What Are the Colors of Fluids in My Car?

You just happened to glance at your garage floor as you were backing out and you see spots. You stop, put your vehicle in park, and get out to inspect the garage floor further. What could be leaking out of your automobile? Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair lists the different automotive fluid colors below to help you diagnose the problem.


If the fluid is blue, you have a leak in your windshield washing system. There is a small chance that your engine coolant is also blue, so pop the hood and check the color of the coolant that you can see in the overflow reservoir. If it is blue, it may not be safe to drive your automobile. If it isn’t blue, your car, truck, crossover, or utility vehicle is leaking windshield washing solution.


If the fluid is brown, it’s likely unsafe to continue driving. Whether it is light brown or dark brown, your motor oil is brown, and you do not want to drive your car when it is leaking motor oil. Other automotive fluids that are brown are brake fluid, gear oil, and older transmission fluid that needs to be changed.


Clear fluid is only dangerous if it smells like gasoline. If your vehicle is leaking gasoline, do not drive it. If the fluid does not have an odor to it, it is likely water. Your air conditioner will drip water when it is running and your tailpipe also releases condensation.


Green fluid is likely antifreeze and/or engine coolant. The fluid may be green or it may be bluish-green. Regardless, it’s not safe to drive your automobile if it is leaking antifreeze/coolant. You run the risk of overheating the engine.


Orange fluid generally means that your radiator’s bottom has rusted through and that is what is leaking. The reason why the fluid is orange is that it has rust in it. The color of the rust is what makes the fluid look orange or orangish. Don’t drive your automobile with a leaking radiator.


Finally, it’s also not a good idea to drive your automobile if it is leaking red fluid. Commonly, red fluid is either power steering fluid or transmission oil. Some automobiles also use brake fluid that is red.

Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair in St. George UT, would be happy to find the source of your auto fluid leak and fix it so you can rest assured that your automobile is safe to drive again. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Dzurag from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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