Any type of fluid leaking from a car can cause a lot of panic for its owner and it’s generally thought of as a bad sign. Unfortunately, in most cases it is. If you noticed that your car is recently leaking a red or pink fluid it is generally a good idea to figure out what is wrong with your car. A red or pink liquid that’s leaking from your car can usually mean only three things: it can be either transmission fluid, engine coolant or power steering fluid. Determining which of these is leaking is not very hard and you can easily do it yourself.
Suspect 1: Engine coolant (antifreeze)
Engine coolant is a liquid designed to keep your engine temperature safe by flowing around different parts of the engine and it comes in a lot of different colors, including red and pink. If the liquid leaking from your car looks like water and has a slight sweet smell, it is very likely that it’s engine coolant. You will most likely find it under the radiator or the engine. If you suspect that your car is leaking coolant, check the reservoir (it should be a semi-transparent bottle under the hood with “high” and “low” markings) and if there isn’t enough coolant there, you have to check the radiator (located right next to the grill at the front of your car). Make sure not to open the radiator cap righter after powering off the car as hot steam might blow off and burn you. With the radiator cap removed, you should be able to see coolant liquid in the radiator and if you can’t, it’s very likely that you have a leak somewhere in the cooling system and you should have your car inspected by a specialist.
Suspect 2: Power steering fluid
Power steering liquid helps you turn the steering wheel easier and if it’s leaking you will probably notice that when cornering at lower speeds and encounter more resistance than usual from the steering wheel. If you have power steering liquid leak you will most likely find the liquid close to the front bumper. The fluid looks very watery and its smell resembles that of burnt oil a bit. The power steering system is sealed and should never leak so if you think yours is leaking, you should have a specialist look at the car.
Suspect 3: Transmission fluid
If you have ruled out the other two possibilities, it will be most likely the transmission fluid. If you transmission is leaking you would probably notice that it starts to slip and ignored long enough, your car will stop moving. Transmission fluid is usually very thick with an oil-like consistency and it’s usually pink, red or dark red. To confirm the issue, you have to check the transmission dipstick (it should have “high” and “low” markings or at least two lines/holes) and if it’s below the minimum level, fill it up with transmission fluid. Check it again in one or two days and if it’s below the minimum level, it is very likely that you have a leak and you should take your car to be inspected by a specialist as ignoring this problem for too long can cause you a lot of problems.
If you notice that your car is leaking a red or pink fluid, try and figure out whether the leak is coming from the transmission system, engine cooling system or the power steering system. Make sure to fix it as fast as possible and never delay it until it’s too late.