Why Is My Car Leaking Water? 

Have you been puzzled by the sight of water pooling under your parked car and asked yourself, “Why is my car leaking water?”. Rest assured; there’s no reason to panic most of the time. The air conditioning system in most vehicles tends to generate substantial amounts of condensation during regular operation, which typically drains near the back of the engine compartment. Also, seeing a water pool near your car’s tailpipe is frequent, primarily due to exhaust condensation, which is perfectly normal. However, what is critical is to confirm that the leaking fluid is water.

Why is My Car Leaking Water? – Identifying the Cause

Once you’ve ruled out condensation from the AC and the exhaust, there are ways to identify the problem at home. Here are some simple steps: 

  • Place a white piece of paper or cardboard under the leak. It will help you see the color of the fluid more clearly. 
  • If the fluid is colorless, it’s water; you probably don’t need to worry. But if the fluid is blue, green, yellow, or any other color, it’s likely not water and could cause concern. 
  • A small amount of water from your exhaust is usually condensation. However, large amounts of water accompanied by white smoke could indicate a blown gasket, which results in coolant burning along with fuel. 
  • If your fluid is oddly colored, it’s most likely coolant. Check your car’s fluid levels to be sure. Low fluid levels could cause long-term damage, warranting immediate attention at a service center. 
  • A leak could also be due to a cracked windshield wiper fluid reservoir. If water infiltrates and freezes in your windshield wiper fluid, it could crack the reservoir and leak onto the ground. This fluid is usually light blue or light green and will pool around your front tires.

Is Your Car Leaking Water Inside?

If you find water inside your car, it might be due to issues with the A/C, like a clogged evaporator drain, a leaking evaporator core, or failed plastic or rubber seals. However, it could also be due to a poorly installed windshield, an old sunroof, corrosion, or broken seams in the body panels.

Why is My Car Leaking Water? – Color Guide

Determining the fluid’s color can be instrumental in diagnosing the problem. Here’s a helpful reference guide: 


  • Dark Brown: brake fluid or older engine oil 
  • Light Brown: newer engine oil or gear lubricant


Warm Color 

  • Red: transmission fluid or power steering fluid 
  • Orange: transmission fluid or radiator coolant 
  • Pink: power steering fluid or transmission fluid 
  • Yellow: radiator coolant


Cool Color 

  • Green: antifreeze from the water pump, hoses, radiator, or windshield wiper fluid 
  • Blue: windshield wiper fluid

Don't Delay Car Care

Fluid leaks can sometimes be as simple as AC condensation or indicate a significant problem. Discerning the fluid type is essential, as they can look alike when pooled on the pavement. When you notice a leak, having an expert identify the fluid and the underlying issue can help provide affordable solutions in no time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Timing belt of alternator in engine room of car, automotive part concept.
7 Signs of a Bad Alternator

The alternator, a crucial vehicle component, is responsible for charging your car battery and powering electronic accessories like headlights and radio. If your alternator fails,

Read more