Your Auto Fluid Color Guide So You Know What’s Leaking From Your Car

Fluid spots on your garage floor is a bad sign, but you don’t need us here at Automotive Specialists to tell you that. Aside from the question of why you have fluid leaking out of your car is the question of which fluid, exactly, is leaking. We are going to give you an auto fluid color guide so you know the colors of the fluids used to maintain the condition of your automobile. It’s important that you get any leaks fixed as soon as possible because they also help your vehicle run safely and efficiently.

Brown or Black

Amber, light brown, and dark brown automotive fluid is either brake fluid or motor oil. When these fluids are new, they are amber or light brown. In some cases, brake fluid can even be translucent or yellowish. Once they turn dark brown or black, they are too old and must be changed. Old transmission fluid can also be dark brown or black. If it’s light brown, it still has a few miles of usage left.

Red or Pink

Engine coolant/antifreeze might be red and power steering and transmission fluid are red. Power steering fluid should never change color because it is enclosed in the system, although there have been some cases where the fluid does get dirty and turn brown. As mentioned above, transmission fluid will darken as it ages, but pink transmission fluid is a bad sign that it is diluted by engine coolant.

Blue-Green, Green, Orange, Red

All of these fluid colors are the color of antifreeze/coolant. Usually, your automobile will have a fluid that acts as both an antifreeze and engine coolant. The best way to tell the color of your engine coolant is to pop the hood and look at the coolant in the radiator’s overflow reservoir. It should either be any of the colors listed in the heading or it might be yellow. Orange coolant suggests a rusted radiator.

Blue or Clear

Finally, unless it is radiator fluid, blue fluid is your windshield washer fluid. Although it’s not the end of the world if this fluid leaks, you might find yourself frustrated if you don’t have any when you need to clean your windshield while driving. Clear fluid is nothing more than water. Condensation is normal, especially when it’s hot outside and you’ve been running your vehicle’s air conditioner.

Stop by Automotive Specialists, Inc., in Westminster, CO, if your vehicle has a fluid leak. We’ll find the source of the leak and fix it before the lost fluid causes engine or brake damage.