Edmunds Answers



  • subearu 04/02/09 6:36 am PST

    Could be a head gasket issue. Check the tail pipe for a greasy residue, you might also notice moer white exhaust than normal, and the exhaust may smell like coolant. Seems like the gasket is also leaking out of the engine, which is why you're getting the drip in the back.


  • karjunkie 04/02/09 7:34 am PST

    The key is to check the next time you find that puddle under the car. Get a good flashlight and get under the car to trace the drip back up to where it is originating. The main culprits to look for are the lower radiator hose and the area around the water pump. If all else fails, you can buy a special dye that is fluorescent at the auto parts store. You add this to the coolant and then check for the leak with a UV light after driving a few days. If there is a leak, than it will show up as a bright yellow color. This is a sure way to track down stubborn coolant leaks. Good luck!

  • philomena62 04/02/09 2:02 pm PST

    Back to the question...so a bad cap could not affect coolant levels? I have done all you have both recommended except the fluorescent dye.

  • karjunkie 04/02/09 2:07 pm PST

    No, its not the cap. You would not be losing that much coolant if it were just the cap and you would easily see stains and residue of dried coolant around it. It is either leaking from another place or you have a bad head gasket and are burning it up in the engine.

  • philomena62 04/02/09 3:08 pm PST

    I am certainly thrown for a loop. She will leak, same spot each time but it is inconsistent as to when it will be evident on the ground under her. The exhaust is dry, no residue. The water pump nor the undercarriage had no evidence on it either. The bad thing is that on that side of the car the wheel guard or whatever is missing so water, mud, you name it, is all over the place so if that cap is leaking you wouldn't be able to see it. I was really hoping it was that cap since I have had a history of cars (Fords) dollaring me to death with expensive repairs. I like this car I have only had about a year and already put up with brakes being replaced more than usual, so I was hoping that would be her only problem. (sigh) Well, thanks for your time and response. C.


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