The more you know about your vehicle, the more likely you’ll be able to head off repair problems. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your senses: eyeballing the area around your vehicle, listening for strange noises, sensing a difference in the way your vehicle handles, or even noticing unusual odors.
Looks Like Trouble
Small stains or an occasional drop of fluid under your vehicle may not mean much. But wet spots deserve attention; check puddles immediately.
You can identify fluids by their color and consistency:
- Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator.
- A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak.
- A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak.
- A puddle of clear water usually is no problem. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle’s air conditioner.