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What Does a Car Leaking Water Mean?

Car Leaking Water or Fluid

Have you recently noticed your car leaking water? When you discover water leaking from under your car, it’s usually a harmless occurrence. A common question we hear at Joe Basil Chevrolet is, “Why does my car leak water?” A car leaking water often happens during the warmer months when you’re running the air conditioning while driving in Buffalo. Water dripping from your car happens when the AC system produces condensation, which starts to drip and form a puddle when you park your car, near the back of the engine housing. If that is not where you find your car leaking, don’t panic. Another harmless place you could find water leaking from under a car is near the tailpipe, which is the result of exhaust condensation.


What if the fluid leaking from your car is not water? When does a car leaking water or other fluids become a problem? Read on to learn more from our Depew service professionals.

How to Determine the Cause of Water Leaking From Under a Car

Not sure if your car is leaking water or not? There are ways to identify water dripping from a car. Following the steps below can help you confirm whether the fluid leak is water, and how to identify the cause of the leak.

  • First, put a piece of white paper or a paper towel directly under the leak. This will show you if the fluid has a tinge of color to it, in which case it’s probably not water. Fluid that is green, yellow, or blue is more likely to be coolant.
  • If there’s a significant amount of water leaking from the exhaust (more than a few small drops), there could be a blown gasket, resulting in coolant burning along with fuel. In addition to large amounts of water, you would likely also see white smoke billowing out the exhaust.
  • Is a different fluid leaking from your car? Car fluids like coolant are intentionally dyed to make them easily identifiable against water, but if you’re not completely sure, you can check the coolant level. If the coolant is low, you should schedule service without delay to get a further inspection.
  • Still wondering, “Why does my car leak water?” Have you ever added water to your windshield wiper fluid reservoir, hoping to make longer use of the wiper fluid? If so, your water leak could be due to a cracked reservoir. Water added to the wiper fluid can freeze up during cold weather, then expand when it warms up again, causing the reservoir to crack. If you suspect this is the culprit, the leak would likely have a slight blue or green color to it and would appear near the front tires.

Identifying Car Fluids Based on Color

If the fluid leaking from your car is anything other than completely clear, it’s not water. Refer to the list below to get help identifying car fluids based on the color:

  • Dark Brown – Brake Fluid or Older Engine Oil
  • Light Brown – Newer Engine Oil or Gear Lubricant
  • Blue – Windshield Wiper Fluid
  • Green – Antifreeze from Water Pump, Hoses, or Radiator
  • Red – Transmission Fluid or Power Steering Fluid
  • Pink – Power Steering Fluid or Transmission Fluid
  • Orange – Transmission Fluid or Radiator Coolant
  • Yellow – Radiator Coolant

Schedule an Inspection at Joe Basil Chevrolet

Concerned about fluid leaking from your car? If your car is leaking water at an alarming rate or you find another type of fluid leak on your Cheektowaga driveway, Joe Basil Chevrolet can help. Contact us with questions or to reserve an appointment! We’re more than happy to share our favorite tips and tricks, like how to get the smoke smell out of a carFrom Depew to Lancaster, we’re your trusted local experts for all things automotive. We are happy to offer tips on washing your car and more!

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