your car is dripping fluids but you are not positive on the colour, lay newspaper, cardboard or aluminium foil under your car after you park it for the night. We recommend using aluminium foil as it does not absorb the liquid and you can get a better impression of the fluid’s consistency. The next morning you will be able to clearly see the fluid.

 

Step 2: Decode the leak

After you have confirmed your car is leaking, decode it using the list below. This will help you decide if you need to repair it immediately, fix it yourself or temporarily postpone fixing it. However, performing your own repairs could risk further damage and be more costly in the future.

Step 3: Call your mechanic

Now that you have identified what type of liquid is leaking from your car, contact your mechanic to get an assessment on the details of the leak as well as the urgency and cost of the repair.

The most critical leak to fix is brake fluid, but all leaks under the hood should be investigated.

 

How car maintenance can affect your insurance

Keeping your car well-maintained could potentially prevent an insurance claim. Good brakes can help a driver turn collisions into close calls. The fewer collisions you have, the fewer the claims you make and in return the lower your premium may be.

Keeping on top of car maintenance can save you money in the long run. Speak to your BrokerLink broker for more ways to save on car insurance or check out our blog to learn 5 insider tips on how to save on your car insurance.