All-State has a quick reference guide that is handy to keep a around when you’re in a leaky situation.
Light Brown – Black — Engine Oil
Reddish & Thin or Brown & Thick — Transmission Fluid
Reddish or Light Brown & Thin — Power Steering Fluid
Clear – Brown & Slick — Brake Fluid
Yellow, Green, or Pink & Slimy — Coolant
Clear, Thin — Water
Brake Fluid is one of the most dangerous leaks to worry about. Your brake system works on a hydraulic system. Brake fluid helps maintain that pressure. A leak in brake fluid will cause a drop in pressure and result in brake failure.
Luckily, our modern cars rarely pop with brake fluid leaks. If one does arise it will usually be near the wheels or in the area directly under the pedal. Knowing and spotting these before getting too serious and getting them repaired will help keep the big bucks in your bank and avoiding replacing a grind-down transmission.