My car seems to have an antifreeze leak. It leaks when the car is not running and is parked. The leak seems to be coming from the drivers sided. You can see the leak when you look underneath the car. The low coolant light comes on but hasn't gotten hot/overheated. I notice the temperature gauge doesn't move when the coolant light comes on, but about every 3 days I have to add antifreeze to my car and once I do the low coolant light when go off until 3 days later and then I add more. I can't tell where at exactly the leak is coming from other then the drivers side is where I see the leak when looking underneath the car. However after about a day of adding antifreeze and it sits with out my driving it for a day the leaking stops, but my resivor is half empty. I can see that the motor looks wet in places on the drivers sided. I hope I have detailed enough information for someone to give me an idea what it is and what I would be looking at to pay to have this fixed, I am hoping that it isn't something major I haven't drove it since I noticed the leak in a week now I don't want to cause more harm to whatever is already wrong with it. Thank you for your thoughts and time reading this, have a nice day!
There's two ways to identify the location of the leak. The most common is with a pressure test. All shops have them, and it just takes a few minutes to pressurize the system, but it can take a while to figure out what is just wet and where the leak is originating. The other test is to add a small bottle of dark purple dye to the coolant, then you search later with a black light. The dye will show up as a bright yellow stain that you can follow back to the source. If you need to ask more engine-related questions, please list the engine size.
February, 19, 2014 AT 4:57 PM
My engine is a 2.4 twin cam. Like I mentioned it seems to leak the most when it is parked and not running, but yet after about a day of being parked and not running the leaking stops and my resivor is half full. It has not overheated and I do have hot air. The leak is coming somewhere on the drivers side on the outside of the car not inside. Can you tell me what this could be and how much it may cost to fix this problem.
February, 19, 2014 AT 5:41 PM
Nope. Sorry. We don't get involved with costs here because there's way too many variables. We don't even know what's wrong yet. The typical things we'd expect to find include a rusted-off hose clamp, split rubber hose, corroded core plug, and a leaking cylinder head gasket. Any of those things can potentially leak only when the engine has warmed up and the system is under pressure. Radiators are so efficient that often little pressure builds up in the cooling system while you're driving, but as soon as you stop the engine, its heat migrates into the coolant, and the pressure goes up for the next 10 - 20 minutes. That could cause coolant to leak out during that time when it doesn't leak when you're driving or when the engine has been off and cooled down.
Start with the pressure test, then we can discuss what the typical repair would involve.