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Radiator overflow or coolant leak?

 
Old 10-11-2012, 11:20 AM
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jims911
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Default Radiator overflow or coolant leak?

I took my 2002 C4S in for some routine service (along with clearing my check engine light, which was set off by vacuum leaks in my Fabspeed Valvetronic muffler system, installer ran lines too close to hot exhaust, plus a check-valve in that system failed).

I assume they topped off my engine coolant, they said they checked and topped off all fluids. After driving it home from work the next day, I smelled a bit of antifreeze, and found a small puddle on my garage floor in front of the driver's front tire.

If the cooling system is overfilled, does anyone know where it purges out? Is it like regular cars that have an overflow tank? Would this be up front or back by the engine?

I've never seen as much as a drop of coolant under the car before, and the timing of this makes me hope it is just an overfill correcting itself, rather than a leak in a hose or radiator.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:33 AM
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fpb111
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The coolant overflow is in the engine compartment.
Is it possible that it might be windshield washer fluid? That can leak around the left front tire. If it continues to leak one of the hoses might have pulled off one of the connections above the wheel well. That is not uncommon. You will have to pull the wheel liner to get to it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:17 PM
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If they toped off the coolant (was it low?)
Why was it low? You may have found the leak you din't know you had.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:22 PM
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The engine coolant overflow from the coolant tank will appear right behind the driver's side back wheel. I agree with fbp111 that it might be some overfill from the wiper fluid tank. How do you know it was coolant..perhaps it was wiper fluid. Did you check the coolant level and is it down? Is the cap screwed on tight...and the one for the wiper fluid? If it is indeed leaking coolant in front of the drivers side right front wheel, then one of the radiator hoses has a leak, or the radiator itself. I would not trust any service bay or mechanic that says they did something for routine maintenance...they generally are incompetent. Time to get in there and check out things yourself.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 AM
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It's time clean the junk out from between the radiators anyway so pluck that bumper cover off and git'er done!
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:39 AM
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How to remove front and clean radiators on a 1999 996. Have fun

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Old 10-12-2012, 08:31 AM
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There are front radiator hoses and also windshield washer fluid tank in front driver tire area. Check water puddle, is there antifreeze in the puddle? (Can tell be greasy feel of antifreeze. A tap on the tongue and a zingy flavor means antifreeze, and no this won't kill you) If so it would indicate radiator fluid. This will help diagnose.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:29 PM
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Thanks all, I now believe the liquid was excess washer fluid. Although I did detect a faint antifreeze smell (you know the one), and that led me to misidentify the fluid. All is good again!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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Clean those radiators, this is only 3 summers worth.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:36 PM
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Found another small puddle yesterday, it was definitely blue, so washer fluid. I did recently remove my headlight assemblies to replace the parking lights. I have the headlight washers and I'm wondering if that fluid connection is seeping a bit. Guess I may pull it back out and look, but I'm not too concerned.
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