Mystery Spot Under Your Ride? 6 Types of Car Fluid Leaks and What They Mean – Atlanta, GA

Cars are pretty great, aren’t they?! Here at Hyundai of Athens, we’re really into Hyundais (obviously!) but we’ve been noticing lately that it doesn’t matter what Hyundai you’re driving – an Elantra, Genesis, Tucson or Sonata - sometimes you’ll leave for work in the morning, and as you’re driving away you’ll see it; a mystery fluid spot on your driveway.  What the WHAT?? The car’s running well, you just had an oil change…where’s this fluid leaking from, and what the heck is it?! Never fear, we have a list of the six common leaks and how to identify them by color!

Brown or black
This fluid is the most common and easily recognizable, it’s just engine oil.  If it’s just a couple of spots here and there, it’s probably no big deal.  Your engine oil has a whole lotta engine to cover, and it’s probable that there was a gasket it squeezed past.  Now, if your engine’s leaking a lot of oil, and on a daily basis, you should be worried.  That’s the time to take it to your mechanic as soon as you can.

Reddish and thin or brown and thick
This one is your transmission fluid.  If you notice this type of drip on your driveway (or anywhere else) it usually signifies that you’re probably looking at a failing transmission seal or gasket. Definitely go see your mechanic!

Clear to brown and slick
This is a big one – this is your brake fluid! Usually, brake fluid is clear, but over time it can get brown from your engine.  The slickness of the fluid is the giveaway, it’s the slickest fluid that can leak from your vehicle.  If you notice brake fluid leaking, you need to take your car in right away!

Yellow, green or pink and slimy
Any brightly colored fluid is usually coolant, and a little bit is usually no big deal.  Just make sure to look under the hood and make sure you’re not too low.

Reddish or light brown and thin
Sounds like transmission fluid, but this one is thin (never thick) and it’s your power steering fluid.  If you’re not having a hard time steering, you may need to just check the level and add more if needed.

Clear and thin
Odorless, and looks like water…because it is! When you’re using your AC, condensation builds up and drips down.  No need to worry, keep enjoying your air conditioning during these hot Georgia days!

Here at Hyundai of Athens, we hope we’ve put your mind at ease with our descriptions of these common spots you’ll occasionally see under your vehicle.  As always, we encourage you to check your fluid levels often, and be sure to top off when needed!