car servicing northampton drip guide

Car Servicing Northampton: What’s That Leak?

Drip, drip, drip. Car servicing Northampton team here…

We all hope and pray that no liquid will start leaking out of our car and onto the floor, but sometimes it happens. Whilst it may seem like ‘if it is going to happen, it’s going to happen’, it can mostly be avoided through regular car servicing (with our car servicing Northampton team of course) and proper maintenance.

If that ominous drip does come along however, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. These six rules of thumb should help you indicate the issue.


Engine Oil – Oil will always be somewhere between light brown and black, quite thick and with an unmistakeable smell.


Transmission fluid – Transmission fluid is either thin and red, or brown and thick.


Power steering fluid – Power steering fluid is similar in appearance to transmission fluid, being reddish or light brown, but always thin


Brake fluid – Brake fluid is clear to brown and slick


Coolant – Coolant usually appears in more vibrant colours, like yellow, green or pink and could be described as slimy.


Water– Water doesn’t really need much description, but if it’s clear and thin and scentless and leaking from your car, it’s probably water.

 car servicing northampton engine

Using these rules of thumb, you can work out whether you have a harmless leak or an immediate danger, like brake fluid! One way of working out what the leaks are is to place aluminium foil under the vehicle or car parts where the leaks appear and wait a few hours. After some time has passed, observe the leaks and follow the guide above. Whilst power steering fluid and transmission fluid may appear the same, where they drip from are a good indicator of what they are. Transmission fluid drips from the middle of the car, whereas power steering fluid drips from the front of the car.

If you suspect it is brake fluid leaking out of your car, make absolutely certain and don’t attempt to drive it. If your brakes don’t work, you are putting yourself in great danger, call our car servicing Northampton team immediately. Brake fluid is more slippery than any of the other fluids, though it is far less likely to leak in modern cars. The puddle will most likely occur right under the brake pedal if it does somehow happen.

Water leaks from your car will usually be as a result of your air conditioning hardware. As it builds up condensation trying to cool you down, it will then shed that condensation when the car is stationary. You’ll most likely find these leaks under the front passenger side.

Coolant leaks are more likely to be an issue in older cars, where the coolant blows off the engine when it gets too hot and drips onto the floor. In modern cars, this slimy colourful liquid is recycled by the cooling system to make it more useful and efficient.

And finally, engine oil. If your engine is leaking oil, don’t panic, this is pretty normal, but still needs addressing. The sooner you spot it, the more likely you are to stop a small leak becoming a large one. There are gaskets and seals in the engine which over time may loosen and start to allow small amounts of oil to slip through. The unmistakable colour and consistence of motor oil makes it easy to define for most car users.

Book in with our car servicing Northampton team to help you to spot an issue before it’s too late, saving you a fortune in the process!

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