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What Fluid is Leaking From My Car?

You come back to your car after a trip to the grocery store and find a strange fluid pooling up under your car. What is it? Is it safe to keep driving? Find out how to determine what’s leaking from your car and how to repair a vehicle fluid leak in Baltimore. If you’re having trouble distinguishing between the color of fluids on pavement, use a paper towel to wipe it up. The color will come through more clearly on the paper towel.

What Fluid is Leaking from my Car?



The most likely culprit is oil. This will be dark brown and is accompanied by a nasty smell. It takes awhile to absorb into concrete and leaves a dark residue on the pavement. If you open the hood and see smoke coming up too, it’s most likely an oil leak. You can keep driving on an oil leak, but get to a mechanic in Baltimore to have it checked out soon.


Coolant/antifreeze is another common fluid leak. A coolant leak is pink or green and will smell sweet. If you have a coolant leak in your driveway at home, make sure your pet stays away from it, as it is fatal to animals. (Keep pets away from all leaks, but especially coolant.) Leaking coolant can cause your engine to overheat if enough leaks out, so get to a mechanic in Baltimore to repair the leak soon.

Windshield Washer Fluid

This thin blue, green, or orange fluid will quickly soak into the concrete and has a sweet smell. Though not a serious leak, you should have it checked out when you get a chance.

Transmission Fluid

This thick, deep red fluid has a nasty smell and will slowly sit on top of the driveway. A transmission fluid leak is a problem that needs to be addressed at your earliest convenience.

Power Steering Fluid

A yellowish fluid of medium thickness, power steering fluid quickly soaks into concrete and has a faint mechanical smell. Though not an immediate problem, it will make steering much more difficult and will require a fix.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid like power steering fluid, and will look the same. The difference will be that the brake fluid will be located next to a tire. If you have a brake fluid leak, your brakes can shut down at any time, so get it fixed immediately. If you’re unsure whether it’s brake fluid or power steering fluid, take the car in to your Baltimore mechanic regardless to be safe.


It may just be that water is leaking from the radiator. If it’s odorless and quickly soaks into the pavement, it’s probably just water and is nothing to worry about.

car fluid leak


If you have any questions about our blog, “What Fluid is Leaking From My Car?” please contact Auto Stop by calling 410-467-7600 or visit AutoStopLTD.com today! You can also follow Auto Stop on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Our mechanics are highly trained and use state-of-the-art Automotive diagnostic equipment to pinpoint your particular issues, repair it, and get you back on the road as quickly as possible. We promise to diagnose your auto repair problems in an honest and professional manner and all of our work is 100% guaranteed!

Auto Stop is your local auto repair shop, serving the Baltimore metro area. We are A+ accredited by the Better Business Bureau. We are also an ARI Fleet repair center for all Fleet Repairs.




This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 3:14 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.