Automotive Fluid Color Guide for Your Reference

1 Apr
automotive fluid

Automotive Fluid Color Guide for Your Reference

It’s normal to panic when you back out of your garage and see automotive fluid spots on the cement floor. Try not to panic too much, however. Your vehicle should not be leaking automotive fluid, but depending on the fluid’s color, it might not be as bad as you think. DOC Auto provides this handy guide to help you determine what fluid is leaking out of your car, truck, or SUV.

Light Brown to Dark Brown or Black

Most people think that brown fluid leaking from your automobile is motor oil and, in most cases, it is. Brake fluid is also brown, so if you see amber-to-light-brown fluid, dark brown fluid, or black fluid on your garage floor, it’s either brake fluid, motor oil, or gear lubricant. Brake fluid can also be yellow.

Pink or Red

The three primary systems that leak pink or red fluid are your power steering, radiator, or transmission. In some cases, power steering or transmission fluid may also be brown if it’s dirty, which is a sign of real trouble because power steering fluid and transmission oil are sealed away from the outside.


In rare instances, your engine’s coolant might be blue but blue fluid leaking from your automobile is almost always windshield cleaner. You can breathe a sigh of relief in most cases if there is blue fluid on your garage floor; you just can’t clean your windshield until you get the reservoir or line leak fixed.

Green, Orange, Pink, Red, Yellow

That’s a lot of colors and all of them equal antifreeze or coolant if you prefer to call it that. Engine coolants comes in a variety of colors, so pop your hood while your engine is cool and look at the fluid color in your radiator overflow container. It’s clear, so you’ll be able to see the color easily.


Finally, clear fluid is water. The most common way water escapes from your vehicle is through your exhaust system. Condensation builds up in your exhaust pipes and is released with the exhaust. You may also get condensation dripping from your air conditioning system in the summer.

DOC Auto is happy to inspect your vehicle to find and fix any leaks. We have two shops in Fredericksburg, VA. You can visit us at our Chatham Heights Road shop. We also have a shop on Courthouse Road. Call us today to get the leak fixed before it causes serious engine or brake system damage.

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Chatham Heights
175 Chatham Heights Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
(540) 899-3732

Courthouse Road
10734 Courthouse Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
(540) 710-0173

Monday – Friday:
8am to 6pm

8am to 2pm

Closed on Sunday