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Auto Fluids Come in Different Colors So You Can Identify Them

One reason why there is a rainbow underneath your hood is so you and your auto service technicians can easily identify which automotive fluid is leaking from your car, truck, CUV, or SUV. It’s scary to back out of your garage and see auto fluids spots on the floor. We get that here at Uptown Imports, and we’d be happy to find out where the auto fluids are leaking from and fix it for you. Let’s talk about the different colors.

Black

Black fluid is bad. Black automotive fluid means that you have dirty and oxidized brake fluid, motor oil, or transmission fluid leaking from your car. Your automobile’s fluids should never turn black. If they do, you are not having them changed enough.

Blue

Blue fluid can be engine coolant, but it is more likely your windshield washer fluid. It’s rare for engine coolant to be blue, although it is possible. In most cases, however, the only engine fluid in your car that is blue is the windshield washer.

Brown

There are a handful of fluids in your automobile that are brown. Brake fluid is light brown, motor oil is light brown, and some differential oil is brown. If the leak is toward the center of your engine, it’s probably oil. If it’s near your wheels, it’s probably brake or differential fluid.

Clear

Clear fluid is just water. You don’t need to worry about it. In the summer when you run your import’s air conditioner, condensation will drip onto the ground after you park your car and shut it down. Condensation also drips out of your tailpipe.

Green

Green auto fluid is usually engine coolant. It can also be antifreeze, although the two are usually combined these days. Gone are the days of putting antifreeze in your engine in the winter and coolant in the summer. 

Orange

Orange fluid is usually a sign of radiator trouble. There isn’t actually an orange fluid in your automobile. The reason the fluid dripping onto your garage floor is orange is that your radiator is rusty and there is rust in the coolant.

Red

Red fluid is power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and it can be brake fluid. Some coolant is also red. This is the hardest fluid to diagnose because so many automotive fluids are red. It’s best to let a professional find the leak.

Yellow

Finally, some engine coolant/antifreeze is also yellow. One way to tell the color of your engine coolant is to pop the hood. Take a look at the color in the radiator’s overflow reservoir. That’s the color of your engine coolant

Uptown Imports believes our customers come first, which is why we are one of the highest-rated Minneapolis, MN, auto service shops. We can find your automotive fluid leak and fix it.

Photo by Minerva Studio via Canva Pro
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