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Car Fluid Leaks: Identifying Your Car’s Drips

Finding fluid leaking from your car can be alarming. Some leaks are normal, but most are not. Having the leaks repaired promptly can prevent costly damage to your car’s engine and transmission.


Checking Your Car For Leaks

Unless your car has a catastrophic failure of one of its systems, most leaks will start small. If you suspect you have a car leaking fluid, you can perform an easy check in the following way. Park your car on a level surface. Put a few paper towels on top of a couple of sheets of newspaper and slide them under the engine area.

After an hour or so, pull out the paper and see if there are any drips. Carefully note the color of the drips and if there is any distinct odor. This will help our mechanics get a head start on diagnosing the problem.

Checking Car For Leaks

Types of Fluids

– Water. This is nothing to worry about. It is normal for clear water to drip from your air conditioner. Your car may leave a trail of drops as you drive and a small puddle under the front end of the car when it is parked.

– Yellow or Yellow-Green Liquid. This is a bit more serious. Yellow liquid is most likely the antifreeze and water mixture that is used to cool the car’s engine and keep the water from freezing in cold weather. If your car gets too low on this fluid, it can ruin the engine.

Coolant is the only fluid that can leak into the passenger compartment. If it is leaking out from under the dash, this indicates a failure of the heater core. Make an appointment to see us soon, and keep the antifreeze topped off until you can have the leak repaired.

– Red or Pink Liquid. If you see this under the back end of a rear-wheel drive car, it is most likely transmission fluid. Otherwise, it may be either transmission or power steering fluid. This is a leak that needs to be repaired quickly, as a failure of either of these systems can be dangerous.

– Golden Brown to Black Fluid. This is most likely motor oil. Fresh oil is golden, and it darkens to black with age. Oil is critical for lubricating the engine, so an oil leak needs to be fixed right away. Be sure to keep the oil topped off until you can get to the shop.

Stopping the Leaks

Mac’s Automobile Service and Radiation Repair has the knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair any car leaking fluid. Give us a call and let us take a look at the problem. We can fix the leak and have you safely back on the road, worry-free.



Mac's Radiator is the best mechanic to help you with all of your mechanic needs!  Let Macs help you - we are located in 6 convenient locations, for when you need us close to home, or when you're on the road.  



Portland, OR      (503) 777-4706
Beaverton, OR  (503) 646-2943
Bend, OR            (541) 382-6963
Boise, ID            (208) 344-1722
Eugene, OR        (541) 344-0253
Salem, OR          (503) 364-7129

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