With holiday shopping on the to-do list, most of us are spending more time in our cars than usual these days. While you’re out rushing around town getting something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, the last thing you need is unexpected car trouble. But if you back out of a parking space and see a dark spot on the ground, you may have an oil leak to contend with, and fixing it fast is important.

In this post from Suburban Auto Body in Minnesota, our auto body and car repair experts are sharing our best advice for handling an oil leak. For auto body collision repair and more, give us a call today.

Identifying An Oil Leak

Whether you’ve got a trusty old daily driver or you own a brand new sports car, an oil leak can happen to anyone and any car, and it tends to happen when you’re least expecting it. The first sign that you’ve got an oil leak is a spot of leaked fluid underneath your vehicle on the pavement below. But not all leaks are oil leaks.

Here’s a quick primer on deciding what type of fluid your car is leaking:

●        Slick Amber, Brown, or Black Fluid: If you suspect you’ve got an oil leak, these are fairly easy to investigate by checking your car’s engine oil level. Driving your car on low oil is a good way to cause engine failure, so you’ll want to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

●        Slick Brown Fluid Near Brakes: Brake fluid leaks are fairly rare, but they can happen. Whether it’s light or dark, you don’t want to see brown fluid leaking from your vehicle anywhere near your brakes. Never drive your car if you suspect you’re leaking brake fluid because you could experience brake failure.

●        Reddish Brown Fluid: If there’s a brown fluid leaking underneath your car that isn’t slick or has a sweet burnt odor, it’s probably a power steering fluid leak. These typically occur near your car’s steering rack and can cause you to have trouble steering your vehicle.

●        Yellow, Green, or Pink Fluid: If your car’s leak has a technicolor glow to it, you’ve probably got a coolant leak. Coolant leaks are fairly easy to identify since they stand out from other leaks due to the brighter color. If you’re still unsure, give it a sniff to see if it smells sweet. Coolant will also be slimy to the touch.

●        Clear Fluid: Clear fluid leaks are common during the summer months when you’re running your vehicle’s air conditioning. There’s no need to worry since this is just water caused by condensation.

What To Do Next

Once you’ve identified an oil leak, there are a few things you can do. Although you might be tempted to add an additive, they often promise more than they can deliver and can even make your variable valve timing perform poorly or ultimately fail. The best thing to do is take your vehicle to a licensed automotive repair shop.

In addition to auto body collision repair services, Suburban Auto Body also offers licensed mechanical services. Call to connect with our technicians at 651-633-8900 or connect with us online to get your free quote on oil leak repair or auto body services.