Techniques to Diagnose Leaking in Your BMW 328is
The impressive driving experience that the BMW 328is offers have wowed owners and enthusiasts alike, thanks to its excellent handling, clutch, and engine-transmission combination. But when you step out of your car and notice a puddle underneath it—man, that does not look good at all!
Your 328is is not an exception to leaks. So it pays to know the type of fluid that leaks from your car to know which of your car's components or systems need the most urgent attention. Identifying leaks correctly and early can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for repairs. You can tell a particular leak by its color, texture, odor, and viscosity. Below are some tips to help you know the type of fluid that leaks from your car.
- Brake fluid is clear to yellowish and of medium thickness. It has a somewhat oily feel and a dull, mechanical smell.
Why is a brake fluid leak harmful? Brake fluid maintains the pressure in the brake system. If it leaks, the pressure will go down, leading to brake failure. Brake fluid leaks can be usually found under the brake pedal and near the wheels. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid, so it shares properties with power steering fluid. So avoid confusing these two types of fluids. But just to be on the safe side, even if you only suspect that the one leaking is brake fluid, have it towed to the mechanic to check. Never even attempt to drive your car if you suspect a brake fluid leak.
- Coolant or antifreeze is generally greenish (sometimes pink or bright orange) and has a sticky feel and sweet smell.
One of the most common vehicle leaks, a coolant leak has to be fixed immediately because over time, it can deplete your BMW 328is of its coolant. And when there is not enough coolant, the temperature of your engine's various parts will not be regulated properly, and this will ultimately lead to engine overheating and stalling.
Do you have pets at home? Because of its sweet smell, coolant can be attractive to animals but can kill them in an instant. This is another urgent reason for stopping a coolant leak before it gets worse. When doing your maintenance checks, inspect for coolant leaks on the heater hoses, radiator hoses, radiator, and engine core plugs.
- Engine oil is yellowish brown when it is new and black or dark brown (and smells slightly gassy) when it is old.
Engine oil is the most common fluid to leak that can be caused by various factors, including corroded oil coolant line, high oil pressure, worn-out oil gasket, and improperly mounted oil filter. If not addressed immediately, oil leak can lead to serious engine damage.
- Automatic transmission fluid is light red when it is new and brownish or dark red when it is old. It is thick and feels nearly similar to oil.
Transmission fluid lubricates and cools the transmission parts so that your car can shift gears properly and smoothly. If it gets depleted, it will lead to transmission grinding or burning. As soon as you notice an A/T fluid leak, fix it to avoid a costly transmission replacement. Check for A/T fluid leaks between the engine and transmission, at the selector shaft, near the transmission fluid drain hole, and near the transmission filler tube.