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May 1, 2024

Something’s leaking from your car. How do you tell what it is? How do you know if it’s a dangerous leak or not? Check out our vehicle fluid guide to determine what’s leaking from your car by the color of the fluid.


If you’ve got red fluid leaking from your car, this usually means that you’ve got a leak in your transmission or power steering system. This problem could be a result of a faulty transmission seal or a hole in the return line that feeds the fluid between systems.


There are a few different problems that will cause an orange fluid leak. If rust gets in your radiator, this can cause an antifreeze leak or make condensation appear orange. Transmission fluid can also look orange, depending on how old it is.


A yellow fluid leak is usually radiator coolant. This problem could be the result of a loose hose clamp or damaged o-ring. Check your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications when determining which type of coolant to use with your vehicle. You’re more likely to get a radiator coolant leak when you use the wrong coolant.


A green fluid leak is most likely to be antifreeze. You can get antifreeze leaking out of your vehicles radiator, water pump or hoses when fittings, hoses, clamps, or other components get worn out or haven’t been attached right. Always check your vehicle owner’s manual to learn which antifreeze you should be using. If you use the wrong antifreeze for your vehicle, leaks are much more likely to occur.


If you’ve got blue fluid leaking from your vehicle, this is likely to be windshield wiper fluid. Over time, the fluid reservoir and tubes that carry your windshield wiper fluid can degrade and cause leaks. If this happens, we recommend getting your windshield wiper components evaluated.


Clear fluid leaking from your vehicle is probably nothing serious. It’s likely just condensation from your air conditioning system. If you’re worried about your A/C system, we offer a comprehensive A/C Check.


Depending on where the leak is coming from, dark brown fluid leaking could be a couple of different things. As motor oil ages (or if you have an older car that burns oil), it turns a dark brown. Brake fluid is also a dark brown color, so this could also be the cause.


If you’ve got a light brown fluid leaking from your vehicle, this is likely to be either newer motor oil or gear lubricant. If the fluid smells terrible, it’s probably gear lubricant. Motor oil usually only smells bad if it’s burning. Whether the fluid leaking is motor oil or gear lubricant, we recommend getting this checked out as soon as possible!


A pink fluid leak is probably either power steering fluid or transmission fluid. These leaks tend to be the result of a worn seal or hole in the return line.

Unless the liquid is clear and you’re confident it’s just the usual condensation you get from your vehicle’s air conditioning unit on a hot day, none of these leaks should be ignored. Ignoring a problem like this is just likely to cause more problems and cost you more in the long run! Instead, do the smart thing for your vehicle and give our trusted mechanics a call, or stop by our shop on 655 Commerce Avenue in Longview, Washington today.