What’s Leaking From My Car? Identifying Car Leaks

If you’re experiencing a lack of fuel or just want to know what’s leaking from your car, then this guide will help. Whether it is the oil pan, transmission fluid, power steering pump or engine vacuum hose that needs attention now is up to you!

The “water leaking from front of car” is a common problem. This article will teach you how to identify the source of the leak.

Vintage mechanic working under car elevated on lift.

It’s happened to all of us at some point. When you enter the garage to get into your vehicle, you see a puddle of something below it. “Hmmm, what’s that?” you think to yourself. “Is this a severe situation?” Is my automobile going to explode on the way to Subway?”

Your automobile has a variety of liquids circulating through it that enable it to perform at its optimum, much as your body is packed with fluids that allow it to work efficiently. And, much like your body, your automobile has a few leaks now and again (albeit it doesn’t have the choice of wearing an adult diaper).

Knowing how to spot that odd puddle beneath your vehicle might help you avoid turning a minor technical issue into a $2,000 mechanic’s bill. So I went to KwikCar in Tulsa and spoke with their technicians to learn how to tell one leak from another.

We look at the most frequent automotive leaks and explain what they signify, as well as whether you’ll perish in a firestorm before you can enjoy your Cold Cut Trio.

a cooling agent (Antifreeze)

Green coolant antifreeze leaking under car.

The hue of coolant (or antifreeze) is generally greenish. It might be bright orange or pink at times. However, it is generally green. It has a sticky, viscous texture to it.

One of the most prevalent leaks in automobiles is antifreeze. Although it isn’t a significant leak, you should get it repaired as soon as feasible. Your engine’s temperature is controlled by coolant. A coolant leak, if left unchecked, may cause your engine to overheat and your vehicle to die on the side of the road. And let me tell you, nothing beats getting stuck on the side of the road with an overheated automobile when the temperature outside is 105 degrees. Have faith in me.

Coolant leaks should also be repaired as soon as possible since the substance is particularly hazardous to pets. Unfortunately, coolant has a pleasant odor and flavor, making it appealing to Mittens the household cat (as well as killers who put it into their victims’ drinks). Get the leak rectified as soon as possible unless you want to explain to the kids why Mittens had to travel to a special “cat farm” where she may romp with other playful animals. The radiator, radiator hoses, heater hoses, and engine core plugs are all places to look for coolant leaks.


Leaking gasoline from tank of a car.

Gas tank that is leaking

Gas leaks are simple to see. Is there a gas odor in the puddle in your garage? Yes? Okay, it’s most likely gas.

Don’t be concerned. Just because your automobile has a gas leak doesn’t imply it’s ready to explode. Some individuals, in fact, drive about with gas leaks for months without experiencing any issues. With current gas rates, the greatest danger is dribbling nickels and dimes all over town. But don’t get me wrong: I’m not a snob. Fuel leaks still pose a danger of fire and action-movie-style explosions, so they must be addressed very once.


If there’s a puddle of gas towards the back of the automobile, it’s most likely due to a leaking gas tank. (Minor gas tank leaks are quite simple to fix on your own.) We’ll probably put something up about it later.) If the puddle is towards the front, the fuel pump is most likely to blame. Also look for the source of the leak in the fuel lines.


An engine oil.

Engine oil is another typical fluid that drips from your automobile. If your automobile spills oil in drips when parked, causing a pool on your garage floor, take it to a repair as soon as possible. An oil leak may deplete your car’s oil supply and, if left unattended, cause engine damage.

The hue of new oil is yellowish brown; aged oil is dark brown or black.

A multitude of things may cause an oil leak, including, but not limited to:

  • oil gasket that is damaged or worn out
  • incorrectly fitted oil filter
  • Corrosion in the oil coolant line
  • The oil plug is not securely fastened.
  • oil pressure is very high

You could find that your automobile doesn’t leak oil in drips, but rather “seeps” oil from different sections of the engine over time. Oil seepage is typical in high-mileage automobiles, according to the technician I spoke with, and you normally don’t lose enough oil between changes to negatively influence oil pressure. Keep an eye on it, and if the leaks become drips, have it checked up as soon as possible.

Fluid for Brakes

Brake fluid in car engine close up photo brown liquid.

Brake fluid is clear to yellowish in color, medium thick, and somewhat greasy in texture. If you see a pool of liquid with these characteristics beneath your vehicle, get it towed to a repair right once. Even if you just believe your automobile is leaking brake fluid, get it towed. Don’t even attempt to drive over there in your automobile.

This is why: Your car’s braking system is controlled by hydraulic pressure. The hydraulic fluid that keeps the pressure up is brake fluid. A brake fluid leak will result in a loss in pressure, which might lead to brake failure. That’s not something you want to happen as you go down Dead Man’s Hill at 60 miles per hour.

Fortunately, brake fluid leaks are uncommon in today’s automobiles. If you have one, it’s normally located near the wheels or just under the brake pedal.

Fluid for Automatic Transmissions

Automatic transmission fluid.

When fresh, automatic transmission fluid has a light red tint, and when old, it is a dark red or brownish color. It’s thick and nearly oily in texture. (Transmission fluid is used in certain manual transmission autos, while gear oil is used in the majority.)

Gearbox fluid lubricates your car’s transmission, allowing it to change gears smoothly and accurately. The fluid also functions as a gearbox coolant. You run the danger of grinding or burning your transmission to death if you run out of transmission fluid. Depending on the model, replacing the gearbox might cost anywhere from $1,300 to $1,800. As a result, repairing leaks is well worth the money.


Look for leaks between the transmission filler tube, near the transmission fluid drain hole, at the selector shaft (the rod that links your gear change to your transmission), and between the gearbox and the engine.

Fluid for Power Steering

Old on left and new on right steering fluid in a bottle.

On the left, there is old power steering fluid; on the right, there is fresh power steering fluid.

Turning your automobile is a breeze with power steering. If you don’t have it, you’ll have to use some effort to spin the steering wheel. I’ve only driven a vehicle without power steering once in my life, and it made me very thankful for the engineers who devised this miracle.

Hydraulics are used in the majority of power steering systems. Power steering fluid fills a cylinder in your steering system when you move the wheel, which then delivers a push to the wheels to assist you in turning. When your power steering fluid level drops, your power steering system’s pressure drops, which means turning your automobile becomes more difficult.

The power steering fluid in many automobiles is really automatic transmission fluid. If your garage floor has a crimson stain and your vehicle has become more difficult to steer, you most likely have a power steering leak.

Other vehicles employ a power steering fluid that is created particularly for power steering systems. It has a medium thickness and is somewhat yellowish.

Check your owner’s handbook to see what kind of power steering fluid your vehicle uses.

You’ll discover signs of power steering leaks at the front of your automobile, where the steering system is located. The power steering reservoir, pump, and hoses connecting the power steering system are all potential causes of a power steering leak.

Solvent for Windshield Washing

Windshield washer wiper fluid in bottle for car.

Wiper fluid is commonly blue, although it may also be green or orange. It’s very light, almost as if it’s made of water. Check for leaks in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir and the fluid-carrying tubes. This isn’t a major problem. It becomes an issue only after you’ve driven through a locust epidemic and their guts have splashed all over your windshield.


It’s scorching outside, and you’ve had the car’s A/C blasting all day. You notice a continuous drop of liquid coming from your vehicle’s undercarriage as you exit the barbershop and move towards your automobile.

“Great Odin’s Raven!” you exclaim to the skies, shaking your fist in the air. My automobile is doomed! Dooooomed!”

Sir, take a step back from the brink of despair. You’re not doomed, believe it or not.

According to the technician I talked with, the leak that most people are concerned about isn’t truly a leak. It’s merely the air conditioner’s water condensation. There’s nothing to be concerned about here. Instead of shaking your fist, rub it through your newly cut hair. Nothing was seen by anybody.

Do you have any additional suggestions for locating vehicle leaks? Leave them in the comments section.




The “car leaking water” is a common problem for many car owners. There are many ways to identify the source of the leak, but some methods can be dangerous.

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