Identifying the cause of a puddle of fluid under your vehicle may save you serious trouble down the road. Small stains or an occasional drop may be of little concern. But wet spots deserve attention and bigger puddles should be checked immediately by the nearest service station.
Fluids can be identified by their color and consistency:
- Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator.
- Dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. The leak could be caused by a bad seal or gasket.
- A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-steering fluid leak.
- A puddle of clear water is usually no problem. It may be normal condensation from your vehicle air conditioner.