Hawaii Fluid Leaks 101

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Why you need to pay attention to fluid leaks
The different types of fluid leaks and how to identify them
Final Word


Why you need to pay attention to fluid leaks

When your car is leaking fluid, it is always something that you should pay close attention to because it can lead to serious issues with your vehicle. What complicates things is that there are several different types of fluid leaks. These include transmission fluid, gear fluid, motor oil, coolant, power-steering fluid, brake fluid, fuel, or battery acid.

Some of these are obviously more serious than others. For example, if you are leaking coolant it is important that you get the leak repaired as soon as you can but it is not as critical as if you were leaking fuel or transmission fluid. Regardless of what fluid you are leaking, you should take your car to a mechanic right away when you notice a leak.

You can check for leaks by checking the street or driveway where you leave your car parked for extended periods of time. You simply should park your car for a few hours, move it somewhere close than examine the area where your car was originally parked. If there is a puddle of liquid that is slick in texture and has a color such as red or green, then you have a fluid leak.

However, in the summer, it is possible that you have a puddle of condensation from use of the car’s air conditioner. Therefore, it is important to check after your car has been parked for several hours. After a few hours, any condensation puddles will likely have dried and/or evaporated. In Hawaii, you will likely be using your car’s air conditioning often, so it is important to be aware of this.

The different types of fluid leaks and how to identify them

As we mentioned above, there are several different types of fluid leaks all of which you should be on the lookout for and get repaired if they occur. You can even tell the difference between these leaks if you know what to look for.

If the liquid is dark and smells like fuel than you can bet that is what it is. If this is the case avoid smoking anywhere near your vehicle, do not pump any more gas and get to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Clear fluids could be condensation from the air conditioner as we mentioned. However, it also could be brake fluid. The main way to tell the difference is if there is a stain left after the liquid dries. Condensation will dry and leave no stain whereas brake fluid will leave a stain. Like any other fluid leak, get this repair as soon as you can.

If the liquid is black or dark brown and does not smell like fuel it is likely an oil leak. Oil leaks will always be located under the engine and need to be addressed and repaired promptly.

A fluid leak that has a red or pink color to it is probably transmission fluid. You can confirm this by checking the transmission fluid level by looking at the dipstick under the hood. Whether you confirm it or suspect it, get to a mechanic to get it repaired.

If you find a leak that is green, blue or even yellow in color it might be coolant. The variety of colors that this leak can be can make it difficult to identify for sure. But you can bet that you do have some sort of fluid leak so go get it checked out.

Finally, if you find a leak that has an odor similar to spoiled eggs, it is likely a battery acid leak. Be sure that you do not touch this leak because it can burn and injure you. With that in mind, you should never touch any fluid leak. Just use color, appearance and odor to identify leaks.

Final word

Fluid leaking from your vehicle is something to take quite seriously. If you ignore a fluid leak for too long your car could stop running or even become dangerous to drive. That is why as soon as you find something that you think might be a fluid leak, you should seek a mechanics help as soon as possible. Be aware that a fluid leak can turn out to be condensation from the car’s air conditioner. There is a high possibility of this being the case because of how often you will likely be using your car’s A/C in Hawaii. Regardless, if you are not sure whether you have a leak or not, seek the help of a mechanic.

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