1999 Ford Contour leak

Tiny
SCVBEAR
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD CONTOUR
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Noticed a leak on the pavement today its from these they are two on both sides under the back passenger side this is the picture of the two on passenger side the other side is OK? What is it? All fluids are full yet it looks like a fluid has little smell and is barely slick
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 3:56 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The only fluids in the rear are fuel, brake fluid, and oil in the struts. If a strut is leaking, you'll see the wetness running down along the body from where the shaft comes out the top. The coil spring is around that part of the strut.

If brake fluid is leaking, it can do so for quite a while and make a big mess before the level goes down significantly in the reservoir. The level will go down anyway as the front brake pads wear. That is normal, and no fluid should be added to make up for that. Brake fluid can leak from a rusted steel line or a ruptured rubber flex hose, but with those you'll almost always notice the brake pedal sinking to the floor when you hold steady pressure on it. The red warning light will be on too. The fluid can also seep from a leaking rear wheel cylinder. Ford had a lot of trouble with that. You'll see the wetness on the inside sidewall of the tire. Most of the time the leakage actually occurs when you're not pushing the brake pedal. When you do apply the brakes, the internal lip seals move out to an area in the cylinder that doesn't have a corroded spot, so it seals better while the brakes are applied.

If there's a fuel leak, you'll smell it. That leakage will stop once the pressure bleeds off which could take up to a few minutes, then you may just see the staining on the ground because the fuel will evaporate quickly.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 4:24 PM
Tiny
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Did you see the pictures those round things are were its leaking
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No pictures showed up.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 4:39 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Here they are
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 5:08 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've had problems too uploading photos. I have to copy my drawings from MS Word documents to MS Paint, then save them as a. Jpg file. Those I can upload.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
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Sorrry I never have problems with pictures is there another way to send facebook anything?
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Rather than worrying about the pictures, have the car inspected at a repair shop. Many of them do that for free, and most perform quick visual inspections during other routine services like oil changes and tire rotations. They'll be able to identify the cause and suggest the best course of action.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 6:05 PM
Tiny
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Ok sure I just thought with the pictures which the web sits says to up load you could tell, I guess that's what 5 bucks buys just some chat.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 6:15 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I don't get involved with dollars or make decisions on which posts to answer based on that. I only answer those I think I can help with. Try contacting the site owners about the photo issue because I've seen it before. If you can't figure out how to contact them, holler back here and I'll do it for you. (I have to leave now. Library is closing. Thanks to a recent major house fire, I have to drive 25 miles round trip to get on the internet during the day).

You can also describe where the puddle is showing up on the ground and what is wet underneath, but sometimes I still can't be sure. That's why it's best to have a live person look at it.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 6:23 PM
Tiny
SCVBEAR
  • MEMBER
Ok I described in first? Thank you
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I already mentioned gas, brake fluid, and a leaking strut, but I forgot about water. Don't laugh. That has come up before when a car sits just right in the rain and water gets in the well behind the rear wheel. There's a drain hole for that but they often get blocked with leaves, or the drain hole is not at the lowest point until you park a certain way. The clue is water will evaporate and leave no trace behind. Obviously you'd smell gas. That would leave a stain when it evaporates. Oil from a strut will be just inside a tire, ... Less than a few inches from it, and brake fluid could be anywhere in that area, but only brake fluid will run down the sidewall of the tire.

A strut can leak slowly for a long time and is not really a safety issue except for reduced handling. Brake fluid is a bigger concern. If a wheel cylinder is seeping brake fluid, you'll get away with that for a little while, but eventually air will get sucked into that port in the master cylinder and cause a mushy brake pedal, and the red warning light will turn on. If you can't get the car inspected soon, look at the fluid level in the master cylinder, then see if it drops over the next few days. Most Fords have a plastic reservoir that you can see through. If yours does, make a mark on the side with a marker or piece of tape, then compare the level later. If the level is real low, (on any car), it either means there's a leak that must be addressed or the front brake pads are worn and ready to be replaced. In the second case, you can add a little fluid but don't fill the reservoir. Part of the brake pad replacement procedure involves brake fluid being pushed back up into the reservoir. Then it will be full again. If you fill it before that service, the extra fluid will run out, make a mess, and it can eat paint off the body if it isn't washed off right away.

If you add brake fluid, be sure it's from a clean and sealed container, and be absolutely sure to not get any type of petroleum product like engine oil, power steering fluid, or transmission fluid in there. Most mechanics wash their hands first to be sure they don't even get fingerprint grease in there.
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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 AT 8:14 PM

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