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Is Your Car Leaking Fluid? How To Differentiate Transmission Fluid From Other Types Of Car Fluid

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A puddle of fluid under your car may indicate that your car is in need of a repair. However, there are many different types of fluid housed within your automobile's body. As such, before you can determine what may need to be repaired, you first need to determine what type of fluid is leaking from underneath the car. If you suspect it may be transmission fluid, here are the tips you can use to determine if it is likely that or something else:

The Color

The color of the fluid that is leaking from the car can be a huge indicator as to what is leaking. Transmission fluid typically has a reddish hue to it. It may be rust-colored, red, brownish-red or orange-red, depending on how old the fluid is and how clean it is. Other fluids in the car have different coloring to them. Oil is typically dark chocolate brown or black, power steering fluid is typically light brown or possibly red as well, brake fluid is brown, coolant is yellow or green and water is clear.

The Texture

Often, the color of the fluid alone may not be enough to identify what is leaking. Many fluids, such as transmission fluid, brake fluid, or power steering fluid may have a brownish or reddish hue that looks similar to each other. As such, you may want to feel the fluid. Transmission fluid is thick. It should stick to your finger and not drip off. Power steering fluid is very thin. It may not stick to your finger if you dip it in the fluid. And brake fluid is very slick or greasy.

The Scent

Many of the fluids that leak from your car are odorless. If you suspect you are dealing with transmission fluid, dip your finger in the fluid and smell it. Transmission oil will smell like petroleum or possibly have a burnt smell to it if it is old and dirty. If the liquid doesn't smell like anything, it is likely not transmission fluid.

The Location

Lastly, consider the location of the leak to determine what the fluids may be. Brake fluid will typically appear around the wheels. Oil will be under the oil pan. Coolant will be leaking from the front of the car. And transmission fluid can leak anywhere from the front to the middle portion of the car.

If you have used these clues and determined you have a transmission fluid leak, you will want to bring your car in for a transmission repair. It is important to find the leak and repair it. If you have a leak, you do not want to continue to drive your car. You can cause substantial damage to the transmission if it were to run out of fluid. Call local transmission services today to get your car inspected and repaired.


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