Name That Automotive Fluid!

It’s not uncommon to see fluid leaking from your vehicle, especially as it gets older. Whether it’s a cause for concern or not however, depends on identifying the leaking fluid. I can’t tell you how many times customers have come to Genesis Auto & RV Repair Inc., thinking their vehicle is leaking coolant (for instance), only to find out it is transmission fluid.

A leak could mean that fluids simply need to be topped off or that a repair needs to be made so that you don’t get stranded on Tacoma’s busy roads. How soon you need to repair a leak depends on what fluid is leaking, how much is leaking and what the fluid is leaking onto.

Here is a guide to help you identify what fluid may be dripping onto your garage floor:

  • Bright Green Fluid – is normally radiator coolant, it smells semi-sweet and is slippery to the touch (coolant can also be pink or red in color).
  • Bright Blue Fluid – is usually windshield washer fluid (can also be orange, pink or yellow).
  • Light Brown Fluid– if there is a strong odor that smells like rotten eggs, the fluid can be 90 weight oil or gear lube. This fluid is used in axle housings and differentials.
  • Red Fluid – automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid often share the same type of fluid; this fluid has a lighter feeling than engine oil. Other red color fluid can also be long-life coolant for the radiator or water pump.
  • Clear Fluid – can be power steering fluid or water. Power steering fluid is a type of oil and will feel very slippery. Water commonly drains from the air conditioning condenser unit.
  • Light Yellow Fluid – new brake fluid is yellow in color and turns a muddy brown color as it ages and absorbs water.
  • Amber Fluid – can be gasoline. You should notice the distinct odor of gasoline before you see fluid on the ground. Even a small leak under the car will typically produce strong fumes.

Sometimes it can be tricky identifying the fluid. In that case, Genesis Auto & RV Repair Inc., is here to help! We’d rather see you in our shop for an inspection, than continuing to drive with a serious leak. So stop into our shop, located in Tacoma, Washington, and schedule an appointment to have your vehicle checked out.

Written by Genesis Auto & RV