Assessing Leaks Under Your Vehicle

Engine oil stains of car Leak under the car when the car is park on the road service photo concept for check and maintenance

If you have ever noticed any leaks under your vehicle when you park, there could be several different issues going on, not all of which are serious. Depending on the fluid that your car is leaking, you can easily self-diagnose a few potential issues. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to learn more about the fluid that is leaking from your vehicle. If you have noticed any leaks, any strange noises, or are just looking to have all of your car care taken care of in one quick trip, come into one of your local Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers today. Here are a few quick facts about your leak and what may be entailed.


An oil leak is one of the most common issues for any vehicle. Oil is usually dark brown or yellow, and a substantial leak will leave a discolored area where your vehicle was parked. This common issue could be caused by a number of different issues including:

  • A degraded engine gasket
  • A hole in your oil pan
  • A corroded oil seal
  • An old oil filter
  • A broken filler cap
  • A faulty connection to the valve gasket

With so many potential causes for this issue, it is extremely important that you have your oil leak diagnosed quickly before it gets worse or causes permanent damage.

Transmission Fluid

If you notice red or brown fluid that is thick and viscous, you most likely have a transmission fluid leak. Since your transmission is located in the center of your vehicle, this pool of fluid will gather in the direct center of your vehicle. If you recently went to an unaccredited shop for a transmission change or fluid top off, many subpar shops improperly align these components, which will result in a slow drip of transmission fluid. Other common causes of a transmission fluid leak include:

  • Debris damage
  • A faulty torque converter
  • A cracked pan gasket

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is one of the fluids with the widest range of color options, making it one of the hardest issues to diagnose. Your brake fluid can range from completely clear to light brown and will have an oily texture. Your brake fluid often leaks near your wheels, and any serious loss of brake fluid can cause your brakes to completely fail. Common causes of brake fluid include:

  • A leaking hose, caliper, wheel cylinder, or master cylinder
  • Worn out brake pads or shoes
  • Loose bleeder valves

If you think you might be leaking brake fluid immediately drive slowly and carefully to your nearest shop to avoid total brake failure.


Antifreeze is usually a bright fluid that can range from green, pink, or yellow. If your vehicle is leaking antifreeze you might notice your engine start to overheat, smoke, or even seize up. Common causes of an antifreeze leak include:

  • A blown head gasket
  • Radiator tube corrosion
  • A hole in your radiator
  • Damage due to debris on the road
  • A worn-out sealing gasket
  • Worn hoses

If you think your vehicle may be leaking any of these issues and not just shedding water, you should take your vehicle to one of your local Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers as soon as possible. Our team of expert and certified service technicians will help you quickly diagnose and take care of the issue and get you back on the road in one quick trip.