On occasion, you may notice a little puddle of water under your vehicle. There could be a number of different reasons for this water, but if you have never noticed it before, you'll want to do some inspecting. The first thing you need to figure out is from where, exactly, the water is dripping. To get you started, we'll go over some common culprits for the cause of that puddle under your vehicle.
Is it Actually Water Under Your Vehicle?
Any time you see a leak under your car, it should be a cause for concern. The good news is that, if it is water, you likely don't have a serious problem. So, to that end, the first thing you need to deduce is whether it is actually water or another essential fluid. If you are unsure about what is leaking, you can place paper or cardboard beneath the leak. The color and viscosity of the fluid will be a clear signal as to which liquid you are working with.
If the fluid is running clear, then you have water. Antifreeze will have a similar viscosity to water, but can come in a variety of different colors, including: green, orange, yellow, red, pink, and blue. You may have a jug of coolant in your trunk; see if the colors match. If you don't have extra coolant on hand, check your manufacturer's recommendation, then see if the color matches at a local gas station, auto parts store, etc.
Causes of Water Leaks Under a Vehicle
There are some very common causes for that water under your car, including: air conditioning, exhaust, and the windshield washer fluid reservoir. If the puddle under your vehicle is colorless and odorless, there is a good possibility it is just water dripping from your vehicle's air conditioning system. This is actually the most common culprit.
In the summer months, moisture can gather on the components of your air conditioning system, then drip into a puddle under your vehicle. One way to limit (or even prevent) this is to set your air conditioning to the re-circulation setting instead of the fresh air setting.
If, instead of the air conditioning unit, you are seeing water dripping from your exhaust, there is a different cause. When internal combustion happens in your vehicle's engine, it creates a combination of carbon dioxide and... water. When your engine cools, the exhaust gasses naturally exit the combustion chamber and a condensation of water and carbon dioxide appears. In that situation, you are likely to see that water dripping from your vehicle's exhaust pipe.
If you identify the leak as coming from your windshield washer fluid reservoir, you'll want to replace that reservoir, but it will not have a negative impact on your vehicle's engine.
Other possible causes for water under your vehicle include a leaking water pump or a hole in the water jacket. In such cases, you'll get your vehicle to your local, trusted repair shop before it leads to other engine issues.
Any time you see a drip under your vehicle, it is wise to inspect the situation. If it is water under there, the odds are that everything is just fine and this is normal. If it isn't water dripping from your air conditioning components or exhaust pipe, you'll want to get your vehicle into the shop. If it is not water under your vehicle, you should definitely get your vehicle in the shop before low fluid levels start to cause problems with your engine's ability to perform at its best.
Finally, if you are in the market for a Ford|Lincoln vehicle warranty, you can call Zeigler Auto Group at 269.685.3557 and one of our representatives will be happy to help you learn more about our Ford ESP plans.