Today while driving for about 20 minutes I noticed white smoke coming from the drivers side under the hood. I pulled into a parking lot and popped the hood and their is coolant everywhere on the drivers side. Literally it looks like the fluid shot up and hit the underside of the hood. Yes the underside of the hood is wet with coolant. The temp gauge on my dash never went out of the normal range but with fluid everywhere I can't find where it came from. I checked the reservoir tank and it is now empty. Any ideas as to what might have caused this?

  • You mentioned white smoke, was it actually smoke, or was it steam? Steam would be expected with a coolant leak, not smoke.
    – barbecue
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you have a leak in the engine radiator or the coolant piping. You can try filling the coolant fluid to max level, turning on the car and looking under the hood. Try to visually find where the leak is. You might need to warm up the engine to develop sufficient coolant pressure to "open up" the leak. Please wear protective eyewear. Coolant in a normally warm engine is under pressure (it is hot too) and it can jettison into your face. Once you've located the leak, you can then proceed to fix the issue yourself or take the car to a repairshop. Repair difficulty and/or methods will depend on where the leak is.

  • The vehicle has been turned off for a little over 2 hours. once I add coolant and turn it on to find the leak will this do any unnecessary damage to the vehicle? Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:13
  • As long there is coolant in the system you should be fine.
    – Pythzepf
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:15
  • Thank you, leak has been located! It is coming from the connection of the Y shaped house next the engine. Thank you for the warning of possible spray cause it is spraying forward and up, so now I know why there is fluid on the underside of the hood. Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:50

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