Car Fluid Color Guide to Help You Identify Leaking Fluids

Few things are more frustrating than fluid leaking out of your automobile. It can be confusing as to which fluid is leaking out of the car, truck, or utility vehicle, and it can also be confusing as to whether it is safe to continue to drive your automobile with the fluid leak. Mark’s Auto Service is going to list the different automotive fluids by their color below to serve as a guide to help you determine whether you should drive your automobile or have it towed to our shop.


Chances are you can drive your automobile if it is leaking blue fluid provided that the fluid is the windshield washer. This is the most common blue fluid in your automobile. You may also have blue antifreeze/coolant, so check the reservoir to make sure the color isn’t blue.


It isn’t a good idea to drive your automobile if it is leaking brown fluid. As you know, your motor oil is light brown when it is new and dark brown when it is old. Other brown fluids include the brake fluid, the differential oil, and transmission fluid that has aged.


If the clear fluid leaking from your automobile has no odor to it, it is likely water and it is safe to drive your automobile. If it smells like diesel fuel or gasoline, do not drive your automobile because it has a fuel leak.


The green fluid leaking out of your automobile is most likely antifreeze/coolant. If the fluid is blue-green, it is also antifreeze, and this makes it dangerous to drive your automobile. Anytime your engine leaks coolant, it will overheat when you drive it.


If the coolant leak is coming from a rusted radiator, the fluid on your garage floor will be orange. This is because it is filled with rust flakes. Do not drive your automobile when it is in this condition.


It’s also dangerous to drive your automobile if it is leaking pink fluid. Pink fluid is usually a combination of transmission fluid and engine coolant. When the two fluids combine, there is a serious breach between the two systems.


Red fluid is power steering fluid or transmission fluid. Red fluid might also be engine coolant or brake fluid. Again, don’t drive your automobile if is leaking any of these fluids.


Finally, yellow fluid or yellow-green fluid is most likely engine coolant/antifreeze.

Mark’s Auto Service has two auto shops in Illinois to help you: one in Rockford and one in Loves Park. Call the shop closest to you to schedule an appointment if your automobile has a fluid leak.

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