As a general rule of thumb you should always follow the general maintenance schedule which is commonly found in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. However there are always some little things that might escape you or some major things that might happen regardless of how prepared you are. The following paragraphs will help guide you through a few of those scenarios and help you to understand what has happened and what may happen if you don’t get it taken care of soon.
There are many reasons that puddles or small drips might appear beneath your vehicle when parked. The majority of these are usually harmless condensation or water that was picked up on the road which drips off when you have stopped. Sometimes however there are puddles that are very important to pay attention to. There are a few easy ways to check to see if those spots are harmless or harmful.
You can always place a sheet of paper under your vehicle to determine first if the droplets are coming from your vehicle. Sometimes you might not notice the spots at first and then discover them when returning to your vehicle. So by placing a large sheet of light colored paper under the engine and transmission area of your vehicle it will display clearly where the liquid is coming from and if you need to be concerned.
Puddles are common under a vehicle after running your air conditioning unit. Generally they are from condensation from the unit running. A green, yellow or reddish colored liquid that is rather thin will be a sign that there is engine coolant dripping from somewhere in the engine. This could be the radiator, overflow tank, hoses, or the engine itself. This could mean big trouble so you should have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. Knowing this condition exists you should make sure to regularly monitor your coolant level so you do not run out.
Dark black or brown, oily stains are likely to be engine oil. It is common for vehicles with many miles on the engine to have seal failure in the engine. You should have this condition checked out as well. While waiting for your appointment that the service garage you should regularly check your engine oil to maintain the proper level. Low engine oil will result in further problems with the engine as well as reduce gas mileage.
A red or brown tint oily stain could be from the transmission. Seals in the transmission are also likely to fail and need to be replaced. Again have the vehicle checked over by a licensed mechanic to get a quote to have it fixed. Transmission fluid is vital to keeping the vehicle going down the road.
These are just a few of the common drips and puddles that can be found under a car. There are many others that should also be checked by a mechanic. If you are in doubt at all about what the wet spots under your vehicle are, you should make an appointment to have a mechanic look over the vehicle. It is better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to caring for your vehicle.