Vehicle Fluid Color Guide | Wappingers Falls, NY

August 24th, 2021 by

After a long summer of travel, it’s no secret that your vehicle might need a little TLC. Even if you haven’t hit the road this summer, giving your vehicle regular service is a must to keep it from experience issues. However, as many car owners know, even if you take great care of your vehicle, you could still find an issue with it. But don’t stress, that’s what the pros at Mercedes-Benz of Wappingers Falls are here for! 

A common issue that many car owners experience is fluid leaking from their vehicles. It’s happened to the best of us, you pull out of your parking spot and see a big puddle or stain right where your vehicle was just sitting. Then you ask yourself “Was that there before?” “If it’s from my car what could be wrong?” We get it, any maintenance to your vehicle can seem stressful, especially when it comes to the price for fixing it. But before you start freaking out we’re here to help!

Did you know that you can tell what is leaking from your vehicle just by the color and texture of the fluid coming out of your vehicle? So figuring out what’s wrong with your vehicle could be a lot easier than you thought! Plus, you can have peace of mind knowing what the issue is and how much it will cost to fix. So avoid the headache, and check out our color guide below!

If you find that your vehicle is leaking fluid, or any other issue, don’t hesitate to schedule a service appointment with the pros here at Mercedes-Benz of Wappingers Falls! Need service now? No problem, stop in and we can get your vehicle back in tip-top shape in no time!

LIght brown to black: 

  • If the fluid leaking from your vehicle is a brownish/black color, chances are its motor oil. This can leak from various spots of your vehicle, but if it is leaking from the center and the odor smells like rotten eggs, the culprit could be a lube oil leak. 
  • This won’t stop your vehicle dead, but it means that there is an ongoing issue and you should bring your vehicle in for a professional examination

Light yellow to dark brown:

  • Brake fluid starts as a clear/yellow color and as it ages it becomes dark brown, similar to motor oil. An easy way to distinguish is simple, just feel the fluid. If the fluid feel slippery, it’s likely brake fluid. If this is the case, your vehicle is not safe to drive and you’re going to want to bring it in for repair as soon as possible. 


  • If the fluid leaking from your vehicle is a red or reddish color, it’s generally power steering fluid. Power steering fluid will leak from under the front part of your car and is thin in texture. If this is the case, there is an issue with the power steering pump. 


  • If the leak is from your vehicle’s center and the fluid is an orange/reddish-brown color, it could be transmission fluid. However, rust from your radiator mixing with an antifreeze leak can appear orange-ish as well. However, the antifreeze will be thin and can leak from anywhere, which could help you determine the difference. 

Yellow, Green, or Pink:

  • These leaks will be the easiest to spot, and typically the simplest to diagnose. More times than not, the cause of such bright puddles is a simple coolant leak. In these cases, your vehicle’s age comes into play. Older vehicles tend to blow off a bit of coolant when the engine gets too hot, so a few little spots are nothing to worry about.
  • If your vehicle is newer, this coolant shouldn’t be dripping any excess liquids so it might be a good idea to bring it in for a look.


  • If the fluid leaking from your vehicle looks like water, it probably is water. The air conditioning can build up excess condensation and result in puddles of water underneath your vehicle. This occurs in properly running cars, only be worried if it becomes constant and a lot.
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