When My BMW Has A Fluid Leak, Is It A Transmission Or Oil Leak?

If your car is leaking something, you might have cause for concern.  Transmission fluids work to keep your transmission cool and lubricated.  If you allow a leak to ruin your transmission, you could be looking at a fix of thousands of dollars.  An oil leak is a common symptom of many problems, ranging in seriousness from a poorly attached filter to a worn oil gasket.  Below are some questions to ask yourself to identify whether you have an oil or transmission leak.

What Color Is the Fluid?

The first step to figuring out what kind of leak you have on your hands is to identify the difference between transmission fluid and oil.  Oil is a yellowish brown color and darkens with age, while transmission fluid is light red and can eventually turn brown or even black.  When oil leaks, it will probably be in a dark color and will leave residue behind.  Unfortunately, transmission fluid and oil can sometimes age towards a similar color.

Is It Dripping?

One way to identify the difference between an oil or transmission fluid leak is that your car doesn't actually drip oil, rather, oil seeps out of the BMW engine.  If you're looking at a drip, then it isn't an oil leak.  Transmission fluid will drip and form a puddle near the center of the car.   

What Is Your Car Telling You?

If you're having trouble starting your transmission, this is a pretty clear indicator that your leak stems from there.  To avoid a costly situation, call a mechanic who specializes in BMW auto repair and who does transmission work as soon as possible.  Some signs of an oil leak are if your oil is low, your car is emitting blue smoke, or the leak looks milky.  The milky appearance of the oil means there is a crack in the engine block, allowing the oil to mix with water.  

What Does It Smell Like ?

While transmission fluid and oil may be similar in color, they are not in smell.  If what is leaking out of your car smells like gasoline, then it's definitely oil.  Transmission fluid usually smells like petroleum, but will smell burnt if you have a leak.  

If you wake up in the morning to a big puddle of fluid underneath your car, it should give your pause. Contact a BMW auto repair mechanic to make sure your leak doesn't become a major problem, costing you thousands down the line. For more information, contact a business such as Jim Stephen's Foreign Car Repair.