No leak is a good leak when it comes to your vehicle and while there are some that are a higher priority than others, it’s important to take care of any leak promptly to avoid further damage to your vehicle.
It’s easy to forget about the little things when driving vehicles like BMW or Porsche given all of the extra maintenance that usually comes with owning a higher end vehicle but it’s important that every little thing is checked when annual inspections are performed.
If you can’t determine if the leak in your vehicle is oil, transmission fluid, coolant or brake fluid and don’t want to visit a mechanic or the dealer to have the issue diagnosed, there is an at-home way to check and see what kind of leak you’re dealing with.
Simply place an old bed sheet or a piece of white cardboard under your vehicle and let it sit there overnight. When you check it in the morning, depending on the color, it’s easier to determine where the leak may be.
If your leak looks anything like any of these colors than be sure to take the proper action as fast as possible to avoid complications.
This can signify a coolant leak; you may also notice that it can feel extremely slippery to the touch. A few things that can cause a coolant leak are a leaky radiator cap, an internal leak (which is harder to determine and may not be as obvious) or an external leak.
Light or Dark Brown:
These colors are usually related to an oil leak, if you’ve been changing your oil too frequently, it will be a lighter brown color and the older the oil the darker the color will be. It’s important to make sure you follow your BMW’s or Porsche’s guidelines for oil change, which is usually between 3,000 and 5,000 miles.
Commonly this is windshield wiper fluid; if you use a winter washer fluid it can be orange, pink or yellow. This is not the most extreme and urgent repair but a clean windshield is an extremely important thing to consider when driving on bright, sunny days or before embarking on a long road trip.
Different from an oil leak, if you notice a light brown fluid leak along with the smell of rotten eggs then it could be something far more important. It can be gear lube that is leaking from the rear axel center section or if you have a manual vehicle, from the transmission. If you notice these signs, <seek professional help to diagnose and repair the leak as quickly as possible.
This can be either automatic transmission fluid or power steering fluid so it’s important to note where the fluid leak is coming from. Again, this is an issue that must be repaired as soon as possible as a leak of transmission or steering fluid can lead to failure to operate your vehicle.
This can sometimes be a signal of leaking power steering fluid but it can also be water from the condenser on the A/C. With such a wide range of potential issues it’s important to get a second opinion to properly determine the severity of the leak.
When new, brake fluid is light yellow in color and over time as the fluid absorbs water it will become a muddy looking dark brown. Brake fluid will absorb about 2% of the water a year under normal braking conditions so it’s important that the fluid is changed every other year.
This usually signifies a gasoline leak but you’ll be able to determine it because of the odor that will accompany it. If you have a gasoline leak, make sure to have it checked and taken care of immediately as any type of driving will be extremely dangerous.
With the exception maybe of windshield wiper fluid leaks, if you’re noticing any of these leaks it’s important that you visit a trustworthy mechanic to properly diagnose and repair any leaks before further damages or issues arise.
To consult with a auto mechanic on what type of leak your BMW or Porsche may be having or to schedule an appointment for an oil or fluid change or to repair any leaks with Bay Diagnostic, call us at 718-615-0705 or visit us online at BayDiagnostic.com.