Categories: Modification

[100 Questions]Is liquid dripping from a vehicle a warning of a malfunction? It can be identified by the color and smell of the leaking liquid.

table of contents
●There is fluid leaking under the car! Is this an abnormal warning sign?
●What are the components of oil and coolant?
●How to identify dripping liquids
●How to deal with liquid leakage

There is fluid leaking under the car! Is this an abnormal warning sign?


The author once encountered a customer who asked, "If there is fluid leaking under the car, does it mean there is something wrong with the vehicle?"

In fact, liquid leakage under the car does not mean that the vehicle is abnormal. For example, if water starts dripping from underneath the vehicle when the air conditioner is turned on, it is the air conditioner draining water and there is nothing wrong with it.

However, if the vehicle is parked stationary and liquid drips and forms small puddles on the ground, it is very likely to be a sign of malfunction.

Next, the author who runs a maintenance shop will explain to you how to distinguish them.

What are the components of oil and coolant?

©Mario Beauregard/

If the leakage is oil or coolant, it is a very obvious abnormality warning.

First of all, everyone must first understand that the oil, coolant, and refrigerant used in vehicles are composed of different components.

Oil is mainly composed of hydrocarbons. These compounds are extracted from petroleum and then produced through various refining processes.

Coolant is mainly composed of water, ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, preservatives, additives and other ingredients.

The water discharged by the air conditioner is the moisture in the car room. The air conditioner mainly sends out cold air through the bellows. During this process, the moisture in the air will condense into small water droplets and accumulate under the bellows.

The above liquids can be distinguished by their color and taste.

How to distinguish dripping liquids


If it's an oil leak, the fluid will be brown or black. If the water on the ground is this color, there may be an oil leak. If the water surface is slippery or has a peculiar smell, it is more certain that there is an oil leak.

Coolant is usually orange or green in color. If the color of the dripping liquid is bright, you should suspect that coolant is leaking. Some coolants will have a sweet taste, which is also a key point to judge.

As mentioned above, oil and coolant are both colored and odorous, and air conditioner discharge water is a colorless and transparent liquid. You can determine what kind of liquid is leaking through color, smell, viscosity, etc.

What to do if you notice a liquid dripping


Oil and coolant leakage will cause vehicle failure or failure to start. If such a situation occurs, please deal with it as soon as possible.

The cause of oil leakage may be that the oil pan, oil filter, gasket and other parts are damaged, and parts need to be replaced. The cause of coolant leakage may be rupture of the water tank, water pump, heater, or hose. In this case, parts also need to be replaced.

Coolant plays an important role when the engine overheats. If left alone, the engine will overheat and cause damage to the vehicle. If coolant leaks, please send it to repair as soon as possible.

The cause of brake fluid leakage is damaged parts or loose connections. First, confirm where the oil is leaking, and then replace parts or adjust tightness if necessary. It is also very important to wipe off the liquid quickly and confirm the amount of liquid.

Distinguishing dripping liquid can also be the basis for judging the status of the vehicle and finding problems. If you notice fluid dripping from your vehicle, you can consult an expert first.

Original source:Is “wetting” your car a sign of malfunction?Signs of trouble can be detected by the color and smell of puddles 
Want to see more:MOBY

This post was last modified on November 7, 2023 6:27 am


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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