Why is there water under my car?

I was talking to my roommate one night when she asked me why her car leaks water. This isn’t an uncommon question that I am asked so my response was what Colour is the water?

She was surprised to hear my response as water doesn’t have any Colour, but the water inside the engine referred to as coolant (anti-freeze) does consist of Colour. Don’t be alarmed if you see water under it could be present for one of two reasons; one to be taken more seriously.

1st reason:  if the fluid is clear you have no need to worry as this is more than likely condensation caused by your air conditioner condenser. This is commonly caused by the use of an air con or even just the outside temperature on a hot day or humid day.

2nd Reason: If the fluid on the ground under your car does consist of Colour you may have a coolant or oil leak it is highly recommended you take your car to a mechanic immediately. These leaks are commonly caused by a crack, split or corrosion of the radiator or cooling system.

Below is a list of possible leaks and the colours they would be:

  • Clear fluid is condensation
  • Green  is coolant
  • Blue is coolant
  • red is coolant – commonly used in Toyotas
  • yellow is coolant
  • orange is coolant
  • black or dark brown is dirty  is engine oil
  • translucent yellow honey Colour is clean/new engine
  • rust color – indication of dirty or untreated water in a radiator
  • reddish, yellowish stain  is an indication of a fuel leak on a petrol engine
  • yellow orange puddle is an indication of a diesel leak
  • brown, black or grey oil puddle under manual vehicle is either a gearbox or differential leaks
  • red translucent oil puddle is a power steering, or an automatic transmission leak
  • translucent yellow / green, blue to black leak could be brake fluid – check straight away under the bonnet

If it is a coolant leak it is best to check your coolant levels regularly to ensure you are still running “water“ in your engine, running your car/engine without coolant can lead to overheating causing the engine head or block to crack or split or worse seizing of the entire engine causing catastrophic damage.

 

Manufactures of engines (Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Holden etc.) have different Colour coolants.

Always Remember: Never mix different coolant colours, always use the same Colour additive.

If you think you have a coolant leak this is something we can help you with!

written By Nikki Russell

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