Fluid Leaks

No driver wants to walk to their car to find fluid dripping in puddles underneath it. If you’re unfamiliar with car fluids, it’s hard to know what the leak means and how serious the damage could be to your car.

When you find a fluid leak, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive and speak with your mechanic about the situation. A skilled professional can help you determine if your car is safe to drive to the auto shop for repair.

By understanding some of your car’s most common fluids, you can better identify a leak and communicate more clearly with your mechanic—before and after your car service and repair.

Anti-freeze or coolant
The consistency of anti-freeze is similar to water and it comes in a wide variety of colors, from yellow, pink, and green to red or blue. This slippery, sweet-smelling liquid is located at the front of a vehicle, and an anti-freeze leak usually originates from the radiator, water pump, radiator hoses, or overflow container.

Brake and power steering fluid
If you find either of these common fluids leaking, call your auto repair mechanic immediately—leaking brake or power steering fluid could signify a problem with the car’s safety. Both fluids are slippery to the touch, but power steering fluid’s light brown color is slightly darker.

Engine oil
Dark brown or black in color, engine oil is one of the most common car leaks and can come from the oil pan, oil filter, valve covers or rear engine seal area. A rainbow effect often appears in an engine oil leak.

Fuel
Fuel leaks indicate a safety concern. Contact your auto repair technician immediately if you smell fuel in your leak.

Transmission fluid
Slippery and red in color, transmission fluid is found in the middle or near the front of the vehicle. Old transmission oil can also be a dark brown color.

Water
Often found underneath your car on a hot summer day, water is common under a car and not a cause for alarm. When your air conditioner eliminates moisture from the car, it drains through a hose underneath your vehicle.

Windshield washer fluid
Windshield washer fluid leaks are caused by a leak in the washer reservoir or hoses. Washer fluid has a similar consistency to water and comes in a variety of colors.