Automotive Problem Signs You Can See
Catch Minor Car Problems Before They Require Major Repair!
Excessive Smoke Coming From the Exhaust Pipe
Blue Exhaust Smoke - Blue smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe is a sign that your car has an oil leak. An oil leak can turn into a very expensive repair. If the oil level gets too low for even a short amount of time, you can blow a head gasket and end up needing a complete engine overhaul or engine replacement.
Black Exhaust Smoke - Black smoke coming from your car's exhaust pipe can indicate engine problems or leaks in engine seals. Take your car or truck to a trustworthy local mechanic shop and have it checked out to determine the nature and severity of the engine problems.
White Exhaust Smoke - White smoke coming out of your vehicle's exhaust pipe can be caused by escaping condensation, or a leak within the cooling system. The auto cooling system protects your engine from overheating. If your vehicle may be in need of auto cooling system repair, have it checked out as soon as possible! White smoke, engine overheating, and cooling system leaks can be signs of head gasket failure requiring engine repair.
Automotive Fluid Leaks- Identifying the Source
Determine the Source and Severity of the Fluid Leaking Under Your Vehicle
Check under your car regularly for any pools or puddles which may indicate a leak in one of your automotive systems. If you see any liquid, note the color, smell, viscosity, and location so you can describe it to your car mechanic to help with a speedy diagnosis.
Thin red or thick brown fluid leaking near the middle of the car is likely Automatic Transmission Fluid. Transmission fluid smells like petroleum unless the transmission has not been serviced regularly, in which case the fluid may have a burnt odor. Automatic transmissions are hydraulic systems and rely heavily on transmission fluid to operate, therefore you should have this type of leak checked out by your local transmission repair mechanic shop right away.
Clear or light yellow to brown fluid leaks which are slick to the touch and smell like fish oil or castor oil are brake fluid. This type of leak is a major safety issue because brake fluid provides the pressure needed to stop your vehicle. Ignoring a brake fluid leak can lead to complete brake failure, endangering you and anyone else around!
Amber brown to black leaks under the vehicle are most likely engine oil (without regular oil changes, engine oil becomes dark with contaminants). An engine oil leak can be a very minor or a very serious issue. It is important to monitor the oil level and have an ASE engine repair mechanic look at your vehicle to assess the severity of the leak. If the engine oil gets too low for even a few minutes, you may be looking at a complete engine replacement to repair the vehicle!
Thin light yellow to reddish-brown fluid leaks located under the front of the vehicle are probably power steering fluid. Power steering fluid looks very similar to transmission fluid, to tell between the two, note the location of the leak. As power steering fluid becomes low, you will have increasing difficulty turning your vehicle, and will eventually not be able to maneuver the steering wheel at all.
Green, yellow, or pink fluid which is slimy and sweet-smelling is coolant from the radiator. It is common to see some coolant drip from an older vehicle, especially after the engine gets extremely hot. Newer cars and trucks, however, are designed to recycle the coolant that blows off. Noticing a coolant leak on a newer vehicle could be a sign of a problem. Always monitor the level of coolant and keep up with cooling system maintenance to prevent overheating.
Clear, odorless fluid leaking under your vehicle is probably water and not a cause for concern. More specifically, it is the condensation which builds up on your auto AC condenser.