Nobody likes to see that dark little spot underneath your car. It’s a telltale sign that something isn’t right. The question we want to know is, what color is that spot?

When you first look at it, it just looks dark. If it is fresh you might be able to tell if you touch it. You will see a bit of color on your fingertip. The other thing to take note of is where you find the spot. Is it under the front of the vehicle? Toward the side? In the middle? Or is it farther back?

Knowing the location and the color of the leaking fluid helps us to determine which part of your vehicle is having an issue. Here is a little cheat sheet for you to use when you notice a fluid leak.

System Fluid Color Where To Look
Radiator Coolant or Antifreeze Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue Under the front of the car
Engine Oil Amber or Transparent Light Brown Under the engine
Diesel Engine Oil Black Under the engine
Transmission Fluid Red By the radiator, under the engine, or under the transmission
Wiper Fluid Blue Just behind the front bumper
Power Steering Clear or Pinkish Under the middle to front of the car
Brake Fluid Dark Brown Inside of rims or dripping from frame 


Any puddles 3 inches or more are likely a severe problem, and you should schedule an appointment immediately. Puddles 1-2 inches in diameter aren’t typically as severe, but you should still check them out.

  •  Any brake fluid leaks should be taken very seriously since this affects your ability to stop. 
  • Leaks from your radiator could mean a large repair bill if not addressed.
  • Oil leaks can start small and develop into a larger problem over time. If you check your oil regularly, you might get away with topping it off in the short term. However, this isn’t a substitute for having a qualified technician diagnose the problem.
  • If you have just had your vehicle serviced and you notice a leak, bring the vehicle back in we will ensure all hoses, clamps, and plugs are securely in place. 

It is nice when you get into your car in the morning, it starts, and you are off to start the day. Keep in mind that this is a very complex piece of equipment, and many components keep it working correctly. Don’t underestimate the importance of what your car is trying to tell you when you hear noises, rattles, or klunks. Leaking fluids are another sign that your car is sending you. 

You might see some other fluids condensation, which should be clear. You might see this more in the summer while running your air conditioning. If you see condensation dripping from your tailpipe, that is typically ok too. A more serious problem is white smoke, which could be a blown head gasket.

Contact your Stroebel Automotive for more information on leaking fluids and all your vehicle’s needs! 

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