I own a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica with 87,000 miles. There is a green liquid on the floor of my garage and I think it might be anti freeze. Can I add that stop leak stuff to it? Will it work? What happens if I don't fix the leak?
Sharon from Memphis, TN
Based on the color of the fluid it is probably anti freeze leaking from the cooling system. Do NOT put stop leak in the cooling system! Get the vehicle into a shop and have the cooling system pressure-tested for leaks and repair if needed. If you ignore the problem, you could face major engine damage down the road.
Questions and concerns about fluid leaks are quite common. It's a topic worthy of more in-depth consideration, since some leaks can result in major damage and costly repairs if they go unattended and/or the solution to the problem is shortsighted.
Sharon's Chrysler Pacifica comes from the factory with a coolant called ethylene glycol, which is green in color. Some carmakers use a long-lasting antifreeze that is orange in color. If your car uses this coolant and you see an orange fluid on the ground, it could be engine coolant, which is also orange.
Can I add that stop leak stuff? Will it work?
Engine coolant stop leak can and does stop small leaks, but it is a shortsighted solution. As the leak grows the stop leak becomes ineffective. Stop leak typically clogs small coolant passageways in heater cores and radiator tubes. I have seen so much stop leak installed in engines that it actually stopped up water jackets (the water passageways around the cylinder walls). Stay away from this product because it can and does cause more trouble than it fixes.
What happens if I don't fix the leak?
Cooling system leaks only get worse with time. The more coolant lost the hotter the engine gets; the hotter the engine gets, the more likely major engine damage will occur. So, fix it: it's cheaper down the road.
Fluid Colors To Watch Out For:
|Red||Usually power steering or transmission fluid|
|Clear translucent||Brake fluid|