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enter image description hereI have an 06 Impala LT that looks like it's leaking coolant near the front passenger door. I noticed it this morning when I saw a wet spot on my driveway. I didn't see any oil/transmission leaks but I am not 100% sure that it is coolant (looks light pink). It looks like the small bleeder valve on the bottom left of the radiator is leaking.

This is the puddle I saw in the front passenger side

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This is where it's leaking underneath

  • By bottom left you mean bottom right? Passenger side, right? Are the transmission cooler lines running in or out on the same side? You're using Dexcool antifreeze, the brownish kind, right? Have you checked the coolant level? – Mustangguy809 May 14 '17 at 18:51
  • I mean bottom left as in if you're standing in front of the car it will be on your left side. Transmission fluid was good and leaks found. Coolant level is a little below the line but again the leaks is not that major. It looks to me like the bleeder valve (circle one underneath) is right below the radiator. Ahhh I just found the name of that black piece. It's called the petlock vakve – Noah May 14 '17 at 19:03
  • It's not that I don't agree that it appears to be leaking there, but it's also a deposit point from what could be a small leak from a higher source. Unless you know for sure that's where the leak is. You said leaks found with transmission fluid but I'm assuming you meant no leaks found? It does look more like coolant. Could you answer all of my questions from above in order for me to give a thorough response? Is the coolant brownish/orange instead of green? Are the oil cooler lines connected on that side? – Mustangguy809 May 14 '17 at 19:24
  • Transmission lines run through the right side, not left. Also, transmission fluid is turning brown (will be replacing soon) and the leak is light orange/pinkish (which is same color as the coolant I'm using) I'm guessing either the petlock valve or the neck of the radiator has a crack. – Noah May 14 '17 at 19:42
  • In the question you state the leak is near the front passenger door. This is right where the A/C drain hole is in the HVAC system in most vehicles. With spring being here, if you're using the A/C in the vehicle, this puddle will start to be an everyday occurrence. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 14 '17 at 20:16
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The first thing you will need to do is confirm where the source of the leak is. You could rent a pressure tester that forces pressure into the system or just let the car run until it's warmed up enough to be fully pressurized and closely inspect where it's leaking, but you'll want to wipe the entire area down thoroughly first. Using a pressure tester will keep everything cool in case you need to get your hands down in there to help identify the leak. Letting the car run will give you pressure to help in trying to identify the leak, but obviously everything will become pretty hot around the area. Again, wipe everything down thoroughly before either method. Once pressurized, start from high up and carefully check for steam, sputtering, bubbling or other signs of leaks and work down to the petcock valve area. Be sure to check any hoses above this deposit point to make sure that's not the source of the leak. If you can't get a definitive answer with the radiator in, you may need to drain it, remove it, and carefully inspect for cracks/damage after pulling the entire unit out. If you're still unsure, you can bring the radiator to a place that offers a pressure test on the unit while out of the vehicle. Now, if the leak is coming from the petcock valve seal or retaining clip, you can check to see if there's a kit available to replace the assembly, price it, price a new radiator and do a cost-benefit analysis. Also check the condition of the radiator to see if it should be replaced anyway and take that into consideration. There's no guarantee that replacing the petcock assembly will be successful for you and, if not, you've paid for the kit and then may need to purchase a new radiator anyway. If it is successful, you may find that you've saved money. That's just a decision you're going to have to make yourself. If the source of the leak is on a flat surface of the radiator somewhere, some have had success using an appropriate J.B. Weld compound (depending on what type of surface you're dealing with), but I personally would recommend full replacement instead. Finally, if the leak is not on a flat, accessible surface then full replacement is needed. Here's a link that may help with petcock assembly replacement: https://m.carsdirect.com/car-repair/how-to-fix-a-leaking-radiator-drain-petcock

I'll be honest though, there may be coolant leaking out of the actual drain, but the presence of fluid around that seal suggests it's coming from actual damage somewhere. It's just a matter of finding out where. If it were only leaking out of the drain then I'd suggest making sure the valve is completely tightened (without over tightening) and if that didn't work, I'd be more confident in replacement of the petcock valve assembly. But based on the pictures, it looks like it's leaking from somewhere else, not the drain (or at least not only the drain). Hope that helps. Good luck.

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