General Question

honeybun35's avatar

Why would water or antifreeze leak if it didn't over heat?

Asked by honeybun35 (622points) October 2nd, 2019

After I drove to work and parked water from coolant was on the ground. The car wasn’t over heating but I did have the defrosters on and the air because it was kind of humid.

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14 Answers

rebbel's avatar

First, are you sure it was yours (the coolant on the ground), and not from the previous parked car?
If yes, it was yours, the radiator (or a connected hose) could have a leak (in or around the bottom)?

LadyMarissa's avatar

When you use your air, it automatically leaves a small puddle under the car & you said you had your air on.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Could have a small leak in a hose or fitting or maybe a seal in the water pump is starting to go, you might want to get it checked.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Is the liquid green or yellow, then it is antifreeze.

Clear is from the dehumidifier on the A/C.

zenvelo's avatar

If there is a (small) leak, it will be evident even if the car doesn’t overheat.

The radiator may well be within its usual temperature, but the contents still heat up, expand, and create pressure.

honeybun35's avatar

the color is clear because we used water too when we couldn’t get to antifreeze. if it is the pressure is it bad

zenvelo's avatar

@honeybun35 You cna get your cooling system pressure checked without worrying about it hurting your engine. That is how they will find a leak if there is one.

You don’t want your cooling system to go low unexpectedly, because that can ruin in your engine (and it does not take much to ruin the engine).

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Okay @honeybun35 you know modern engines should not be run on just tap water, right?? But a 50–50 mixture.

This is why

kritiper's avatar

Coolant (colored greenish or pinkish) may leak for a number of reasons. Sometimes the hose fittings get a little corroded and the coolant will leak out when the car is hot or cold. Loose hose clamps may cause a (cold water) leak, but a tightening of the hose clamps can fix this.
A faulty radiator cap may cause some coolant to leak, usually in the front of the car. If you taste the antifreeze, it will taste sweet. This can help you determine just what the fluid is.

Water will drip from the air conditioning system, and this is normal. It will be clear fluid (water) usually near the back of the engine compartment, just in front of the passenger compartment.
The leak may come from a worn water pump, but check with a reputable mechanic for his/her advice on this.
Allowing a leak to continue could cause the upper part of the engine to get low on coolant and cause a head gasket to fail. You don’t want this, so get to your mechanic and have him/her check it out to be on the safe side!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Water will puddle under a parked car after the air conditioner has been running. It is simply condensate from the melted frost coating the evaporator.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Ok and you don’t have to be a mechanic to do this, while cold check the coolant level for the next few days see if it goes down,don’t take the rad cap off when the vehicle is warm.
Next, after shutting down open the hood and just (might need a flashlight) check hoses, clamps for drips make a note if you find a drip where you spotted it.

Sagacious's avatar

A hole in something like the radiator

MrGrimm888's avatar

Your upper, and lower radiator hoses, are attached with metal clamps. Overy time, the heat will expand the hoses, and the metal clams, will cut through the hoses. You may just have that issue. Look at the hoses, where the clamps are. If there is a leak there, that’s your problem. Hoses, are usually cheap. And can be replaced by a person with little mechanical knowledge.

Put a flattened piece of cardboard, under your car. By the hoses, when you park it. That will tell you if you have a leak. Then. Find the leak (probably by one of the clamps,) and get the hose for probably under $20. Use a screw driver, to loosen the clamp. Replace the hose, and you’re good. The rubber hoses get hit, and will expand over time, the metal clamps, can rupture the hoses, as they don’t expand. It’s a heap, easy fix, if that’s the problem.

If it’s the raidiator, they sell bottles that can seele it. Empty the bottle into your radiator, and follow the instructions on the bottle.
You will probably need to get more fluid. There a premixed antifreeze/water solution available for less than $9. I believe Prestonne, is the one I use. IF you’re lucky. You can fix it all, for about $30….

The top radiator nose, is easy to see. To check the bottom one, you’ll have to get on your back, an look for it. It will likely be a black hose, approximately 2 inches, in diameter. Look by the clamps, that hold it in place. That’s likely where your leak has formed….

LuckyGuy's avatar

You can have a leak in the heater core or the hoses that connect to it.
In this area a common reason for a hole in the hoses is rodents chewing on the rubber.

I have also see a cracked thermistor that allowed antifreeze to travel up the wires inside the insulation and leak at the firewall or even into the electronics control module inside the passenger compartment!

A mechanic can by perform a leak check pressurizing the system and measuring the bleed down rate.

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