How Can I Tell What Is Leaking Out of My Car?

The color of the fluid spots on your garage floor is your first clue as to what is leaking out of your car. The location of the spots can also be helpful. Hightech Automotive provides a list of auto fluids below by their color to help you identify what is leaking out of your car, truck, UV, or van.


Black fluid is old and very dirty brake fluid, engine oil, gear fluid, or transmission fluid. This fluid must be changed immediately to avoid damaging your automobile.


Blue fluid is most likely your windshield washing solution that sprays all over the windshield when you clean it while you’re driving. The leaking fluid won’t harm your automobile.


Brown fluid ranges from light to dark depending on whether it is new or old, respectively. As with black fluid, this is either brake fluid, engine oil, gear fluid, or transmission fluid.


Clear fluid is most likely water that is dripping out of your tailpipe or condensation dripping off your vehicle’s air conditioner. If it smells like gasoline, it is gas.


Green fluid is antifreeze/coolant. This fluid can also be green-blue or blue-green. Check your overflow reservoir to confirm the fluid color.


Orange fluid is antifreeze/coolant that has rust in it. If you drive a car that is quite old, your radiator’s bottom may have rusted out and turned the fluid orange.


Pink fluid is a dangerous mixture of coolant and transmission fluid. This fluid can also be milky, like a strawberry milkshake, and it damages your transmission and cooling system.


Red fluid is either brake fluid, power steering fluid, or transmission fluid. Power steering and transmission fluid are always red. Brake fluid can be different colors.


Yellow fluid is antifreeze/coolant. As you can see, engine coolant comes in many different colors. In fact, it can also be red.

Leak Locations

Oftentimes, knowing where the fluid is leaking from helps to identify it. For example, if it’s leaking in the front of your engine it’s likely coolant. If it’s leaking behind your wheels, it’s probably brake fluid. If it’s leaking toward the center of your automobile, it could be transmission fluid. Grab your owner’s manual for the diagram of your vehicle’s engine and then compare the fluid spots on the garage to the diagram.

Hightech Automotive in Forest City NC, would be happy to find out where your automotive fluid is leaking from and repair the leak to avoid further damage to your automobile.

Photo by knowlesgallery from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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