What is the Fluid Staining My Driveway? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What is the Fluid Staining My Driveway?

6 Engine Noises That Need Immediate Attention
April 9, 2020
How to Repair Minor Dents and Scratches at Home
April 22, 2020
Show all


If you’ve seen stains in your driveway where you typically park your car, or if you walk outside and notice liquid sitting under your vehicle, it could be caused by several different things. If you’re curious about what the fluid is and if it’s serious or not, keep on reading. 

Different Kinds of Leaks

You might see a few drops under your car every now and then, or you could walk out to seeing a puddle. There are several car components that could be causing a leak, like: 

  • Motor oil
  • Gas
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission
  • Antifreeze 

Motor Oil 

This is one of the common causes of staining in the driveway. If it’s a new and ongoing leak, you will notice a red-brown color. This typically happens when you haven’t changed your oil on time. If you’re still unsure if it’s motor oil, you can try to feel it with your fingers. If it’s tacky and sticky, it’s most likely motor oil. Unfortunately, motor oil leaks can come down from different parts of the engine according to cars.com. As they say, motor oil can leak from gaskets, seals, valve covers, or the oil pan. It’s not safe to drive for long periods of time with an oil leak, which is why it’s important to take care of it before too much time passes. 


If you notice a leak and it smells like gas, call your mechanic right away and do not drive. Gas leaks can be dangerous. CarBibles explains that your car’s engine relies on gasoline to produce power by lighting it. All it takes to ignite the engine is a small spark from the spark plug. It doesn’t take much, so if there’s a gas leak and something unexpectedly combusts, it could be catastrophic. 

Brake Fluid

When you notice a light color of fluid under your car, check your brake fluid. If you’re not sure, you can try and feel it with your hands. Unlike motor oil, this fluid will be more slick in nature. It’s not safe to drive if you have a brake fluid leak. This fluid is a key player in making sure your car stops when you need it to. You can check the brake fluid under your car’s hood. The reservoir is most commonly found near the driver’s side. 

Transmission Fluid

This fluid is more red in color and slippery. Transmission repairs are among the most expensive and time consuming repairs needed for your car. If you suspect a transmission fluid leak, call us here at Scott’s right away to prevent further damage in the long run. Car Treatments explains that transmission fluid can range from minor to severe, and it can be caused by:

  • Transmission pan or drain plug 
  • Broken seals
  • Pan gasket fails 
  • Torque converter leakage 
  • Cracked fluid line


If you continue to drive on low coolant after you notice it, it could damage your engine. Antifreeze leaks can come from the radiator, the reservoir, or the head gasket. Antifreeze comes in a number of different colors now, so there’s no one set color to look for in a leak. An antifreeze leak can be detrimental to your engine and cause a lot of damage. If you think you have a coolant leak, you should seek advice and help right away. 

Are Driveway Stains Serious? 

You should take any fluid leak you notice under your car seriously. This will help keep you safe and prevent costly repairs or irreversible damage. If you’re not able to find the leak and fix it on your own and would like help, we’re here for you. 

Call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto

If you notice driveway stains and need help getting to the bottom of your leak, make an appointment with Scott’s Auto. With two convenient locations in Fort Collins in Loveland, you can get to us easily. You should be able to drive without worrying about leaks that can cause minor to severe damage. Your safety in and out of your vehicle is our top priority. We’re open during this pandemic and are taking necessary precautions to keep the community safe. We are now offering:

  • FREE no contact drop off and pick up 
  • FREE pick up and delivery in the Fort Collins and Loveland Area
  • FREE towing with repair (restrictions apply) 


If you need an appointment, call today at 970-682-4202. 


Leave a Reply

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


We Service All
Makes & Models

Our highly skilled ASE certified technicians offer comprehensive knowledge and experience.

Book an Appointment