Why Do Automotive Fluids Come in So Many Different Colors?

Righter’s Auto Repair advises that the colors of automotive fluids change because of how they are made and so you can tell what fluid is leaking out of your automobile. It’s important to know the leaking fluid because some fluid leaks can make driving your car, truck, or utility vehicle dangerous.


For example, if your antifreeze/coolant is blue or blue-green, it’s not a good idea to drive your automobile if the engine is leaking this fluid because it might overheat. You can drive your automobile, however, if it is leaking the blue windshield washing solution.


We recommend that you avoid driving your vehicle if it is leaking a fluid that is brown. This means that your automobile is leaking brake fluid, differential oil, or motor oil. It can be dangerous or damaging to drive your vehicle with low levels of any of these fluids.


Usually, it’s fine to drive your car, truck, or C/SUV if the fluid it is leaking is clear. Most likely, the fluid is water coming from the air conditioning system or the tailpipe. This being said, we recommend that you smell the fluid to make sure it isn’t diesel fuel or gasoline. Obviously, it can be dangerous to drive your vehicle if it is leaking diesel fuel or gasoline.


Plan for a tow to our shop if the fluid leaking out of the engine is green, green-blue, neon green, or green-yellow. All of these colors are colors in which antifreeze/coolant comes. Again, driving your automobile with low coolant will overheat the engine.


The same is true with orange fluid. In fact, orange fluid can be a sign that your radiator needs to be replaced. Antifreeze/coolant can be orange or it can turn orange if the radiator is corroded. The reason why the fluid turns orange is that it is filled with rust flakes.


It may be difficult to turn your vehicle if it is leaking red power steering fluid. It’s also a bad idea to drive your automobile because transmission fluid is red. Two other fluids that may come in the color red are brake fluid and antifreeze/coolant.


Finally, antifreeze/coolant can also be yellow, yellow-green, or neon yellow. You can check the color of your antifreeze/coolant by looking at the fluid in the overflow reservoir when your engine is cold.

Righter’s Auto Repair in Grand Ledge or Lansing, MI, is here to help, so call the shop closest to you today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if it is leaking automotive fluid.

Photo by ollo from getty images via Canva Pro

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