You don’t need us here at George Automotive Services to tell you that you have a lot of fluids in your automobile. The problem is, how can you tell which one is leaking? Oftentimes, you can identify the fluid by its color and from where it is leaking. Let’s talk more about this below.
Blue automotive fluid is the washing solution for your windshield. Coolant can also be blue, but this isn’t common. Chances are, if your automobile is leaking blue fluid, it’s windshield washer.
Brown fluid can be a little more confusing. Brake fluid is brown as is differential oil. You will also find that your motor oil is brown. As transmission fluid ages, it also turns brown. If the fluid is leaking behind your wheels, it’s likely brake fluid or differential oil. If it’s leaking out of your engine, it’s probably motor oil. If it’s leaking toward the center of your automobile, it’s probably transmission fluid.
Clear fluid is most likely water. Both your tailpipe and air conditioner drip condensation. The only other clear fluid in your automobile is gasoline, so make sure you smell the fluid to identify it. If it doesn’t have an odor, it is probably water.
The only green fluid you should have in your automobile is antifreeze/coolant. The way you can check to see the color of your coolant is to look at it in your overflow reservoir. Coolant can also be bluish-green, so if that is the color that is leaking from your automobile, don’t drive it.
Orange fluid suggests that your radiator is leaking. Over time, the bottom of the radiator corrodes and rust eats through it. When the rust mixes with the coolant, the color often becomes orange.
Pink fluid suggests that you’ve got a serious problem between your transmission and cooling system. Pink fluid is diluted transmission oil. Do not drive your car if it is leaking pink fluid, as you will seriously damage the transmission and overheat the engine.
Red is another common color for automotive fluids. In some cases, brake fluid is red. You may also have red engine coolant. Power steering fluid and transmission oil are definitely red. These colors darken as they age.
Finally, when brake fluid is new, it can be so light that it is almost clear or yellow. Another yellow fluid in your automobile is, you guessed it, antifreeze/engine coolant.