What Is Leaking From My Car

Have you noticed a puddle of fluid wherever you’ve parked your car? Note the color of the liquid and try to see which area of your car it seems to be coming from. Then check out these tips to help you determine what that leaking fluid is.


Both transmission and power steering fluids start bright red and then turn reddish-brown with use. If the puddle seems to be forming under the front of your car, chances are it’s power steering fluid. If the puddle is thicker, is near the center of your vehicle, and has a burnt smell, your car is probably leaking transmission fluid.

Orange, Yellow, Green, or Pink

Manufacturers add any number of bright dyes to coolants to make them easy to distinguish from other fluids. While transmission fluid can also look orange, most brightly colored puddles would point to a coolant leak. Coolant also has a watery texture and smells sweet.

Light Yellow

Do not drive your car if you find a light yellow puddle that feels slippery and smells like fish oil. Your vehicle is leaking brake fluid and could be dangerous to drive! Have your car towed to a trusted repair shop to have your brakes inspected as soon as possible.

Brown or Black

While you may have noticed that a few other fluids turn brown with age, a light amber to black puddle is probably an oil leak. Of course, engine oil also has a distinct oiliness to it. You may be able to simply add some oil if the leak is small enough, but if the leak is larger, you should have your car inspected.


If you notice a clear, watery puddle under the front passenger side of your car, there’s no need to worry. This fluid is simply condensation from your air conditioner.

If your car has a concerning leak, make an appointment today to have your vehicle inspected. We’ll track down the source, make any repairs you need, and get you back on the road with no worries.

Written by Developer Autoshop