Yellow fluid leaking from car

Yellow fluid leaking from car: Many of us have run into this problem before! You return to your car and notice that there is a puddle of mysterious liquid underneath. This is not a good sign for your car, and is usually a sign of a fluid leak. The fluid can be anything from motor oil to power steering fluid. Speed ​​Wrench has created a list to help you identify exactly what is leaking from your car.


Your car is a complex piece of machinery that uses a lot of fluids to help it run efficiently.


  • Engine oil: to lubricate the engine
  • Coolant: Helps keep the engine at the proper temperature
  • Transmission Fluid – Helps lubricate and drive transmission
  • Brake fluid: operates the brakes
  • Washer fluid: cleans the windshield
  • Power steering fluid: makes steering easier


These fluids can be easily identified by their color and texture, and sometimes by their smell. A best practice is to quickly respond to any type of leak by contacting your mechanic, so you’re not stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck, not to mention an unwelcome and disturbingly high repair bill. Let’s highlight some fluid identification features that keep your car running smoothly.


Your vehicle uses two fluids that are red:power steering fluid and automatic transmission fluid. Both fluids are hydraulic fluids. It’s smart to check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle actually uses automatic transmission fluid in its power steering system.

Power Steering Fluid – Starts out as a red color and is affected by time. If it is fresh, it will be red in color, but over time it will turn brown. It is a thin consistency, with an oily feel. Some people think it smells like burnt marshmallows.

Automatic Transmission Fluid – This also starts out as a red fluid when new. As time passes, it will turn a reddish-brown color. It feels oily and slippery, and thinner than motor oil. It smells like oil.

*If you find this fluid under your car, a transmission inspection is recommended, especially if you notice other signs of transmission problems, eg: delayed gear shifts when the engine is cold.


When you notice a light yellow fluid leak, do not drive your vehicle. This fluid is most likely brake fluid. Brake fluid starts out light yellow in color and becomes darker as time goes on. Very old brake fluid can take on a dark brown color. This liquid has a slippery, oily feel and has a distinctive odor like fish oil. It is very smart to contact your mechanic to have your brake system checked.


Both coolant and automatic transmission fluid are orange in color, but this colored fluid can originate from two different areas of your vehicle.

Coolant – This is a primary indicator that there is rust in your cooling system and there may be some rust particles mixed in. The coolant feels slimy and tends to have a sweet odor. One of the main factors in engine damage is coolant loss, so if you encounter a coolant leak, you’ll want to contact your mechanic as soon as possible.

Automatic Transmission Fluid: This fluid comes out again because as it ages it can also be orange in color. A mechanic might inspect your transmission to confirm what it is.


The coolant you put in your car comes in a variety of fluorescent colors, which can leak in many places throughout your cooling system. As stated above, the coolant has a sweet odor and a slimy texture. If you lose too much coolant, your vehicle will soon overheat if not fixed. And bigger problems arise when your engine overheats. You could be stranded with a large repair bill if you are unaware of this leaking fluid.


If you notice blue fluid under your car, it’s windshield washer fluid. This is a watery substance that smells like window cleaner. Windshield washer fluid can also come in other colors like green. Make sure there are no cracks in the washer fluid reservoir and have your seals and lines checked by a technician.


Most likely it is motor oil. Motor oil is light brown when first used and then turns darker each time it runs through the engine, collecting dirt and combustion byproducts in the process. This type of fluid is a thick, slippery liquid and if it accumulates under your car, you have a possible engine oil leak. An important step here is that if you have a small leak that you have noticed, you can avoid any problems by keeping the oil topped up until you can inspect it. Which we suggest attending sooner rather than later, always.


Here are two options for clear fluid buildup under your car, water or gasoline. You’re going to trust your nose to tell the difference here.

Water – If you have water leaking under your car, there’s no real concern here. Most likely, the condensation is simply draining from your air conditioner.

Gasoline – On the other hand, if you see a clear liquid that smells like gasoline, you should call your mechanic immediately. Do not drive your vehicle until you have spoken to a professional about what it could be.


No matter how good or reliable your car is, there is a good chance that one day you will see something leaking from the bottom. And when that happens, you’re likely to worry about the leaking fluid and what it means for your car. You may be wondering if your car is safe to drive and how much the repairs will cost. Before you worry too much, you should have an idea of ​​how to identify the fluids in your car so you can plan accordingly.


The least concerning liquid that could leak from your car is water. So why does your car have a water leak from the bottom? Probably because you’ve been running your air conditioner, which leads to water condensation. The other common cause of a water leak is the windshield washer system, which is also not a problem. In general, as long as you can determine that one of these two systems is behind the water leak, you can ignore it.



If you’re wondering “what’s leaking under my car?” and notice that the fluid is brown, black, or amber in color, it is probably motor oil. Get closer to the fluid so you can touch it. If it feels slippery and is difficult to remove from your fingers, it’s probably oil. You should investigate further taking note of where it is coming from as oil can leak from a number of points including the head gasket, oil filter, oil plug and timing cover. Once you’ve determined it’s oil, check the oil level and refill as necessary. Then you can plan to take your car to a mechanic pretty soon so they can figure out why it’s leaking oilOpens a new window, or fix the problem yourself by adding No Leak Engine Oil Stop LeakOpens a new window. The biggest concern here is driving your car with little to no oil, which means you’ll have to check and top up your oil frequently until you get to a mechanic.



Another car fluid that is slippery is automatic transmission fluid. However, it tends to be pink or dark red in color, and it definitely doesn’t smell like oil. In fact, it is considered odorless. If you suspect your car has a transmission fluid leak, you can confirm it by looking for the leak near the front or center of the car, especially at the shift shaft or fluid drain hole, or between the engine and transmissionOpens in new window. You should also check your transmission fluid levels and add some if necessary, then add No Leaks Transmission Fluid Stop LeaksOpens a new window to the system. Keep in mind that driving your car without enough transmission fluid can prevent smooth shifting and could even damage the transmission, so it’s important to make sure you have enough.


Another reddish fluid that could be leaking from your car is power steering fluid. It usually has a slightly sweet burning odor. Power steering fluid leaksOpens a new window usually occur near the steering rack or hoses connected to the power steering reservoir, so look for this fluid there. You can also check the fluid level to determine if it’s low, and if so, add more so you won’t have trouble driving your carOpens in a new window then add Power Steering No Leaks Stop LeaksOpens in a new window to take care of the leak in minutes .



One of the most common reasons you might think, “what’s leaking under my car?” It’s coolant, which is a liquid that can be yellow or green to pink in color. Since few other fluids come in these colors, you should be able to identify the coolant right away. If you’re still not sure, be aware that the coolant smells a bit sweet and feels slimy. This fluid can leak from the radiator, its overflow tank, the water pump, or the hoses. If you think there is coolant under your car, you can add the Gold Eagle Cooling System Leak Stop System to the system to fix the leak. Be sure to add more coolant to the reservoir afterwards.


One fluid you don’t want leaking out of your car is brake fluid. It is usually light or dark brown in color, depending on how old it is, and is slippery to the touch. Look for this fluid under the wheels or anywhere near the brakes in general. If you see brake fluid, do not try to drive your car, as you risk not being able to stop. The best course of action is to have the car towed to a mechanic. Fortunately, brake fluid leaks are pretty rare, so I hope you don’t run into this situation.


As you can see, there are several DIY ways to stop car leaks of all kinds. But if you’re not sure what’s leaking or don’t want to try to fix it yourself, take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to make sure you’re not causing any damage to your vehicle.

The different types of fluids in your car

When there’s a leak under your car, you first want to know what type of fluid it is. There are different types of fluids in your car that could be to blame.

  • Motor oil.Your motor oil lubricates your engine to make sure it runs properly and reduces instances of friction that can damage the engine. It is usually dark in color and may appear brown or black.
  • Water.There may be some water in your car from the air conditioning running or if you used water instead of washer fluid (which may work well, but may not be as solid as proper washer fluid). The water is clear and odorless.
  • transmission fluid. Your car also has transmission fluid that lubricates the vehicle’s transmission. There are also different types of transmission fluids depending on whether you have an automatic vehicle or a manual car. Transmission fluid can vary in color depending on how old it is. It may be reddish and thin if it is new, or it may be browner and thicker in consistency if it is older.
  • Brake fluid.Brake fluid is one of the most underrated fluids, and it plays an important role in helping your brakes work effectively. In other words, it helps stop your car when you need it to. This type of fluid can also change color as it ages and is light yellow when new, and can turn more brown as it ages. Brake fluid can also smell bad and appear oily.
  • Power steering fluid.The power steering fluid in your vehicle helps make your vehicle easier to steer and handle. It keeps all the parts running smoothly so you stay in control. This type of fluid is usually reddish at first and can turn more of a rust color and ultimately brown over time. Power steering fluid has an oily consistency and has a unique smell – burnt and sweet.
  • Gasoline.Your car runs on gasoline and has a distinctive odor that you are probably familiar with. If you have a leak under your vehicle, you may not recognize it with the naked eye alone, as it is normally clear.
  • Refrigerator.This type of vehicle fluid is vital as the coolant helps absorb some of the heat from your engine and prevents damage from excessive heat or cooling. Refrigerants are easy to identify as they usually come in bright colors like green, blue, pink, etc. They are also known to have a slimy consistency and a sweet smell.

What to do about car fluid leaks

If you have a leak problem on your hands, you are now aware of the different types of fluids in your car. Once you identify the type of fluid, you can take the appropriate action. Here’s what to do about fluid leaks in your car.

Motor oil

When it comes to car fluid leaks, motor oil is one of the most common culprits. Typically the location of the puddle of fluid in this case would be near the front of the vehicle where the engine is located.

Motor oil is usually brown or black. According to Auto Zone, engine oil leaks are most commonly caused by a bad engine gasket, but they can also be caused by a leaking oil pan or oil seals, as well as bad connections.

Check the oil pan seals and plugs, as well as the gasket. You may be able to replace the parts yourself or do something simple like adding a motor oil fluid that stops leaks. However, be sure to fix the root problem and consult an auto professional if necessary.


If you see a clear, odorless liquid under your car, it’s probably water. Most likely it is air conditioning condensation or a windshield washer fluid leak if you have water instead of a specific windshield washer fluid. This is usually not a big problem and is not a cause for concern.

transmission fluid

One of the most serious leaks under a car is transmission fluid. If the car leak is below the middle of your vehicle, it may be a transmission fluid leak and be a warning sign of a larger problem. It could be a problem with your engine, which could be problematic. Go to a mechanic as soon as possible to fix the problem.

Brake fluid

Another major car leak that you should not ignore is a brake fluid leak. If there is yellow fluid, that could indicate that it is brake fluid. Using the color to identify the leak is key, since the location could occur under any part of your vehicle. Your brakes are your main safety feature that can prevent accidents and save lives. So if you see brake fluid (or get squealing brakes), take it to a mechanic to have it checked right away.

power steering fluid

Its brakes help stop the movement while the steering helps direct the movement. If they shoot at the address, it could become a safety hazard. If you have a leak under your car that is near the top of your car that is rust or brown in color and has a burnt scent to it, it is like a power steering fluid leak. Again, this is a matter for professionals and you should take your car to the mechanic.


Gasoline is usually clear, but the smell can give it away. According to, gas leaks are often caused by a ruptured fuel tank, broken fuel lines, or a broken fuel injection system. Gasoline is highly flammable and dangerous, so if there is a gas leak, contact a mechanic before getting behind the wheel.


Your coolant plays a big part, and if there is a coolant leak, it could damage your engine. The good news is that it is easy to identify given the bright colors and slimy consistency.

A coolant leak can be in many places, but if it’s near the radiator, it could be a telltale sign. First check if the radiator cap is tight. If not, it may just need to be tightened. However, if it is broken or for some unnoticeable cause, have your car checked at a body shop.

The bottom line

Dealing with a car leak problem can be scary, especially if you’re not sure what it is. With this guide, you can recognize your car’s fluid leak and take action. In many cases, you may need to seek professional help rather than doing it yourself just to be safe. Staying safe on the road is key. That’s why it’s important to perform regular car maintenance, watch for leaks or strange sounds, and have adequate insurance coverage. For drivers who don’t rack up a ton of miles, consider pay-by-the-mile auto insurance. You pay gas by the gallon, why not pay insurance directly based on the miles you drive?

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