Automotive Fluid 101: What You’ll Find in Your Car

Your vehicle is an amazing feat of mechanical engineering. Many things work together to start your engine and keep it and all the other systems operating efficiently. Fluids are one of the those things, and your automobile has at least five or six different fluids in it. York Tire & Auto Service offers our customers preventative maintenance services that include checking fluids and replacing them when necessary. Here are the six automobile fluid that are likely in your car, truck, or C/SUV.


Brake fluid is usually light brown when it’s new and dark brown when it’s old. This automobile fluid works with hydraulics to stop your automobile. The brake master cylinder uses vacuum pressure to push the fluid through the braking system to eventually force the brake pads against the brake rotors.


Coolant prevents your engine from overheating in the summer and freezing up in the winter. This fluid is circulated through your engine to keep the temperature ideal. Coolant comes in many colors, such as red, yellow, blue, green, or even teal. If your coolant is orange, you might have a rusted radiator.


Both conventional and synthetic oil have the same job, and that is to protect the engine parts from too much friction. Motor oil is also light brown when it’s new and dark brown when it’s old. The problem with dark brown motor oil is that it can no longer do its job and it will damage your engine.

Power Steering

If you have a hydraulic power-steering system you have power steering fluid. This fluid is usually red and it uses vacuum pressure to help you steer your automobile. Signs of low power steering fluid include steering problems, noises when you turn the steering wheel, and fluid leaks on the garage floor.


Transmission oil is also red – bright red when it’s brand new. If the oil is dark brown, black, or pink, you’ve got transmission trouble, especially if the fluid is pink. Your transmission has a lot of moving parts and the transmission fluid protects them. Think of transmission oil as the motor oil of your transmission.

Windshield Cleaner

Finally, windshield cleaner is blue and you probably never think about this fluid unless a big bug splatters all over your windshield while you’re driving. Then, you’re very thankful for this unsung hero. You can check your windshield wiper fluid easily by looking at the level through the clear plastic reservoir.

Or, bring your car, truck, or utility vehicle into York Tire & Auto Service in Red Lion, PA, for a fluid check. Call us today to find out the best time to come in.

Photo by Minerva Studio from Canva Pro

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