Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2001 Chevy Silverado leaving stain

Hello! My husbands 2001 Chevy Silverado is leaving a rust-colored stain on the pavement. It’s a large stain like the width of the car. My theory was that it’s holding water in the front bumper where it’s picking up rust and then pouring onto the road when he drives away. Only I got under the truck and realized the front number is plastic (it’s also brand new-thanks to the 8pt buck he hit this fall :woman_facepalming:t2:). So, my question is, could it be rust water? Or something else like transmission fluid or power steering fluid? I’ll add a picture in the morning! Thanks in advance!

Under that plastic bumper cover is a steel bumper.


Get some on your fingers. Is it oily? Try and wash it off… does it take a bit of soap? If so, could very well be transmission fluid. That means the cooler or cooler lines are leaking. Warm the truck up and check the level. If it hasn’t lost any fluid, then it probably isn’t trans fluid.

Power steering fluid is also oily and harder to wash off. Again, check the level. There could be a leaking line or cooler on that, too.

Lastly, coolant or rusty water. Coolant, smells sweet, feels a bit oily and mostly washes off with rinse water. If it completely washes off with water and doesn’t smell sweet, it is probably rusty water.

None of this incontinence would be out of the ordinary for a 19 year old truck.

1 Like

Sorry but I can’t see your truck from here. I guess someone will just have to get under there and actually look.

I’m in the same track of thought as @Mustangman. There is a radiator support under the radiator. A transmission leak at transmission cooling lines or antifreeze could be leaking into the support and distributing it along the width of the vehicle.

Here are some pictures. Thanks for your helpful responses. I have little to zero car experience so I’m just trying to figure out if it is something I should be concerned about. Thanks again :slight_smile:

Looks like rust stains. Again, not surprising on a 19 year old truck. Annoying, but not critical.


Haha! Sorry about that! I posted some pictures now :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Definitely not power steering fluid or automatic transmission fluid

Also doesn’t look like coolant, differential fluid or engine oil

It does look like a rust stain, as you initially stated