While many of us are aware of the dangers of fires with improper fluid storage, there are other risks that aren’t quite so apparent.
Below are some bare facts:
Containers: Just about everything you purchase today seems to come in a plastic containers and that might be fine for many household products, but certain auto fluids actually degrade plastic over time. If the product inside has any oils, mineral spirits, or regular-grade gasoline, it can weaken the resins in the plastics. Usually the first thing you might notice is that a twist-on cap will be cracked, so never store these containers. When the fuel temperatures rise in these fuel containers it emits vapours and if the container isn’t vented, it will expand and may leak. These containers need to be checked regularly to release any pressure build-up and they must be stored in a cool, well-ventilated area.
Engine coolant: This might seem like an innocuous product, but it has one very unique feature that can cause illness or even death. If your vehicle’s HVAC heater core is leaking test it by swiping a finger across the inside of the windshield, it usually has a sweet smell to it, not many humans die from ingesting coolant, but pets do every year.
WARNING: Keep coolant containers out of reach and secure , if the container leaks or is spilled, immediately clean things up and properly dispose of the remnants.
Brake fluid: This mineral oil is like most automotive fluids, it’s not meant to be ingested by living beings. But a lesser-known fact is its effect on automotive paint. It will permanently stain your auto’s finish, if left in contact for few minutes. If you have the need to top up your vehicle’s brake fluid, be careful and have some water on hand to rinse off any drops that may hit the paint.
Battery acid: Thankfully, batteries that can be topped up have pretty much disappeared from the mainstream. But battery acid or electrolyte is extremely corrosive and can burn exposed skin within a few seconds. Even the best maintenance-free battery can overheat and emit fumes if it develops an internal problem, or the vehicle’s alternator starts to overcharge. These fumes are extremely flammable and come with a very unique rotten egg- or sulfur-type smell. If your car starts emitting this odour, immediately move it to a well ventilated, outdoor area and turn off the engine. Never try to boost a battery emitting this odour as even the slightest spark from the booster cables can ignite the fumes.
Keeping in mind the above dangers, we encourage you to find the nearest and most reliable garage in your locality.