Leaking Fluids – Page 2

Transmission Fluid

Easily identified by its redish or pink color, transmission fluid is often easily distinguished from other potential leaking fluids. While most transmissions use a red colored fluid, a small percentage of vehicles have transmission fluid that may be clear or amber. Transmission fluid can become brown when the transmission has been overheated and/or improperly maintained. The feel of transmission fluid is oily and not nearly as thick as oil. Transmission fluid leaks often occur directly on the transmission, from the pan gasket, or from one of the cooling lines that runs to the radiator. On front wheel drive vehicles, the transmission is located underneath the hood and bolts up to the engine block. On rear wheel vehicles, the transmission is located underneath the hump that is often present between the driver and passenger seats. If transmission fluid leaks are detected, it is important to service this problem as quickly as possible. Transmissions that run low on fluid can burn clutches and result in costly damage to the transmission.


Gasoline is an extremely flammable liquid and is easily identified by its smell. More often than not, the source of leaking fuel originates from a connection within the fuel line. Fuel tanks, which are located underneath the back of most vehicles, do occasionally leak as these systems age. Because of the potential for fire, detected fuel leaks from a vehicle it should be serviced immediately. If the vehicle is to be towed, please also make us aware of the leaking fuel and the tow truck driver when he responds to the call so that adequate precautions may be taken both during and after transport.

Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel does have a visual appearance that could be best described as that of light colored oil. Just like gasoline, diesel fuel is easily distinguished from other fluids that leak from vehicles because of its odor. Since all fuels are flammable, it is important to have the vehicle serviced immediately. Most diesel fuel leaks occur within line connections and less often from tanks.

Gear Oil

Gear oil coloring can range from a tan to black appearance. The easiest way to determine if it is gear oil leaking from a vehicle is to feel it. If the substance feels thick, when rubbed between the fingers, chances are that the vehicle is leaking gear oil. Gear oil leaks may originate from the axle or differential and at the rear of the vehicle.

Battery Acid

Acid from leaking batteries often smells like rotten eggs. Acid is also corrosive and a visual inspection of the battery may show signs of corrosive liquid contamination in areas near the battery. Please note that battery acid is corrosive and may result in a chemical burn if unprotected skin comes into contact with the substance. Most automotive batteries are found in the engine compartment while commercial vehicles may have battery compartments located elsewhere on the vehicle. Those who suspect that their battery is leaking acid should have the battery replaced as soon as possible.

Shock and Strut Fluid

When shocks and struts leak, they often ooze fluid around their assemblies or from their boots. Because these suspension components have sealed systems, they can’t be serviced and must be replaced. If you determine that your vehicle is leaking fluid from a shock or strut, it is important to have the vehicle serviced in the near future.


It is our hope that the information provided on these pages will help our customers identify any fluids that may be leaking from their vehicles. In the event that you are unable to determine the source of a fluid leak on your vehicle, or want to get it corrected, please use our schedule service form or call us at 440-734-1413 to make an appointment.

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