How to Diagnose Fluid Leaks in Your Car

Jul 2, 2019

How to Diagnose Fluid Leaks in Your Car

If you see fluid leaking from your car, you’ve got a problem! The best thing to do is to find the source of the leak, and once you have done this you can decide whether or not you can handle it yourself or require professional help. Fluid leaks are not uncommon and are simply a sign of wear and tear as a vehicle ages.

To help you identify the fluid that’s leaking from your car, here’s a brief guide on how to recognise the different types of leak that can occur.

Diagnosing your fluid leak:

  1. Oil Leak - One of the most common leaks in a car is oil from the engine. This could be due to leaking oil seals or gaskets. You will be able to diagnose this yourself as you will usually see an oil puddle on the ground beneath the car. This oil may be black or brown and will have a slight acidic smell. A professional mechanic should deal with most fluid leaks. Most leaks are due to a problem with a failed component or seal and may need special diagnostic procedures that a professional can help you with.
  2. Coolant or Antifreeze Leak - Another common leak, and one that could damage the car is coolant or antifreeze leaks. Antifreeze is critical to the safe operation of your vehicle. One way to tell if the leak in your car is coolant is to test if it’s watery or slippery. The liquid will be green, red, blue, or yellow; and will come from under the radiator or engine. Check the radiator, pressure cap, engine and hoses for leaks. If you are unable to fix this on your own, be sure to seek professional help. Driving for even a short time without enough coolant can cause your engine to seize or die altogether.
  3. Transmission Fluid Leak - Transmission fluid leaks can also cause a problem for you and your car! This can be caused due to a leak in the transmission pan gasket, fluid lines or seals. A transmission fluid leak will leave a puddle of fluid near the front or middle of the vehicle. The liquid will be light red or pink if it has only been put in recently, however, older liquid may be dark red or brown.
  4. Gasoline Leak - Last but not least, your fluid leak could potentially be a Gasoline leak. This may take place whenever you fill your car up with fuel, most commonly due to a leaking fuel pump or a leak in the gas tank. One very easy way to diagnose this leak is through the smell, as there will be a strong gasoline odour near where the leak is. Gasoline is dangerous because it is flammable and can start a fire, so it is necessary that it is fixed quickly. One way that this could be fixed is by replacing items such as the gas cap.

Once you have diagnosed the type of fluid leak in your car, you can then source a professional mechanic to sort the problem. Finding a good, reasonably priced mechanic that you trust can sometimes be tricky. That’s where come in!

Here at, we have many reputable garages willing to do the repair work for you. Simply tell us your reg number and a few details about the leak, then we’ll have garages send you quotes directly to your inbox. Choose the best quote for you.


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