Rad fluid under my car

Took the car for roughly an 8 hour drive yesterday. Ran good. Weather outside is below freezing. This morning my car had a pool of rad fluid under it. Is this normal after the drive? Or am I looking at a rad problem. ?

My car has 26000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
A leak of engine coolant would never be considered normal. If you are seeing coolant under your vehicle, you have a coolant leak. The best way to determine where the leak is coming from is to pressure test the cooling system. Once this has been done and the leak source has been located, the gasket or part that is leaking will need to be replaced in order resolve this issue. Consider YourMechaic as your radiator and many other cooling system parts can be replaced at your home or office.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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

A green puddle of coolant under your car is usually the first sign of a radiator leak. In most cases, this leak is small enough that you can add coolant until a replacement radiator can be obtained. Modern radiators typically have aluminum cores (the finned part) and plastic side tanks.
The most common reasons a Ford Focus has a coolant leak are loose hose connections, a broken radiator, or a failed water pump.
It may be a broken hose and/or a hole in the radiator. Solution: Check your hoses to see if any coolant is coming out. Replace the hose(s) if you notice coolant coming out of them. If you notice coolant leaking out of your thermostat that can be an easy fix.
While driving with a coolant leak doesn`t pose an immediate threat to your well-being, we highly recommend that you avoid doing so. Driving a car that is leaking coolant can cause serious damage to your engine. Your engine can overheat, costing you big time.
The average cost for a Ford Focus Coolant Reservoir Replacement is between $107 and $120. Labor costs are estimated between $45 and $57 while parts are priced between $61 and $63.
The most common cause of corrosion in your radiator system is sludge, a black, mud-like substance which, if untreated, will build up over time. From the inside of your radiators, it will cause rusting which end up eating tiny holes in the radiator resulting in leaks.
Depending on the reason that your radiator`s leaking, you may be fine driving around for a week or two and just refilling the radiator tank with coolant as needed. But if your radiator leak is serious, topping off the coolant a couple of times a week might not cut it—unless you`re prepared to drop big bucks on 50/50.
Driving with a radiator leak is a dangerous operation, as it will very likely cause your engine to overheat. If you are driving down the road and notice your engine is overheating, pull over immediately and let the vehicle cool down.
The average cost to fix a leaking radiator is $340, with a range between $125 and $600. Your total cost will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of repair needed, the type of radiator you have and the materials required.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

I put the wrong key in my car and a few weeks later my car just shut down and it will not start I believe it’s the computer but…
ANSWER : Hi there. What had happened is the wrong key set the security to the vehicle. This is to prevent the vehicle from starting with the wrong keys. Try removing the battery cables (+) and (-) for 13 minutes. During that time, put the original key in the ignition and turn it on. Activate everything in the car even though there is no power. Then remove the key and hook up the battery cables. The computer should have reset and reset the security. If the security is still being tripped, then I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you

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I pressed my gas and my car didnt accelerate. There is transmission fluid in my car and my car cranks great and runs great…
ANSWER : This kind of reaction is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. This type of problem is amplified any time the transmission is low on fluid creating a drop in hydraulic pressure. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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Replaced alternator on car 2 times each time shows it’s charging 14v let car run for a little bit then test drive and car voltage
ANSWER : There are reports that the replacement alternators will not communicate with the engine computer and will not charge correctly. I recommend using only the manufacturer approved replacement part. It can be new or remanufactured but approved for use in the vehicle. Some lower cost alternators on the aftermarket will have charging problems since they will not communicate with the ECM on the vehicle and will stop charging.

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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.

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Should I buy this car for $1700
ANSWER : Prior to buying any car, drive the car around and listen for any noises. Then do an inspection on the vehicle to make sure that it is safe to drive. All cars will need maintenance, but if the car was kept up, then the maintenance should be to a minimum.

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My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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Battery and oil light come on when trying to start car, take keys out try again car starts no problem and lights go away
ANSWER : Of course, don’t switch gears without being fully stopped, unless your Owner’s Manual or the manufacturer has alternative advice. However, the gear shift issue has no relation to the no-start problem you are describing. Inasmuch as you only have 6,000 miles on the car, the "constant on and off" that you believe has occurred is meaningless in comparison to the expected total vehicle service life. That is, assume what you perceive as "constant on and off", during merely 6,000 miles, might be equivalent to using the car "normally" for three years. A new car should be trouble free for at least 5 years, unless there is a defect, so your "constant on and off" is not a causal factor for any fault on the vehicle. What you might have is a defect in the ignition switch, or perhaps the immobilizer system, but if the problem is not in the switch itself, clearly there is an electrical problem.

If your vehicle is under warranty, by law the dealer MUST repair the issue you are describing within a prescribed time frame and number of "attempts", otherwise the dealer will run afoul of Federal and state Lemon Laws that give you very specific rights, and recourse (contact an Attorney; we are Mechanics, NOT attorneys). Consequently, if the vehicle is still under warranty, to save yourself money do be sure to seek a resolution from the dealer. If the vehicle is not under warranty, obviously a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic could identify the electrical fault and resolve this for you. If you want to go that route, please simply request a no start diagnostic -electrical system and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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Power steering loss, no belts are turning but the car is running fine. I also have a soft pedal. Whats wrong with my car?
ANSWER : I have only seen this situation once in my 30+ years and it turned out to be a broken crankshaft pulley. Belts are driven by the engine. The crankshaft pulley spins the belts, which in turn spin the air conditioner compressor, power steering and water pumps, and the alternator. The vehicle should be towed to your local repair shop and not driven. Without the water pump spinning to circulate the coolant, the engine will quickly overheat and result in more extensive damage.

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