How Can I Tell Which Fluid My Car Is Leaking?

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One reason why automobile system fluids are different colors is so they can be identified in the event of a leak. You can tell what is leaking out of your car based on the color of the fluid you find on your garage floor. We hope you don’t ever have to worry about that, but honestly, just about every vehicle leaks fluid at one point or another. If you see spots on your garage floor, bring your vehicle into Mike’s Auto Service & Repair so we can fix the leak. Here’s a guide of automobile fluid colors.


Blue fluid on your garage floor suggests that your windshield cleaner reservoir or the tubes that move the fluid to the windshield sprayers have a leak in them. The only blue fluid in your vehicle would be windshield cleaner, so if the leaking fluid is blue, you don’t risk damage to your vehicle if you drive it.

Dark Brown

Dark brown fluid leaking from your automobile is usually motor oil or brake fluid. Neither are dark brown at first; rather motor oil is light brown when it’s new and brake fluid is pale amber. After time, both fluids darken, so chances are the dark brown fluid on your garage floor is oil or brake fluid.


Antifreeze comes in different colors and one of those colors is green. If you do see green fluid on your garage floor, take your vehicle in for a radiator inspection right away. You cannot afford to lose antifreeze, as it prevents your engine from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter.

Light Brown

As touched upon briefly above, new motor oil is light brown – almost amber. Another automobile fluid that is light brown is gear lubricant. Either leaking from your vehicle is serious, so don’t waste time finding out where the leak is coming from and getting it fixed.


Remember when we said antifreeze comes in different colors? Well, orange is another color of antifreeze, or at least the radiator makes the fluid look orange sometimes because it has rust in it. Another orange fluid in your vehicle is transmission fluid. Both leaks need to be repaired ASAP.


Transmission fluid can also be pink, so the pink fluid on your garage floor might be leaking from your vehicle’s transmission system. Another pink fluid you’ll find in your engine is your power steering fluid. If either fluid is dirty, it might appear red rather than pink, and sometimes either fluid is red initially.


Finally, the third color your radiator coolant might be is yellow. Generally, coolant should not leak from the radiator, but a hole in the bottom of it will cause fluid to leak out. Holes in the radiator are generally caused by rust, and the radiator fluid could also be leaking from the system’s o-ring or hose clamp.

If you see fluid on your garage floor, bring your vehicle into Mike’s Auto Service & Repair in West Springfield, MA. Call us at 413-523-0180.

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