Car losing water, but I don’t see the leak.

My car is losing water, but I do not see it leaking on the ground. I have to add water each time I drive it. What's wrong with my car?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi and thanks for the question – it is a good one. Modern cooling systems work under different pressures and with so many hoses and auxiliary water pumps it can be hard to find a coolant leak. Factor in that some leaks will not occur when the car is sitting they will leak only when the car is under a load while driving, for example, the water pump. The solution here is to get a qualified mechanic like one from YourMechanic. They will pressure test your cooling system with special equipment and locate the source of your leak. Get it taken care of quickly as possible and in the meantime don’t top the system off with just water be sure and keep antifreeze in the system this will prevent corrosion from building up.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If the coolant level is dropping and there is no external leak evident, then the coolant is probably leaking internally, into the engine. If the car has recently overheated then this could have caused the head gasket to fail. If it has, it could be leaking coolant into the combustion chambers.
If you don`t see any obvious signs of leakage, scan the entire engine compartment; the leak could be coming from somewhere else under the hood. If the smell is stronger inside your vehicle than outside of it, the problem could be inside the heater. Heaters utilize a small radiator-like “core” to heat the cabin air.
It could be a leaking hose or a radiator hole. Solution: Check to see if any coolant is leaking from your hoses. If you find coolant flowing out of the hose(s), replace them. It`s a simple fix if you find coolant leaking from your thermostat.
A radiator cap leak could cause you to lose coolant

This is vital to ensuring that the mix of coolant and water designed can move through the system to cool the engine as needed. If the radiator cap is loose or leaking, this reduces the pressure and makes it harder for coolant to keep the engine from overheating.

A few drops of water leaking from underneath your car is most often a normal occurrence. When it`s uncomfortable outside and you have the A/C on full blast to keep you from melting into a puddle on the sidewalk, your cooling system is working harder than normal.
The best way to confirm the source of the leak is to wash the radiator and hoses with water, and then start the engine and look for new signs of coolant.
Coolant Leaks

Oftentimes when the thermostat fails, it remains in its closed position. As the engine overheats, coolant will overflow out of the thermostat housing. This means that coolant leaking out of your engine could be a sign that your thermostat has gone bad.

Generally speaking, the operation of the AC system should not create a coolant leak to occur, as coolant does not flow through the AC unit in any capacity. However, an engine will “work harder” when the AC is on, so smaller leaks may increase in volume when this occurs.
Corrosion within the radiator is one of the leading reasons that coolant leaks. As the tubes get older and weaker, you may get sediment or debris inside that causes a leak. The sealing gasket between the tank and the radiator can also wear out, and that could lead to a leak.
If the water pump fails, it is unable to circulate the coolant around the engine. It causes the engine to overheat as a consequence. If the engine overheats, it will likely cause additional damage, such as blown head gaskets, cracked cylinder heads, damaged rings, and burnt pistons.
That humidity becomes liquid, so it`s natural that water should be expelled as it drains. But any water draining from your car AC should be a drip, not a waterfall! Any more than a saucer-sized patch is a concern.
The fluid dripping from your car is probably brake fluid. When fresh, brake fluid is light yellow in color but gets darker as it ages. If not maintained, it can even look like a dark brown. If you touch it, you`ll notice its oily, slippery feel.
This deteriorated liquid can trigger severe harm to your engine by failing to control the temperature. Therefore, manufacturers suggest replacing the coolant periodically. It is recommended you change coolant after the first 210,000 km (140,000 miles) or 120 months, then every 30,000 km (20,000 miles) or 24 months.
Pressure testing is used to check for leaks in the cooling system and to test the radiator cap.
The smell of coolant and/or a whitish cloud of smoke from the exhaust at startup can be an indicator of coolant in the combustion chambers, which can be confirmed by a chemical test for exhaust hydrocarbons in the coolant.
Water dripping from your car happens when the AC system produces condensation, which starts to drip and form a puddle when you park your car, near the back of the engine housing. If that is not where you find your car leaking, don`t panic.
If your car`s coolant level is dropping, it is almost always due to leaks in the cooling system – the hoses, radiator or radiator cap, for example. Symptoms of this can be a rising temperature gauge, a sweet odour (the smell of antifreeze), problems with your car`s heater or increased fuel consumption.
Standard thermostats: Enlist a friend or family member to assist, Position one person by the thermostat and one person by the furnace. Slowly turn the thermostat from off to heat and increase the temperature. Both the thermostat and furnace should make a sound.
If your car`s coolant level is dropping, it is almost always due to leaks in the cooling system – the hoses, radiator or radiator cap, for example. Symptoms of this can be a rising temperature gauge, a sweet odour (the smell of antifreeze), problems with your car`s heater or increased fuel consumption.
Usually, leaking water is simply condensation from the aircon unit – surprisingly common during summer – or the exhaust, which is more common in winter. Another typical cause is your windscreen washers, but again this is unlikely to be a major issue and you can probably just ignore it.
Typically when the vehicle is using a lot of water it`s because you`re using water instead of coolant. Coolant is designed to heat up, while water will evaporate much quicker when the temperature rises inside your motor. It is recommended to use a ratio of 50 percent coolant to 50 percent distilled water.
Typically when the vehicle is using a lot of water it`s because you`re using water instead of coolant. Coolant is designed to heat up, while water will evaporate much quicker when the temperature rises inside your motor. It is recommended to use a ratio of 50 percent coolant to 50 percent distilled water.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

car is overheating and leaking water and anti freeze
ANSWER : Coolant leaks can occur because of cracked hoses, leaking gaskets, faulty water pumps, or damaged radiators. When the coolant level goes low, the engine will start to overheat due to the low coolant level. I would first recommend giving the cooling system a visual look over. If it is not obvious where the coolant leak is coming from, I would recommed having the cooling system pressure tested in order to determine the leak source. If you would like to have your cooling system pressure testedcoolant is leaking inspection, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can come to your home or office to inspect your cooling system.

Water was spilled in the trunk which soaked the car battery. Car won’t start now. Does water destroy a car battery?
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in about the concern with the BMW 320i. If the battery was submerged in water then it’s completely possible for the battery to short out and die. Your friend will need to have the battery replaced. Also be sure to get all of the water out of the trunk. Have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, help you guys out if you need assistance with replacing the battery. Good luck.

Fuel EVAP line that runs under car is kinked how do I know if it is leaking? Also can I drive it like that if it’s not leaking?
ANSWER : Hi Ricardo. We answered your question earlier. However, if you didn’t receive the reply, here is what we stated earlier. In most cases, an EVAP leak will create an OBD-II trouble code. The best way to detect an EVAP leak is by having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection, they will be able to download the code and determine the source of the leak. That’s the best advice we can offer you. Thanks.

My engine blew out due to my water pump leaking…i didnt have no problems with my car over heating, no steam, running weird,
ANSWER : It is quite likely that when the car was hit, the radiator may have been punctured which would have caused a lot of the coolant to leak out of the vehicle.

If the water pump failed or if it were low on coolant, there would have been overheating indications on in the dash, so you should have had some kind of warning either way that the coolant level was low.

If you’d like to get this fixed, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come diagnose the leak firsthand and help address any other potential issues.

Car losing water, but I don’t see the leak.
ANSWER : Hi and thanks for the question – it is a good one. Modern cooling systems work under different pressures and with so many hoses and auxiliary water pumps it can be hard to find a coolant leak. Factor in that some leaks will not occur when the car is sitting they will leak only when the car is under a load while driving, for example, the water pump. The solution here is to get a qualified mechanic like one from YourMechanic. They will pressure test your cooling system with special equipment and locate the source of your leak. Get it taken care of quickly as possible and in the meantime don’t top the system off with just water be sure and keep antifreeze in the system this will prevent corrosion from building up.

Oil leaking from under car and "remote control car" sound when car is first started for a few minutes until it warm up.
ANSWER : Hello,
There are a number of things that could make an engine noisy when starting up. Depending on the specific type of sound you are referring to, this will determine how to properly diagnose. If there is a bit of a hissing sound, this may be a sign of a vacuum leak. If this is more of a shrieking sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or out of adjustment serpentine belt. If there is a bit of a howling or growling sound, this may be a sign of a worn out or low on fluid power steering pump. A rattling or pinging sound may be caused by an ignition problem. An engine can ping (or knock) due to an improper combustion process. A "spark knock" is the result of combustion occurring too early. Early combustion can occur from carbon buildup inside the combustion chamber, a lean air/fuel mixture, and advanced ignition timing (spark plug firing too soon). A clattering type sound may be a result of improper lubrication in the valve train which could be a more serious problem and should be addressed as soon as possible. I would suggest having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle to ensure everything is in proper working order.

Fuel EVAP line that runs under car is kinked how do I know if it is leaking? Also can I drive it like that if it’s not leaking?
ANSWER : Hi there. In most cases, an EVAP leak will create an OBD-II trouble code, which is the best way to detect an EVAP leak. By having a professional mobile mechanic complete a check engine light inspection, they will be able to download the code and determine the source of the leak. In most cases, it’s an EVAP purge solenoid that is faulty.

I used stop leak to fix a slow leak in my water pump,it worked but the car went into limp mode after it.
ANSWER : Stop leak in the cooling system is likely to cause more problems than it will solve. Modern cooling systems are much more finely drawn and have far smaller passages than older cars, and stop leak will jam things up. I can’t think how it would make your car go into limp home mode however, unless it was a coolant level fault.Of course a code read is in order and that should tell the story. Meanwhile, it’s clear that you need to take care of that water pump problem It may appear to be fixed, but the leak will be back. If you want some help with this, you can Contact Your Mechanic. They can send a technician to your home or office who can read the codes on your Jaguar and tell you what this limp home thing is all about.