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What's Leaking Under My Car?


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Windshield Washer Fluid
This is a blue windshield washer fluid leak.

This blue liquid indicates a windshield washer fluid leak.

photo by Matt Wright, 2009
Windshield washer fluid is very thin and has a slightly sweet smell that's like a mix of coolant and window cleaner. It can be blue, green or orange, but otherwise will have similar properties. It soaks into concrete quickly.

Don't refill your windshield washer with plain water if you live any place that can see freezing temperatures. Even doing so in the summer can be catastrophic if you forget to switch the fluid for real stuff before winter. A frozen windshield washer system can crack your fluid reservoir, ruin the electric pump, crack all of your washer hoses under the hood, and even crack your plastic windshield sprayers. This can add up to be a very expensive repair. Don't forget you may have a washer for the rear window, too!

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