car fluid color chart

Car Fluids Color Chart – Guide to Identifying Leaks

In Car Breakdowns, Car Maintenance by Phoenix Towing ServiceLeave a Comment

One of the worst car-related horror stories starts with backing out of the parking lot and noticing that odd-looking spot on the pavement. The dreaded spot that indicates something is wrong with your vehicle. A thousand questions start running through your mind…  is it oil or brake fluid? Maybe your transmission system is leaking, or maybe there’s something wrong with the engine?

Before you panic and start losing your mind, check the color of the fluid and you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on. The color of the fluid can give a clue about the origin of the stain underneath your vehicle. Here’s a quick car fluid color chart to help you distinguish the severity of your car’s malfunction.

Please note that you should visit your nearest mechanic as soon as possible, no matter what kind of leak is in question. This article is just a guide that will help you determine if it’s safe to drive your vehicle to the mechanic or if you need it towed.

So we all know that engine oil leaks are the most common and they are a light brown to black color. That one is easy to spot, but what about other car fluids?

What Color Is Brake Fluid

You wouldn’t want to be driving your car with malfunctioning brakes so we’ll start by helping you identify if your brakes are leaking fluid. The color of brake fluid is clear if it’s still new, but, in time, will take a brownish tone. The easiest way to distinguish brake fluid is to check its consistency. If it has a slippery and oily texture, you’re probably dealing with an issue with the braking system and should try and resolve before considering driving your car. 

What Color Is Radiator Fluid

So radiator fluid is arguably the easiest leak to identify as the color is quite distinguishable from the rest. If you spot a green or yellowish stain underneath your car, it’s most definitely coolant. Now, coolant is responsible for protecting your engine from overheating as well as preventing your cooling system water from freezing at the same time, so it’s a vital under-the-hood fluid. Driving your car with an insufficient amount of coolant can cause severe damage to the engine so if you see your car leaking green fluid, make sure to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

What Color Is Transmission System Fluid Leak

Have you spotted a reddish or brown stain on the pavement underneath your car? It could very well be a sign of a gap in your transmission system. Especially if the texture is thicker than engine oil. Also, the location of the leak could be an indicator you’re dealing with a failure in your transmission system. If the brown stain is located near the center of the car, you’re probably dealing with a faulty transmission system.

What Color Is Power Steering Fluid Leak

Now, this is a tough one to distinguish. Power steering fluid has the same color as transmission fluid. The only way to distinguish these two malfunctions is to rely on the location of the stain. If you found the oily spot near the front of your car, it’s probably power steering. 

And there you have it, a quick guide different car fluid colors and how they can help you figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle. As always, keep up with our blog for more car-related advice. If you require our towing services, feel free to contact us via our website or by calling our 24/7 emergency line.

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