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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed, for a while, fluid accumulating in my parking spot (see picture below), but don't know what the fluid is coming from. I was under the car a week ago and didn't see where it was coming from. I'll be under the car again this weekend, I hope. Any suggestions on where I should look and what I should look for?

 

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What color is the fluid? Did you take off the shield on the bottom of the engine bay? Notice oil being used up often? Cooling system has been replaced?
 

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Looks like the worst of it is around where your lower radiator hose is. This is also where your temp sensor is located. Here is a diagram:



#3 & #4

That's where I would check first. If you want some pricing PM me and I will work with you on a good deal.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much everyone. I look forward to getting under the car this weekend. I'll let you know what comes of it.
 

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Looks like the worst of it is around where your lower radiator hose is. This is also where your temp sensor is located. Here is a diagram:
I doubt that, if the lower temp sensor/hose was leaking that much her coolant light would have been coming on, unless its on and she didn't tell us. And usually coolant/water won't cause stains.

Is the fluid oil? Trans fluid? Water? Not to hard to differentiate between the 3. It can be numerous things including: power steering hoses, oil filter housing gasket, valve cover gasket, etc etc. Its really hard to tell by just looking at a stain. You can see alot of these leaks without getting under the car. Pop the hood and use a small flashlight and look around the oil filter housing, at the power steering hoses, all around the valve cover. The only hose you won't be able to see easily is the pressure hose for the power steering which can drip fluid also.
 

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I had a leak recently, not quite that much fluid on the ground but mine turned out to be my power steering. One of the lines developed a crack, take a peak into the reservoir to eliminate it as a suspect.
 

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Erin,

First, I think you should add your photo to your sig, because now, whenever I think of our few days together in that other thread, I'll see that image...very unfair...tsk!

You really shouldn't wait to at least look at fluid levels, because we can talk about what it looks like, but you know we can't tell you what's leaking really besides that it's a fluid. the underskirt will take fluids from all over and spit them out together; we don't know if you migrate side to side when you park...some guy in the office might have the hots for you and be pouring stuff under the car coz he knows you'd come and ask him about the leak...and then, just when you thought the two of you were under the car to repair the ps pump...you know...

There's no way...and some fluids are pretty important to have...like all of them!

Do what's been said, but don't wait...good led flashlight xl50 available from HD for only $30...use inspection mirror if you have to wait to get underneath, but check the levels of your fluids and monitor them. Put cardboard underneath and drive on with underskirt removed if needed...

Don't wait though...just find out what's leaving that. If that's all from one night...you don't want to really wait to at least identify the fluid by level...

Sorry...if you were some 18 year old male, I'd give a f if you wanted to go without brakes, but having seen your nude photo, I think you'd be very nice to keep around! :lmao:
 

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Sorry...if you were some 18 year old male, I'd give a f if you wanted to go without brakes, but having seen your nude photo, I think you'd be very nice to keep around! :lmao:
:hmm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dmax, you are great at making a girl laugh and scared that she isn't going to make it home from work alive all at the same time.

The fluid has been accumulating for a while, so it's not all from one day. I topped off my coolant this morning, though my coolant light hadn't gone on. I think the front puddle was some coolant from my coolant leak. I've ordered a new expansion tank cap, but will look at the lower radiator hose tonight as well. In regards to the rest, I can't really tell what it is....it all just looks like liquid. I've touched it to see if I could see the green/blue of coolant, but can't. I haven't had any other lights come on telling me I'm low on fluid either. I'll check my oil and ATF fluid tonight, but not sure how to check any other fluids or what fluids there are left to check (see...clearly a girl).

I realized after I posted this that I probably should've waited until I investigated more, but now I have a few places to specifically check and will drive around with out the splash guard for a little bit and check after if necessary. :thumbup:
 

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Good...that was the effect I was after!:lmao:

Oil you check after it's sat a while (if you do it too soon and add too much oil, you'll have another problem). If it's between the two notches 5 mins. after shutting down, you're fine for now. But to measure accurately, wait till a.m. and use that as a good way to monitor rate of oil loss reliably...sorry...you know I'm ocd or pretend to be)

Brake fluid...shine a light down through top of brake fluid canister if you can't see anything...wobble that reservoir (by your e-box...black thing in left rear corner of engine bay) and you might see the fluid move.

PS fluid (the ATF) little line...you know that, right?

Coolant in a.m. when cool...keep two balls straddling top of ET filler neck

If you have AC on now, then it might just be water.

Open ps reservoir, coz I honestly know you didn't lose that much brake fluid...and I think if you lost that much coolant, you'd know about it already, so I'd bet just a very common PS leak or Oil leak...and both are almost always slow and progressive and easily taken care of by keeping fluids topped off (but not overfilled!).

Please don't worry...just look...just in case. I'm asking for 1 min about...the time you spend obsessing about it is on your clock! Bring paper towel and flashlight.


dmax, you are great at making a girl laugh and scared that she isn't going to make it home from work alive all at the same time.

The fluid has been accumulating for a while, so it's not all from one day. I topped off my coolant this morning, though my coolant light hadn't gone on. I think the front puddle was some coolant from my coolant leak. I've ordered a new expansion tank cap, but will look at the lower radiator hose tonight as well. In regards to the rest, I can't really tell what it is....it all just looks like liquid. I've touched it to see if I could see the green/blue of coolant, but can't. I haven't had any other lights come on telling me I'm low on fluid either. I'll check my oil and ATF fluid tonight, but not sure how to check any other fluids or what fluids there are left to check (see...clearly a girl).

I realized after I posted this that I probably should've waited until I investigated more, but now I have a few places to specifically check and will drive around with out the splash guard for a little bit and check after if necessary. :thumbup:
Oh, sorry, I didn't remember you had a cooling leak...I really never remember posters' cars' issues...just posters. We all have the same issues, so I stopped trying to remember whose car had what issue, I just live in the moment! Odds are, then, that it's cooling related 'mostly' but Drew knows a lot (I wouldn't want to have a bmw knowledge competition with him!), but unless you really go looking and 'want' to find leaks, many will hide for quite a while...and we have many that come here not having opened their ET, pulled their dipstick, or most commonly...check PS fluid (which is atf fluid!).

Okay...check all the cooling work you did well...you have an XL50 yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well it looks like this is most likely coming from my coolant leak. Oil and ATF fluids are all normal this morning. Coolant was down since I filled it yesterday morning. I'm pretty sure I have a leak because of the expansion tap cap, but I'd be surprised if that's all from that leak. I'm thinking there must be another leak somewhere. I checked the lower radiator hose and it doesn't appear to be coming from there. Of course, my cap shipment is going to be delayed because of "adverse weather conditions" too, so it will be another few days until I can put that on.

Once I figure out where the leak is, is there a good way to get rid of the liquid on the ground? If it is coolant, I don't want an animal to happen upon it and lick it up. Unfortunately, I'm in a condo and don't have access to a hose. So I might just be hauling buckets of water.
 

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You might want to try the old trick of putting a piece of cardboard under your car when you park at night. It'll make it easier to figure out where the the fluids are dripping as well as better figure out what type of fluid it is.
 

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You can't tell where leaks are coming from by just looking where they drip. The splash shield will alter where the fluid actually drips onto the ground. You also can't really tell by just checking fluid levels. If your coolant was leaking that much your coolant light would have came on already.
 

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That looks like washer tank fluid leaking from a washer tank pump that needs to be replaced.

Oil, ATF, Brake and Tranny Fluids leave thick viscous black, dark brown or reddish stains that clump up in individual spots. Coolant Fluid leaves thick bluish or greenish pools (depending on what you put in there) that coagulate on concrete surfaces and takes a longer than water to evaporate.

That fluid stain is very flat, thin and looks like it had already started evaporated at the edges by the time you saw it the next day. The only fluid that evaps that quickly is washer fluid

But to be fair I would say it is either a thin mixture 60 water/40 coolant of cooling fluid leaking or washer tank fluid - OR BOTH since the fluids would mix first on the splash shield and the trickle thru the edges over night.

Plus it looks like you were leaking oil a few months ago when the weather was colder.
 

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I've noticed, for a while, fluid accumulating in my parking spot (see picture below), but don't know what the fluid is coming from. I was under the car a week ago and didn't see where it was coming from. I'll be under the car again this weekend, I hope. Any suggestions on where I should look and what I should look for?

If you are driving with the AC on, then it's ice on the evaporator melting. No big deal, perfectly normal, nothing wrong.

Is that your parking space at your apartment? Were some of those spots there when you moved in, and you are only concerned with the large wet spot -- that sounds dirty when Bill Clinton says it -- on the ground?

All of those smaller spots look like they might be Valve Cover Gasket leaks. The large wet space looks to me like condensation off of the AC evaporator.
 

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OOPs,

There is a large cover on the bottom of your car. There are 4 or 6 quick-release fasteners that hold it on. The fasteners are captivated by the cover, so you don't have to actually take them off, just turn them a quarter turn and they will let the cover drop.
 
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