Leaks - Yellow or Green - Clear - Oily and Black
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Long ago we realized that one of the purposes of our Car Donation Program was to improve the environment by picking up old non-running vehicles, unsafe vehicles or smokers. In this section we provide information and solutions to common car problems. In this way you may be able to get your car fixed and thus accomplish the purpose as well. If the problem isn’t solved or you would like to get another vehicle, you can also consider donating your car or vehicle.
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Yellow or Green Fluid Leaks
This fluid found under your car typically means there is a leak in your cooling system.
The liquid is a coolant, a mixture of antifreeze and water poured into your radiator that circulates through the engine to keep it cool.
Your mechanic can determine where the leak is coming from by pressure testing the cooling system.
Clear Fluid Leaks
This is either clear water pouring out of the air conditioners drain tube (which is normal when the air conditioning is working especially when its hot and humid) or could be from two other sources and are not "normal."
Windshield washer fluid
It might be windshield-washer solvent. Though not a catastrophe, it does indicate you have a leak in the system and need a new container, hose or hose clamp.
More serious though is brake fluid which is clear in color but has an oily texture. This of course must be repaired as it will lead to brake failure.
Oily and Black Fluid Leaks
Do not wait until the few ugly black spots become a small pool of oil.
Immediately check your oil level with the engine-oil dipstick. Hopefully, the oil level is at the "add oil" mark.
You can then drive immediately over to the closest service station and buy oil. Add it right there.
No read on dipstick
If youve been remiss in checking your oil OR you have developed a serious leak and you cannot get a reading on the engine oil dipstick do NOT start the engine. Add oil first.
More than two quarts
If it takes more than two quarts of oil to bring the oil level up to where it belongs either you havent been checking the fluids in your car often enough or you have a leak.
Depending on your level of diligence, you can check the oil level on a daily basis to see IF you are losing oil quickly. If so, see your mechanic who will put the car on a lift to check for engine leaks.
However, if things like checking the oil every day are probably going to get forgotten after the first day it would be far better just to see the mechanic.
You can cause serious damage to your vehicle if you run it without oil. Serious. And costly.