Cars use a number of different types of fluid. Unfortunately, any of these can leak. In fact, leaks are a frustrating issue to deal with for many car owners. Not only do you have to figure out exactly what is leaking, you also need to understand where it’s leaking from. Once you know these things, you can fix the problem; however, figuring out the cause of the leak is not always an easy task.

Locate the Source of the Leak

Fixing a leak Used Cars Baltimore

Image via Flickr by Kristoffer M.C.

When you’re dealing with a leak, the first thing you need to do is actually locate where the leak is coming from within the car. Is the leak in the back, the front, or near the middle? This can help you narrow down the actual problem, as well as the type of fluid that is leaking. For example, if the leak is right under the engine, it is likely that you are dealing with an oil leak. Keeping in mind the location of the leak, you’ll be able to more easily pinpoint what is happening.

Understand What is Leaking

With so many different fluids, it can be difficult to understand exactly what is leaking. However, with a little investigative work, you can figure out which fluid is having trouble. If you’re dealing with a leak in the front of the car, it can be any number of fluids, so figuring out the color of the liquid will help you narrow it down. Coolant or antifreeze comes in a number of different colors from clear to bright blue or even orange. However, you can tell antifreeze from the sweet smell.

Tighten Bolts and Check Reservoirs

If you feel comfortable working on your own car, get in there and start tightening bolts. The leak could simply be caused by a loose bolt or screw that hasn’t been tightened properly. If you get in and start tightening bolts, you’re going to make sure that this isn’t the cause. While you’re under the hood, make sure that you check the reservoirs as well. If there is a crack in any of them, you have found the cause of your leak. If there is a crack, you’re going to need to replace the reservoir, as a patch is hardly a long-term solution for the leak.

Take it to a Mechanic

If you’ve checked all the reservoirs and tightened all the bolts, and the car is still experiencing a fluid leak, it is probably time to take it to a mechanic. In addition, if you’re not comfortable working on your own car, you need to skip to this step right away. The longer you let a leak go, the more damage it is going to do to the car. Make sure you take it to a mechanic you trust. This will ensure that you get the leak stopped and that you find out what the problem was in the first place.

Nearly any piece in the engine, drive train, and more can cause a fluid leak. When you’re dealing with a leak, make sure that you figure out what is causing it. The damage could be as simple as a loose bolt, or it could be something as dangerous as a hole in the brake line.