Spotting unexpected puddles under your car can be worrisome, but prompt action can prevent significant damage. This comprehensive guide will help you distinguish seven typical fluids that may be leaking from your vehicle and share some handy tips to address them. After all, knowing what’s leaking from your car could mean the difference between a minor fix and a costly repair.

1 Engine Oil

Engine Oil

If you discover brown or black spots beneath your vehicle, it could signify an engine oil leak. Engine oil is the lifeblood of your car. It lubricates your engine’s moving parts, reducing friction and wear, keeping the engine cool, and preventing harmful deposits from building up.

Over time, seals and gaskets may become worn, or the oil pan might get damaged, causing the oil to leak. A significant drop in oil levels could result in insufficient lubrication, causing your engine parts to rub together and overheat, leading to potential engine failure. Therefore, addressing an engine oil leak immediately can save you a lot of stress and money in the long run. Remember to get regular oil changes as your car’s manufacturer recommends to maintain the oil’s effectiveness.

2 Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid

Pink or red fluid with a slightly sweet smell indicates transmission fluid. Transmission fluid plays an integral role in your vehicle’s performance. It cools and lubricates the parts of your transmission, facilitating gear shifts and powering your car’s movement. A leak in your transmission fluid could lead to harsh or delayed shifts, overheating, or even transmission failure.

Like engine oil, the transmission fluid can leak due to worn seals, damaged lines, or a punctured transmission pan. Regular transmission fluid changes can also help maintain its quality and extend the life of your transmission. Remember, early detection can prevent a small problem from becoming a significant issue.

3 Brake Fluid

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid leaks are safety hazards and must be taken seriously. This vital component of the braking system is typically clear or slightly yellowish. If you observe such liquid beneath your car, you could have a damaged brake line, defective brake calliper, or worn-out master cylinder. Besides fluid leakage, warning lights on your dashboard, a soft brake pedal, or grinding noise while braking may also hint at brake fluid issues. It’s imperative to address this immediately to ensure your safety on the road.

4 Power Steering Fluid

Power Steering Fluid

A reddish or brown fluid leak may be your power steering fluid. Its crucial role in facilitating smooth steering means that a leak is a serious matter. Culprits could be a faulty power steering pump, a worn steering rack, or damaged power steering hoses. If you suspect a leak, have your car inspected by a licensed mechanic promptly to ensure safety and ease of steering.

7 Coolant


Coolant or antifreeze, typically green, yellow, or pink, helps control your engine’s temperature. If this coloured fluid appears under your car, inspect your radiator, hoses, and water pump for any damages or leaks. Neglecting coolant leaks can lead to engine overheating and consequential damage, so prompt action is advised.

5 Windscreen Washer Fluid

Windscreen Washer Fluid

Blue liquid under your car may indicate a windshield washer fluid leak. Though not critical to your vehicle’s performance, a leak can be inconvenient, hampering visibility. Leaks could be due to a damaged reservoir, faulty pump, or leaky hose. It’s recommended to have it inspected and repaired for clear visibility.

6 Water


Occasionally, you might spot clear, odourless liquid under your car. This is typically water dripping from your vehicle’s air conditioning system and is usually nothing to worry about. As your air conditioner operates, it condenses water from the air, causing these harmless drips.

Understanding these potential leaks helps maintain your vehicle’s optimal health and ensures your safety on the road. However, always consult an expert if you need more clarification on any leaks. You can trust the professionals at Sutherland Automotive. Our experienced mechanics provide top-quality mechanical repairs, maintenance, and more. Don’t wait for a small leak to become a big problem – book an appointment with us today!