Vehicle utilize many different fluids to properly operate. While most people understand that gasoline is necessary to make a car go, it also needs several other liquids to perform vital functions that without, would leave you stranded and you car, truck or SUV in pretty bad shape. If you notice some sort of fluid dripping from your vehicle you can use this guide to vehicle fluids to try and identify it and then call your local auto repair shop to let them know what the problem may be and schedule an appointment to have it fixed!
Brake fluid is a clearish light brown color and will feel slimy to the touch. A leak will most likely collect in a puddle near a tire or under the brake master cylinder. If you believe you have a brake fluid leak do not drive your vehicle as you could completely lose your ability to slow and stop your car.
The fluid used by the cooling system is generally a bright green color, but can also come in pink or yellow, depending on the type you're using and smells very sweet. Coolant is poured into the radiator and then moves through the cooling system to prevent vehicle overheating.
Transmission fluid is a reddish color and will collect directly under the transmission if there is a leak. This fluid is vital for proper gear shifting so be sure to contact your mechanic right away if you suspect a leak.
Differential fluid looks very similar to transmission fluid. The best way to tell the difference is by the location the leak is collecting in the driveway. If it is at the front of the vehicle it is a transmission fluid leak, at the rear it is a differential leak.
Probably the easiest vehicle fluid to identify, engine will appear black after it is used. Some engine oil leaks do not need immediate attention but should be monitored. Talk to your mechanic about the oil leak your vehicle is suffering from to see what the best course of action is to take care of it.