Auto Dismantler and Recycling

What’s Dripping from My Car? Identifying Your Car’s Leaks

Bay Area Used Car Care

As professional auto dismantlers, the Rock & Roll Auto Recycling team has seen quite a fair amount of nasty, hard to identify “goop” oozing out of motor vehicles. What makes running a salvage yard interesting is learning to be able to classify these effluents and to protect the environment from them. To that end, let’s catalog some of these drippings, so you can make better decisions about your car care.


Engine oil

Ranging in hue from a light, beautiful amber to a brackish black, engine oil is a common “leaky fluid.” A small drip generally does not signify a huge problem, but you do want to identify the source of the leak and repair it, before it starts gushing.

Power steering fluid

If you see thin brownish red fluid leaking under the front of your car, your power steering system fluid might be damaged. If too much fluid leaks out, your steering capacity can degrade and break down — creating a costly repair project — so don’t ignore these ominous red brown drips.

Transmission fluid

Approximately the same color and viscosity as power steering fluid, transmission fluid emerges under the center of your car. Often, the problem is a busted seal or gasket.

Brake fluid

It’s one thing if your power steering fluid runs out and causes problems. But it’s another, potentially much more dangerous (even fatal) problem if you lose too much brake fluid. Brake fluid starts out clear and browns over time, thanks to the action that happens in the engine. It’s incredibly slippery — even more so than transmission fluid, power steering fluid, or engine oil. If you find a highly slippery clearish or brownish fluid, get your car serviced ASAP.


Coolant liquid can show up in a rainbow of colors – pink, green, yellow, you name it. Older cars tend to exude some coolant naturally when the engine heats up. Newer cars process blown off coolant better. So if you own a newer car, and you see slimy pink or green stains under the hood, give your coolant system a check-up.

Need help? Ask the Used Car Parts Specialists!

For help with your Bay Area automotive needs, connect with the Rock & Roll Auto Recycling team today for a consultation! Give us a call at 925-224-9944 


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