How to Determine What Type of Fluid is Leaking from Your Car

Fluid leaking from your car can indicate serious problems or nothing at all - it all depends on what is leaking. Be vigilant with fluid leaks of any type as running your engine on low or empty fluid of any type can ruin your engine, transmission or other vital (and expensive!) components in your vehicle.
The video above will show you how to figure out what type of fluid is leaking. This can be difficult if the fluid is on pavement, so we recommend putting some paper down to better determine the color of the leaking fluid and help identify its source. Coolant tends to be green, orange or pink. Oil is almost very dark and oily. Power steering fluid is typically red or black and oily in texture. Brake fluid that is leaking tends to be dark. Transmission fluid leaks tend to be dark and oily. Clear watery fluid is often water from your air conditioning system and not a cause for concern.

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Author

Hans Angermeier has produced over 100,000 videos showing drivers how to fix things on their cars. He has broad expertise on basic repair procedures covering the majority of cars on the road.