As soon as I got home to my parking lot, go in reverse and then saw the engine was unusually smoking up. I see pink fluid would either be power steering or transmission fluid. I had just got a previous power steering leak fixed months ago, and fluid changed about 2 months ago. Could it be the transmission fluid, seeing how it began right when I went in reverse?

Fluid got everywhere Fluid got everywhere

Pink fluid on underside of hood Pink fluid on underside of hood

Trail of fluid leak began right when I went in reverse Trail of fluid leak began right when I went in reverse

  • Is the engine coolant pink?
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 17:39
  • It is green coolant. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 8:46
  • The spray on the underside of the hood seems to be directed side-to-side. This could mean that the fan threw it up there and that would be indicative of a power steering leak.
    – user16128
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 0:02

3 Answers 3


I dont know, but if you said you had fix a leak before in the steering system which liquid is pink, and the fluid that spill out every where is pink, most probably is steering fluid, unless you have a hole in the transmission of course.

  • The previous leak, I don't remember exactly the details but I think the mechanic said it was some sort of sensor leak, and it was dripping slowly over time, I would have tiny droplets under the truck until I noticed the reservoir was empty. So it could be something bigger this time like a hose? Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 8:48

It looks like it may be transmission or power steering fluid. Both of which are oil-based and similar in color. Coolant may also be red or pink but is not oily.

Check your power steering pump and the lines to see if there is a leak, most likely on the pressurized side.

As far as transmission fluid, the only thing that I can think of would be a leaking line going to the radiator or the transmission oil cooler of that vehicle has one that is external to the radiator.

  • I wiped it from the hood and compared to the power steering reservoir, the color seemed to match. Would it be okay to drive this to my mechanic about five minutes away? As I said before the engine was steaming, probably from the fluid spraying all over the hot parts. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 8:50
  • Check the fluid level in the power steering reservoir. If it's not too low, you should be good to drive it a short distance, other than making a mess. If it's low, top it off.
    – jwh20
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:13

It's also possible that there are two leaks. Do the two fluids smell the same? Definitely not likely, but possible.

Short of that, based on the pics I'm going to say it's likely a power steering hose that's leaking, and that the leak is likely somewhere near the pump. The reason that I say that is there is fluid going both up (underside of the hood) and down (onto the ground). 9 times out of 10, this indicates some type of fluid leak near the belt, as the fluid will be slung in every direction as it hits the moving belt. This explains the fluid all over the inlet ducting/underside of hood. Gravity is also causing the fluid to be pulled to the ground. It could possibly be a leak in the pump/reservoir itself, but short of there being a good sized crack in the reservoir, leaks in/around the pump tend to go all on the belt itself, never making it to the ground.

The reason I don't think it's transmission fluid (unless you have two separate leaks) is that it'd be very rare for transmission fluid to make it up to the underside of the hood. The transmission cooler lines do run up through the engine bay, but they're generally not in the vicinity of the belt.

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