Why Is My Car Leaking Water?

December 1st, 2018 by

Car leaking fluid onto the pavement

If you’ve been wondering why your car is leaking water, you shouldn’t panic right away. There are common causes for cars to leave trails of water underneath them after they’ve parked.

  • In most vehicles, the air conditioning system generates significant amounts of condensation during its normal operations, and this condensation generally drains out near the back of the engine compartment.
  • It’s also common to see water pool near your vehicle’s tailpipe, but this is almost always exhaust condensation, which is normal.

Indeed, when you notice a leak, the biggest worry is that the fluid isn’t water at all! The experts at our easy-to-reach service centers in Bloomington, Morton, and Peoria are here to help you solve your problems, fast.

Identifying the Cause of Leaking Water

Notice water leaking from under your car, or think there might be some other fluid involved? Once you’ve ruled out the common causes above, there are a few simple steps you can take to identify the problem at home:

  • Identifying fluids against a concrete background can be difficult. Place a sheet of white paper or cardboard under the leak to get a better picture.
  • If there’s no color in the fluid, it’s just water, and you probably shouldn’t worry. If the color that shows up on the cardboard is blue, green, yellow, or some other color, you may have cause for concern.
  • A small amount of water coming from your exhaust is probably just condensation. But if there’s a great deal of water, along with large amounts of white smoke, you may have blown a gasket. A blown gasket causes coolant to be burned alongside your fuel.
  • If your leaking fluid is a strange color, it’s most likely coolant. We can help you identify fluids based on color, but you can also check your various fluid levels for certainty. Low fluids could lead to long-term damage, so you’ll want to get into a service center right away.
  • A cracked windshield wiper fluid reservoir could also be the cause of a leak. If water gets into your windshield wiper fluid, and subsequently freezes, the reservoir can crack and leak your fluid onto the ground. In these cases, the fluid will be either light blue or light green, and it will pool around your front tires.

If the cause of the leak under your car is anything other than condensation, you’ll be best served by making a quick trip to one of our service centers.

Color Guide: What Fluid Is Leaking From My Car?

As we noted above, color can be a helpful indicator when you’re trying to figure out why your car is leaking. The best way to test the color is to place white cardboard or heavy paper beneath the leak under your car. Then, compare the color that shows up on the paper to this reference guide:

  • Dark/Neutral
    • Dark Brown – Brake Fluid or Older Engine Oil
    • Light Brown – Newer Engine Oil or Gear Lubricant
  • Warm Color
    • Red – Transmission Fluid or Power Steering Fluid
    • Orange – Transmission Fluid or Radiator Coolant
    • Pink – Power Steering Fluid or Transmission Fluid
    • Yellow – Radiator Coolant
  • Cool Color
    • Green – Antifreeze from Water Pump, Hoses, or Radiator, or Windshield Wiper Fluid
    • Blue – Windshield Wiper Fluid

When you have a good idea of what the problem is, you can search for service coupons and special offers before scheduling service with the Sam Leman Automotive Group.

Visit Sam Leman Automotive Group in Bloomington, Morton, Peoria for Service

Next time you notice a leak from under your car, don’t wait for the problem to solve itself! While you’re here getting your leak fixed, we can also teach you how to identify cooling system failures and show you why tire pressure is so important. No matter how big your problem is, you can contact Sam Leman Automotive Group to get back on the road in no time.

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