Auto Fluid Color Guide for Your Quick Reference

The best way to check the color of the fluid leaking out of your automobile is to grab a white cloth or paper towel for a neutral background when you wipe the fluid off your garage floor. Depending on your fluid leak, it might still be safe to operate your vehicle or it could be dangerous. Premier Auto Repair explains that this is why it’s important to identify the fluid before you get into the driver seat.


The most common blue automotive fluid is windshield washer. In rare cases, your engine coolant might also be blue or bluish-green. Check your radiator overflow reservoir to see the color of your coolant.

Brown – Light

Fluid that is amber, yellowish, or light brown is new or clean brake fluid. Fresh motor oil is also light brown. Gear oil can be light brown, and older transmission fluid also turns from red to light brown.

Brown – Dark

Basically, any fluid leaking out of your car, truck, or utility vehicle that is dark brown is dirty. Old or dirty brake fluid, gear or motor oil, and transmission fluid all turn dark brown and need to be replaced.


If you don’t see a color on your cloth or paper towel, i.e., the fluid is clear, it’s water. Your air conditioner produces condensation while it runs, as does your tailpipe, which will drip water.


Green fluid is engine antifreeze. If you change from coolant in the summer to antifreeze in the winter, the green fluid leaking out of the front of your automobile is likely the winter’s antifreeze.


Orange fluid is most likely antifreeze or engine coolant that is filled with rust particles found in a corroded radiator. Chances are, the corrosion has eaten through the radiator’s bottom.


Pink fluid usually means that a red fluid in your automobile’s engine is being diluted by engine coolant or water. The most common instance of this is diluted transmission oil from a breach in the cooling system.


A lot of fluids are red, and this can make diagnosing the specific fluid leaking out of your automobile difficult. Some brake fluid or coolant is red, power steering fluid is red, and transmission fluid is red.


Antifreeze or engine coolant can also be yellow. As mentioned above, brake fluid can look yellow when it is brand-new, as well. If the leak is coming from your engine, it’s antifreeze or coolant.

We can also find out which fluid is leaking from your automobile here at Premier Auto Repair in Tyler, TX. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by Nobilior Images via Canva Pro

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