My Car Is Leaking Fluid: Six Liquids That May Drip From a Car

Updated on January 27, 2019
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

What Is That Fluid Leaking Under My Car?

Something dripping from a car might or might not indicate a dangerous situation that needs attention. In this article, I will cover the six most common fluid leaks from a car—from the leaks that will leave you stranded to the leaks that should be in fact be happening. Yes, there are times when fluids should leak naturally from your car, and we will cover that as well.

Let’s try to figure out what fluid is leaking from your car and what you should do about it.

Find the Source and Check the Color

First of all, before you start worrying, make sure the fluid leak is coming from your car and not the vehicle that was parked in that spot before you got there. Just grab a flashlight, get down on one knee, and take a good look under your car.

If the fluid is coming from your car, you need to determine the fluid’s color. The best way to do that is to slide a piece of white cardboard or a piece of plywood under your car and let the car drip onto it. Capturing the drip this way will enlighten you in two ways: One, it will reveal the color, and two, it will give you a good indication of where the fluid is leaking from.

First, without moving the board, notice where the drip is hitting the board; turn your head and look up from this point at the bottom of your car and see exactly where your leak is coming from. Once you have a clear view of where the fluid is leaking from, remove the board and check the color.

Different Fluids Have Different Colors

Six fluids dripped onto cardboard
Six fluids dripped onto cardboard | Source

Six Most Common Fluids to Leak from a Car

The six fluids that most commonly drip from a car are:

  • water
  • motor oil
  • transmission fluid
  • coolant
  • gear oil or differential fluid,
  • and power-steering fluid.

I left brake fluid out of this list because it’s not common for brake fluid to leave a puddle under your car. Nevertheless, a brake fluid leak is potentially serious (see my article about common brake problems). Just for quick reference, brake-fluid color is clear to amber and smells like fish oil; if you doubt me, take the cap off the brake fluid reservoir and sniff the cap.

1. Water Leaking From Your Car

The three H’s—hazy, hot and humid—are probably the most common cause of fluid leaking from a car, in the eastern U.S. at least. A car’s air conditioner needs to do something with the moisture it removes from the air inside the passenger compartment. It drains the water onto the ground under the car, via a rubber hose.

On very humid days, the water will pour out of the air conditioner drain onto the ground like from a faucet, until the cabin humidity is almost gone. This is what I meant earlier when I said that some leaks are supposed to happen.

This hose is usually at the front right (near the area where the passenger rests their feet) or in the middle of the cabin. If you have a newer minivan or large SUV with front and rear climate control, it’s possible to have two evaporators and two air conditioner drains, one in front and one in the rear.

Dual Climate Control

Dual climate control on a 2011 Honda Pilot.  The rear controls are the blue and red arrows at right under “RR lock.” Fan speed is controlled from the rear controller.
Dual climate control on a 2011 Honda Pilot. The rear controls are the blue and red arrows at right under “RR lock.” Fan speed is controlled from the rear controller. | Source

Here's a Tip: When you use the air conditioning system, it’s best to keep the recirculation button in the “on” position rather than the “fresh air” position (see picture below of the recirculation button on a Honda). If you leave the car in “fresh air” mode, it will continue to drag humid air into the car, the vehicle’s cabin will never reach optimum temperature, and sometimes when the weather is extremely humid, the air will turn into fog as it pours from your vents into your car’s passenger cabin.

If you ever experience this phenomenon, reach over and push the recirculation button. The recirculated air will lose humidity on each pass through the evaporator, and your air conditioner will be working at maximum efficiency (see my article on how to defog car windows fast).

Recirculation Button

Recirculation button (at left) next to the fresh air button (at right) (2011 Honda Pilot).  The recirculation button should be on when using air conditioning, but should not be on otherwise; it will fog up your windows.
Recirculation button (at left) next to the fresh air button (at right) (2011 Honda Pilot). The recirculation button should be on when using air conditioning, but should not be on otherwise; it will fog up your windows. | Source

2. Oil Leaks

Engine oil, or “motor oil,” may vary in color from light amber to dark brown, depending on how well you maintain your car. If there is an oil leak, common sense tells you that it will be under the engine, but it’s not always immediately obvious where your engine is located. Don’t laugh: on a front-wheel-drive car, your engine could be located at the front left or front right, depending on where the transmission sits, and the engine could be in the rear of the car if you’re driving a Porsche or a VW bug. Once you figure out the oil is dripping from the engine, all you have to do is pinpoint the leak. You might want a mechanic to take a look at it if you can’t find exactly where it is leaking from. Oil leaks can come from some pretty obscure sources, like a crankshaft seal under the timing cover, or they can come from something easy to spot like a valve cover gasket.

If you know you have an engine oil leak, check your dipstick frequently. Do not drive a car that's low on oil. It will overheat and damage itself. If you have a massive oil leak do not drive your car at all.

Oil Dipstick

Notice the brownish color of the motor oil or engine oil.
Notice the brownish color of the motor oil or engine oil. | Source

3. Coolant or Antifreeze Leaks

Coolant comes in many colors now; it used to be green, but now its color depends on the manufacturer of the car or the coolant. Honda provides a blue coolant, Mercedes uses clear, Toyota uses red, and I have seen orange, green and all the colors of the rainbow. Coolant has a sweet smell, like candy, and also a sweet taste. Don’t taste it—it’s half ethylene glycol, which is poison—but I have tasted it a few times in my career, not by choice.

Coolant in the Overflow Tank

Honda brand coolant is blue.
Honda brand coolant is blue. | Source

A coolant leak could be almost anywhere, because of all the coolant hoses that surround your engine. Some coolant hoses (the heater hoses) go into the passenger compartment itself. But the most common place for a coolant leak is your radiator, and that will be located behind the grill in the very front of the car.

If you suspect you have a coolant leak, you may be able to smell it. Take a quick glance at the coolant overflow tank; it is usually see-through and has “high” and “low” markings on it.

If it’s empty, or you aren’t sure what you are seeing, let your engine cool completely and look in the radiator. Do not remove the radiator cap on a hot engine. It could blow hot coolant or steam into your face and cause severe burns. If you can’t see any coolant when you are peering down into the radiator, you may have a leak.

You don’t want to drive a car that has lost a massive amount of coolant. It can overheat and ruin the engine. Keep an eagle eye on the temperature gauge. Or better yet, tow it to where it can be fixed.

The Radiator Cap

Heed the warning! Don't take the cap off a hot radiator.
Heed the warning! Don't take the cap off a hot radiator. | Source
You should see coolant when you look inside the radiator.
You should see coolant when you look inside the radiator. | Source

4. Transmission Fluid Leaks

Automatic transmissions use red or pink fluid, and lots of it. Very often, the first sign of an automatic transmission leaking is that the transmission will start to slip (the car will rev without going into gear). If the leak continues, eventually the car will not move at all.

Automatic transmissions use fluids specially formulated by the manufacturer. If you don’t use Honda-made automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in a Honda automatic transmission, you will compromise shift quality and void your warranty, so I recommend following Honda’s guidelines and using their recommended fluids.

Standard (“manual”) transmissions use gear oil (like heavy, strong-smelling motor oil; see “Gear Oil” below) or the manufacturer's proprietary manual transmission fluid. Very old Hondas use regular motor oil in their standard transmissions.

The most common place for a transmission fluid leak on a front-wheel drive car is the axle seals; on a rear-wheel-drive car it is the output shaft seal. If you see red or pink fluid under your car, pull the transmission dipstick and check your transmission fluid level. Check the owner’s manual for the proper way to check transmission fluid, different manufacturers have different ways of checking transmission fluids. Some manufacturers don’t even let you check the fluid: the last model of the Honda Passport had no way of checking the transmission fluid—weird!

Honda Transmission Fluid

The end of the transmission fluid dip stick.  Notice that the fluid is red.
The end of the transmission fluid dip stick. Notice that the fluid is red. | Source

5. Gear Oil or Differential Fluid Leaks

Differential fluid, hypoid, gear oil, or gear fluid: whatever you call it, it’s very thick, it looks like honey, and it smells like a warm, greasy Mack truck sitting at a truck stop. If you get this stuff on your hands the smell doesn’t go away for days. Gear oil is dark brown, or dark amber if it’s new and clean. If your rear differential is leaking, or your standard transmission has a leak, you will find this fluid dripping. Gear oil can also leak from the wheel bearing seals or rear axle seals. Sometimes you will see oil being slung from the center of the wheel all over the wheel rim of the vehicle. Dust will collect on the wheel and turn black. If you have a four-wheel-drive car, gear oil can leak from the front axle as well. The smell alone will enable you to determine if it’s gear oil or not.

What an Axle Seal Leak Looks Like on a Honda Tractor

Axle seal not leaking
Axle seal not leaking | Source
Leaking axle seal.  Diirt sticking to the differential fluid all over the outside of the wheel is a sure sign of an axle seal leak.
Leaking axle seal. Diirt sticking to the differential fluid all over the outside of the wheel is a sure sign of an axle seal leak. | Source

6. Power-Steering Fluid Leaks

Power steering fluid is hard to describe specifically because some manufacturers use transmission fluid and some use their own brand of power steering fluid. Honda uses its own proprietary power steering fluid which is light amber in color. Power steering fluid may have a distinctive smell, kind of like burnt cooking oil. If you think you might have a power steering fluid leak, the first place you should look is at the reservoir. The reservoir will have high and low markings and it should be easy to see whether the fluid level is low. Other signs that fluid is low is that the power steering pump will whine when trying to turn the steering wheel, or the steering wheel will feel tight when turning in a parking lot or at low speeds. The most common place the power steering will leak is on each end of the steering rack. The steering rack has end seals on both sides of the steering rack; they are the first to start leaking because they go through the most wear and tear.

I Don't Recommend Using "Stop Leak"!

I have one last tip; I do not recommend using any additives that claim to stop leaks unless it is absolutely necessary. These products are at best a temporary fix that could cause a permanent problem by damaging your car's drive train. Do your car a favor and avoid using them.

This is a blocked coolant passage. The customer used "Stop Leak" in the cooling system and caused even more problems.
This is a blocked coolant passage. The customer used "Stop Leak" in the cooling system and caused even more problems. | Source

Fluid Leaks From a Car: FAQ’s

Why Is There Water Leaking From My Car?

Water leaking from a car is very common, especially when using the air conditioner. The air conditioner removes moisture from the passenger's compartment and drains it under the vehicle via a drain hose. This hose is typically located under the passenger's foot well or in the center of the vehicle just below the dash area.

Something to keep in mind is that in most newer vehicles, when you are in defrost mode, the air conditioning automatically comes on to remove moisture from the windshield area to give the driver a clear view inside and out. Thus water may drip from under the passenger compartment of a newer car even if you haven't turned on the air conditioner.

What Does It Mean When Your Car is Leaking Oil?

When your car is leaking oil it usually means you have a gasket or a seal that has either been damaged or has just worn out due to age. If you notice an oil leak, I recommend you make an appointment with your mechanic to have it at least diagnosed to determine the severity of the leak.

Do "Stop Oil Leak" Products Work?

"Stop oil leak" products are not a permanent fix for any oil leak. You may even cause more leaks using the products or even worse, clog up an oil galley.

These products were designed to temporarily stop small oil leaks and I don't recommend using them unless it's absolutely necessary.

Can You Drive a Car With an Oil Leak?

If the oil leak is not pouring out of the engine, or dripping onto any hot components like an exhaust manifold, a car with an oil leak can be driven. But if oil is dripping from your car, I don't recommend driving it, because the car could completely stop running at any time and leave you stranded. Or worse, the leak could destroy your engine.

If you must drive a car with an oil leak, you will need to check your oil frequently, and you will need to be the judge of how bad it's leaking and how often it will need to be topped off.

Oil leaking from an engine can cause a huge mess wherever you park and permanently damage asphalt surfaces, so keep that in mind when parking at someone's house, especially if you like those people.

Is it Bad to Drive With a Leaking Head Gasket?

The problem with driving a vehicle with a leaking head gasket is the car can quit on the driver at any time.

When a head gasket is leaking, it can leak in many different ways. It can leak into the combustion chamber and cause the spark plugs to fail. This in turn can cause clogged catalytic converters, and cause plumes of thick smoke from the exhaust pipe.

Coolant or oil can leak past the head gasket and out the side of the engine causing either a low-oil or low-coolant condition. These can cause the engine to overheat or "seize," to stop running and start melting.

If you think you may have a blown head gasket, I recommend getting it checked so you know exactly what is wrong and whether it is safe to drive in that condition.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix an Oil Leak on a Car?

The cost to fix an oil leak can vary greatly depending on what's leaking and where. Some of the most common leaks are seals and gaskets.

The rear main seal is one of the most costly oil leaks because of the location of the leak. The rear main seal is located between the engine and transmission and the mechanic will need to remove one of these components to replace the seal. The cost is usually around $1000 or more to fix this oil leak.

How Do You Know if You Have a Transmission Fluid Leak?

Most vehicles use a red or pink fluid in the transmission which is very noticeable when you see it on the driveway or garage floor. If you don't notice the leak, eventually the transmission will begin to slip under acceleration or while driving.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Transmission Fluid?

The main symptom of low transmission fluid is the transmission slipping: the engine will rev up, but the car will not move, or it will move very little compared to engine RPM.

Another symptom of low transmission fluid is "surging": the transmission will slip in and out of gear causing a surging feeling while driving at a steady speed.

Can a Transmission Leak Be Fixed?

Yes, transmission fluid leaks can be fixed unless the transmission case is cracked or damaged beyond repair. Transmission fluid may leak from seals, gaskets, lines, and fittings.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Transmission Fluid Leak?

The cost to fix a transmission fluid leak would depend on what is leaking and what type of vehicle it is. The most common leak on a front-wheel drive vehicle is an axle seal. The average cost to replace an axle seal in a non-4-wheel drive vehicle would range from $200 to $400 US dollars.

In rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the most common transmission fluid leak is the output shaft seal where the drive shaft connects to the transmission. The cost to replace this seal may be a little less then than on a front-wheel-drive vehicle because there are fewer parts to be removed to perform the job.

These are the most common leaks we see on a day-to-day basis, but there are a lot more places the transmission can leak, like transmission lines, transmission coolers, and input shaft seals and gasket.

What Color Is Antifreeze?

The color of antifreeze has changed over the years and it now comes in almost every color in the rainbow. I recommend using the manufacturer's coolant, but if you can't do that, at least use the same color coolant. Mixing two different color coolants can lead to a brown coolant; it may still protect your engine from corrosion and overheating, but it doesn't look very pretty.

Share Your Experiences

If you have any questions about a fluid leak in your car, just leave me a comment in the comment section below and I will respond quickly. Your experiences are useful to me and others.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I have a leak that looks like water in the front left (driver side) in my 2010 Jeep. Could it just be from the AC or something more serious?

    If the leak is just water, most likely it is coming from the AC Drain. If the fluid is oily, it most likely will be something else.

  • Battery acid?? Is that spot a joke, as it is not mentioned in the article?

    Yes, it was meant to be funny. Battery acid is very corrosive and would actually cause a really bad surfer smell and cause a lot of surface damage. It is uncommon to see batteries leak fluid, usually fumes out the vents of the battery, this is what causes the fuzzy corrosion on the battery terminals.

  • I have a Honda crv2004 and I noticed a dark black drip around the right front tire and around the well. What could it be?

    I recommend having the brake caliper checked for leaks, if that looks ok, check the outer CV boot for any grease leaking.

  • Our 2004 Crv is leaking engine oil on the passenger side of the vehicle, and we cannot find where it's coming from. Any suggestions?

    Yes, you could try washing down the engine in the affected area, run the engine for a while, and then check again. You could also use a dye tracer in the oil. You may need to buy the kit because it comes with special glasses and a UV flashlight, and it may be the only way to find the leak. The three areas you should pay attention to are the oil pan gasket, crankshaft seal, and the timing chain cover gasket. Both the timing cover and the oil pan gaskets are a liquid sealer.

  • I have a 2013 Toyota Camry and it is leaking water when parked and I have not used my AC?

    When you use the windshield defrost mode the AC automatically operates to remove moisture from the windshield area and passengers compartment so it's possible you are using the AC without even knowing it :)

© 2011 Eddie Carrara

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks for the feedback Rahmed :)

    • rahmed profile image

      rahmed 

      6 days ago

      Very informative article.

      Every driver should known.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marie,

      I like Ray already lol. He took the time to add dye and do a thorough inspection :) I'm not sure what fluid drips black and then turns white so maybe the drips came from another vehicle? I'm confident Ray would have told you if he found something wrong so I would worry about the drips and keep an eye on the driveway for any new spots. Thanks for the update and make sure you bring your car to Ray when you need maintenance :)

    • Fanoflmp profile image

      Marie 

      11 days ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I wanted to give you an update. I took my car into a repair shop that does brakes they looked at it and said it wasn’t the differential. They thought it was either the timing cover leak or front seal, which they didn’t do. I researched and found a great repair shop. The mechanic, Ray, said my radiator cap was failing and it was leaking and running back under the car. He also put some dye in my oil to make sure that wasn’t leaking.

      Today he put a new cap on and got under the car to check the results of the dye test, no leaks other then the coolant.

      P.S. the black spots on my driveway are now white.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brandie,

      I'm not sure where the windshield washer fluid tank is located on that vehicle but sometimes they are located in the lower half of the front bumper in front of a tire so I recommend you check the windshield washer fluid tank fluid level and add if it's low, if you see fluid pour out when you pour it in you'll know what's leaking. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      OK Marie, sounds good :)

    • Fanoflmp profile image

      Marie 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie, thank you for responding. The fluid is thick black but didn’t really smell. I will let you know.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marie,

      The only black fluid back there would be differential fluid and that fluid is thick, black/gray/green, and has a very pungent smell. I recommend you have someone inspect the vehicle for fluid leaks so you don't ruin the differential if that is the leak. Let me know what you find, thanks :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Justin,

      Honda doesn't use pink fluid in their vehicles so unless you are using Rain-X in your windshield washer tank I'm not sure what it could be. I recommend you check the coolant and washer fluid color, those would be the only two fluids that would be colored pink.

    • profile image

      Brandie 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi, I was teaching my son how to drive, when he ran over a curb with the front passenger tire. I have a 2009 PT Cruiser. It is now leaking a clear liquid from the front passenger side. The liquid seems to be slightly oily, and oder less. Any thoughts on what it could be? I am desperately hoping that it won't be a $400+ repair when I am able to take it in.

    • profile image

      Justin 

      2 weeks ago

      Ive noticed pink liquid drinking in front down on my plastic cover guy i had look sayss he doesnt see a leak its on a 2007 honda pilot

    • Fanoflmp profile image

      Marie 

      2 weeks ago

      I have a 2015 Chevy traverse. A few days ago I noticed black fluid leaking under my car. It is leaking in a strange place. The leak is on the passenger side under where the 2nd row is. Almost looks to be about where the battery compartment is. I have searched but can’t find what it could be. The fluid is black. Does anyone know what would or could be leaking from there.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jordan,

      It sounds to me like you have coolant mixed with oil. Where is it leaking from?

    • profile image

      JordanHdez 

      3 weeks ago

      hi, my truck is leaking white oil, looks like evaporated milk

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom,

      Most likely it's just the drain from the AC evaporator. The AC will run when you use the defrost mode so most likely it's just condensation draining. If there is no smell and it feels like water I recommend you just keep an eye on it or crawl under the car with a flashlight to verify where the leak is dripping from. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Elaine,

      What water bottle are we talking about, the windshield washer fluid tank or the overflow tank for the radiator? You don't see any leaks? How long does it take to empty out completely?

    • profile image

      Elaine Mahlakwane 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie

      My car is not leaking but the water from the water bottle gets finished, we have changed the water bottle and we can see and leakages, what could be the problem... Please help this is stressing me now.

      kind regards, Elaine

    • profile image

      Tom 

      7 weeks ago

      My Taurus seems to have a fluid leak under the center of the car. Fluid is clear and not slippery nor does it have a smell. It seems to only leak after it first starts up in the morning then stops almost immediately and doesn't leak at night or for the rest of the day. What could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Pilar,

      If it feels oily it could be brake fluid so check the brake fluid reservoir level, if it feels more like water, maybe it's water draining for your AC?

    • profile image

      Pilar 

      7 weeks ago

      My VW is leaking clear oil underneath the driver side it looks like cooking oil .!!??

      I’m concerned.!!!!!

      Please help!!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Samsheer, let me know if I can answer any questions for you :)

    • profile image

      Samsheer Alam 

      2 months ago

      Nice, Thanks for this article

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joan,

      Is the HVAC system ever in the windshield (defrost) mode because the AC will automatically turn on in this mode?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Emma,

      You're welcome. Let me know if you have any questions :)

    • profile image

      Emma 

      3 months ago

      Wow this is so helpful! Thanks for your time in writing this!

    • profile image

      joan 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2002 Liberty. It has not been run in a few days because the starter went and is getting fixed in a day or two. It is leaking a clear oily liquid from center of engine compartment. It's warm here but the a/c has not been on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi RJ,

      Most likely it's the air conditioner draining on the ground under the passenger's floor.

    • profile image

      RJ 

      3 months ago

      I have a colourless leak on the front right side of a 2011 Cadillac. What could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tiffany,

      Have you used your AC lately? Have you ever seen this before? is it hot and humid where you live?

    • profile image

      Tiffany 

      4 months ago

      Hi there, I have a 2001 Chevrolet tracker. I noticed this morning after I got to work, so water under my car. I felt it & it is clear, not really a smell to it but it has a silky feeling, what could that possible be? thanks!! :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kim,

      If you’re using the AC a lot right now and the weather is hot and humid I’m pretty sure it’s just condensation draining from the AC system.

    • profile image

      Kim 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2018 Toyota Camry it is leaking water from under the passenger side. I did notice it coming from the hose that you mentioned. They are not small puddles. Do you think it is just Condensation or should I take in

    • profile image

      Anna 

      5 months ago

      My car leaks something on my foot when in tight turns

    • profile image

      Christine 

      5 months ago

      Hi, I have a water leak under the left side of the motor. It is makes quite a puddle. At first I thought it was a leak in the windscreen wiper bottle, but it persists. The car is running well and the radiator doesn't seem to be losing much. Any clues?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kate,

      What is the year, make, and model, does it have a sunroof, do you have roof rails?

    • profile image

      Kate 

      5 months ago

      Hello,

      I've got rain leaking into my car through the back passenger clothes hook. I've checked the outside and can't find where it might be coming from. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Gail 

      5 months ago

      What makes my 1999 cavalier just all the sudden lose all my coolant. Its not over heating. I have to keep filling it up with water because its getting expensive to keep buying coolant to just see it pour out after I park....

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ryan,

      Sounds about right, you can email me, there should be a link by my profile picture at the top of this page.

    • profile image

      Ryan 

      6 months ago

      Do you have an email I can send a short video to. I kinda looks like it came from the cv boot and sprayed around the underside do to the rotation

    • profile image

      Ryan 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2016 ram 1500 4x4 I just noticed a leak from the front passenger side behind the wheel. I touched and it felt kind of like transmission fluid but when I put a piece of white paper down it was brown like oil is. Any ideas as to what may be wrong? I read some of the posts on here and I’m just gonna run outside to check the cv boot for a tear or crack

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terry,

      Do you live in an area that uses salt on the roads in the winter? That may be the cause combined with the water.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Graz,

      I recommend you have the CV joint boot check for damage and leakage, if it looks ok, check your brake fluid level, if it low, you could have a leak in the brake system. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cathy,

      I recommend you check the consistency first, if it feels like water, it probably is water, if it feels oily, it could be brake fluid, if it's greasy, it could be differential fluid. Let me know how it feels and if I can answer any questions you have :)

    • profile image

      Cathy C 

      6 months ago

      My sons 2004 Toyota 4Runner is leaking something near left rear wheel. What would that be?

    • profile image

      graz 

      6 months ago

      i have a 2009 wolswagen tiguan.

      front passenger tyre its oily from inside.

      whats can be happen ?

      thank you

    • profile image

      Terry 

      6 months ago

      Cement on garage foor is pitting where water from air conditioner is leaking from the overflow. Could it be something else? It is not oily and has no colour to it.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kari,

      Pink is usually transmission fluid or coolant depending on the color of the coolant in the radiator. Check to see the coolant color as well, if it not pink, most likely its transmission fluid. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Kari 

      7 months ago

      Great article! Quick question for you:

      I have a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It was leaking pink fluid on the front passenger side. I took it to be repaired two weeks ago. They claimed to have fixed the leak, but it was still leaking. I took it back last week and they corrected their mistake. Now it is leaking the same color fluid on the front driver side. Is it a transmission leak still?! TIA for any help!!!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you Brighton Tech :)

    • profile image

      brighton tech 

      7 months ago

      nice post

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mindy,

      The vehicle needs to drain water and a common place for the drains are located are near the front doors behind the front tires and rear quarter panels behind the rear tires, so you may be seeing water, especially if the is no smell or texture.

    • profile image

      Mindy 

      8 months ago

      My 2004 trailblazer has a leak I see it coming from a hose under the driver side door no smell or color could it be water

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      It's possible you damaged the windshield washer fluid reservoir tank, it's usually located behind the front bumper near the wheel.

    • profile image

      Maydaymayday 

      8 months ago

      Today I decided to run over a curb in my 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0. Minimal frame work damage, a flat, and liquid leaking under the driver’s wheel I believe. I tried the color test, but it leaked so quickly, it was out of liquid before I saw this helpful site. I dabbed a piece of paper on the remaining wet spots, which appeared to be prehaps water. Any advice you can provide is truly appreciated.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sharon,

      Sometimes oil will splash on the undercarriage during the oil change and if the mechanic doesn't clean it up completely it can drip small spots for a couple of days. I recommend either take it back for them to double check their work or keep an eye on the drip for two days, if it's still dripping, take it back ASAP.

    • profile image

      sharon george 

      8 months ago

      I just had a oil change and its never leaked anything till I got home and there was a small leak on pavement, is this common?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tyler,

      I recommend you keep an eye on the drip, it could be just water or snow melting.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Paula,

      It means you have a leak, lol. I need more info, year, make, model, engine size, etc... It's most likely a hose, but could be a gasket.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dolores,

      With an engine that age it's very possible the piston rings are not doing their job well anymore and gas is leaking by them and filling up the crankcase. Is the oil level overfull? If so, by how much?

    • profile image

      Dolores 

      9 months ago

      I have a 1986 305 5.0 T P I which I just discovered after changing the oil that a lot of gas was in my crankcase. How could there be gas in my oil and a lot of it.

    • profile image

      Paula 

      9 months ago

      What does it mean when you ut antifreeze in and it comes back out under the car on the drivers side by the oil pan.

    • profile image

      Tyler 

      9 months ago

      Hi. I Just parked my 2007 ford ranger in a garage and noticed a drip coming from under my radiator. It's -10 Celsius outside and the garage is heated, not sure if that's a factor. The fluid is clear. I dipped a tissue in it to make sure and there was no colour on the tissue. Not sure what is leaking. Any help would be appreciated. thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lydia,

      Clean brake fluid is clear, I recommend you check the brake fluid reservoir level, you may have a brake line or wheel cylinder leaking inside the drum?

    • profile image

      Lydia 

      9 months ago

      I have a 99 Ram and there is a leak in the back near the right rear tire, and that smells like when a vacuum cleaner belt is burning out. Does that make sense? I have yet to find anything on leaking fluid from a vehicle's with that smell. The fluid is clear. I was told that it could be an oil leak, but as far as I know I didn't think that oil leaks could be clear. Thanks so much for the help if you can.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Moshe,

      There are a lot of possibilities like the oil filter, an oil line, engine gasket, drain bolt, etc... I recommend you have it checked ASAP, and if it's leaking a lot, have it towed, you wouldn't want to run out of oil and destroy the engine.

    • profile image

      MosheM 

      10 months ago

      Eddie hi,

      I have a Peugeot 508 2015. A few days ago I started seeing an oil stain on the ground in the middle of the front part of the car. Today I moved it and it starting dripping much faster and the pool underneath is brown and muddy with a regular oil smell. What could it be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sorry, Lynn for the late reply,

      almost every fluid would leak more with the engine running. You can send me pics through my profile page, just click on my picture but I'm sure you're all set by now.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mike,

      I assume you meant it wouldn't go into gear? No, a leaking differential seal won't pervent it from going into gear but it would leave residue all over the back of the car. A transmission fluid leak would leave you stranded.

    • profile image

      Mike 

      11 months ago

      I have 2016 Ford Fusion and yesterday it drove fine get in it yesterday evening and notice it would go into gear would the rear differential seal cause it to do that and leave residue all over back of car

    • profile image

      Lynn Thomas 

      11 months ago

      What ever is leaking it just started and only leaks when car is running, I think its oil?? what would drip from front end only when running I took pics of my driveway but don't know how to post...not low on oil ....will have it towed in morning but just asking

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Taylor,

      Do you live in a warm humid climate? Were you using your air conditioner lately?

    • profile image

      Taylor 

      11 months ago

      I have an 2006 jeep and I came outside this morning to a huge pile of liquid underneath the very front and middle of my car. It seems to be an oily texture that is clear. Im hoping it is water but I am not quite sure.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Angel,

      So I'm thinking the intake manifold gasket is the culprit and the only way to stop the leaking coolant is to replace the gasket. That will be a few hours labor, around $200-$400 parts and labor.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      11 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Florence,

      You're welcome, thank you for the kind feedback :)

    • profile image

      Florence 

      11 months ago

      Thank you for being so helpful

    • profile image

      Angel 

      11 months ago

      Hello, I have a 2004 Chevy tahoe that is leaking thin, clear liquid from the front passenger side. This leak has caused my car to run a bit lean, and has drained my coolant completely. I went to get diagnostics done and it appears a 'recommended" change is for the Intake Manifold Gasket but it was not necessary to change rite of way. Nonetheless, the tahoe started leaking clear fluid until i had no coolant. Since then i have added coolant, stopped driving, qnd coolant level stayed the same.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Miriam,

      If it dries like water and doesn't leave an oil spot, most likely it the water from the air conditioning system.

    • profile image

      Miriam 

      12 months ago

      Hi! I have 2003 Chevy Tahoe. Sometimes I see leaking fluid from my SUV it feels like oil , clear but yet it dries like water.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hundean,

      If the leak persist after a few days, I recommend you bring it back to be inspected for a defective oil filter or loose drain plug, otherwise if the leak is gone, it may have been some residual oil that wasn't wiped after the oil change.

    • profile image

      Hundean 

      12 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 2012 Toyota Vitz and have noticed a slight leak when parked. I did an all change yesterday.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alex,

      Check the color of your coolant, it may be purple and the reddish brown fluid may be transmission fluid.

    • profile image

      Alex 

      12 months ago

      I have a 09 Mitsubishi Lancer and I recently found a puddle of purple fluid by the front driver side tire. Also, another puddle of a brownish reddish fluid in front of that same tire. I’ve been trying to look it up myself but I can’t narrow it down to one thing. Could you help?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Brenda,

      It sounds to me like you have a temperature sensor starting to fail or it is not operating properly. I recommend getting it checked out soon or it may drain down your battery if it stays on too long with the engine off.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bill,

      If you have a clear liquid leaking from a black hose under the passengers side of your vehicle, most likely you have water dripping from the AC evaporator drain, which is normal.

    • profile image

      Bill 

      12 months ago

      I have an Audi A4 2.0 turbo. Under the right side front of my car i have a clear oily fluid leaking. Its right under lower a frame. Theres a black rubber hose there. Can you tell me what this is thats leaking. Please and thank youm

    • profile image

      Brenda 

      13 months ago

      I drive a 2006 Honda Pilot I shut off the engine and got out off the car but the fan kept going what was that?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jacinda,

      Most likely it's the leaking power steering line, but if you want to be sure, top off both and keep an eye on them for a few days. There is a transmission cooler located at the radiator so you could have a leak there as well.

    • profile image

      Jacinda 

      13 months ago

      Hi I have a 05 Kia Sorento the other day I noticed red spots at the front of my car closer to the bumper ATF fluid is used for power steering and transmission both are low on fluid so I’m having a hard trying to distinguish if it’s coming from my power steering or transmission from what I’ve read transmission would be more in the middle of the front of the car and when my boyfriend checked he said the power steering line is wet and you can see it dripping; but I want to make sure ? I haven’t noticed anything else odd runs fine other wise.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      13 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Julie,

      Any time you use your HVAC the AC system could be running as well, especially if you use the defrost. I recommend checking the AC drain for clogging, use a coat hanger or compressed air to clear the drain and see if the leak subsides.

    • profile image

      Julie Rumbley 

      13 months ago

      Hi my trailblazer is leaking water near where the ac would drain but I haven't had my ac on this morning, where else could this water be dripping from in this area

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      14 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bere,

      It's a new vehicle and new parts have chemicals from the factory left over from manufacturing. I would give it some time and see if it continues to leave stains.

    • profile image

      Bere 

      14 months ago

      I just purchased a new 2019 Kia soul earlier this month. It is hot and I have been using the AC and I know it is normal for water to leak from the AC use but I have noticed that it is leaving stain on the driveway. The liquid is clear and odorless so I really thought it was just water from AC but if it was just water it should not be leaving stains right?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robert,

      Replace it, it's probably leaking because of corrosion and fixing it won't last.

    • profile image

      Robert Gavin 

      15 months ago

      . what is the best way for a radiator to fix it if it's leaking or replace a new one

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      15 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Theresa,

      Sometimes coolant can be clear, to find out what color your engine has, look in the overflow tank, don't take off the radiator cap if you don't have to. When do you see the fluid? Is the coolant level low?

    • profile image

      Theresa 

      15 months ago

      I have clear fluid leaking from the front right of my car. No a/c and i just had a radiator hose replaced

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      16 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marcia,

      Take a look at the oil pressure switch, it is another very common oil leak on those motors, if it looks ok, have the oil pan gasket checked out for leaks. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Marcia Gallivan 

      16 months ago

      I have had the gasket cover, O-ring and Cam seal changed on my 2000 Honda Civic, only 31,700 miles, and still have a leak. Only leaks when parked.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      16 months ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      16 months ago

      Blessings.

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