I have a 98 nissan skyline and its leaking water. 80% sure it is cause no particular smell and it doesnt have any texture but water and its not dark coloured or any colour really, maybe a tinge of yellow. Coolant level is fine but radiator has no water in it, I put water in it earlier, ran the car and after 20 minutes I couldnt see the water anymore. The leak is on the drivers side near the rear of the engine but couldnt see where it was leaking from. I dont know much about cars but I dont wanna ef it up by driving. I dont even know if I can drive without it ruining anything. Please help

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! You said your coolant level is fine, but then said the radiator has no water in it. That's contradictory. Are you sure the overflow is what doesn't have coolant in it? Also, depending on where you live, if the AC is running, it could be putting off condensed water from the AC core. Could you give us a better idea of what's going on? Jan 10 '21 at 3:33
  • do not drive the car until this leak is repaired,if the coolant level in your radiator drops too low you will damage the engine. Jan 10 '21 at 5:52
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    So the coolant water level says it's near the max level, that's what I meant coolant is fine but the radiator has no water and after having a closer look the water is leaking from almost the bottom of the engine, drivers side. I dont really use AC either. The leaking liquid is clear like water.
    – Jane
    Jan 11 '21 at 9:44

From your description, you have a coolant leak. One of the quickest way to ruin an engine is to have insufficient coolant. If your radiator had no coolant (water), running it could do damage. The leak could be coming from any number of places, as it can travel a good distance from the source by the time it hits the ground. Someone needs to have eyes on it to find the source. Many times a pressure tester is used for this. You need a mechanic or a someone knowledgeable on auto repair to find and fix the leak and fill it with the proper coolant. Straight water does not work.

  • Well, straight water does work if only temporarily -- it will start boiling once the car gets hot enough, though.
    – lericson
    Jan 10 '21 at 14:50

this is my first contribution, so I hope it's helpful.

Something is amiss with the diagnosis of what's leaking and or the type of fluid. Even worse, I'm worried that you may have done more harm than good.

If it is truly coolant, it will likely be a green or orange color. It has a very distinct smell especially if it's burning / boiling. Whatever is in the coolant reservoir (a small tank that holds the extra coolant) should not be water. As someone mentioned, water will eventually boil and your engine will overheat.

The coolant system is a pressurized (when hot) loop that really shouldn't have anything added or removed anywhere besides the reservoir. If you have poured water in the radiator, the water could possibly boil as the engine warms. If there isn't an air pocket in the lines from opening them, the water turning to steam could potentially make one. This is bad as it may result in the engine running hot or potentially overheating. So whether or not it is determined to be leaking coolant, I would suggest a full flush at this point.

My diagnosis would start with the vehicle's history and usage in reference to when you noticed the issue. Was the car sitting for a long time or did you drive it the day before? Do you know the last time the coolant was flushed? If the car has been sitting a long time, it could be darn near anything. If the car was recently driven, it could be windshield washer fluid, or maybe even a little bit of water that was caught in a frame pocket or piece of trim.

From the description of the liquid alone, I think it may be windshield washer fluid.

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