: Northstar Brainteaser

02-22-06, 01:57 PM
Figure this one out if you can. :)

When pulling under the carport the night before last, I noticed two small drops of "red fluid" about an inch apart from each other. This is the first drops of anything this DTS has ever leaked. (32,000 miles)

So I placed a large flat metal pan 30" x 36" under the car last night to see if I can pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Placing a pencil from the drops upwards..... the leak is coming from a place it can't physically come from. The front of the DTS is covered with a plastic panel under the front of the engine/radiator area. To drop to the metal pan it had to go through this black plastic. No way!

The fluid is reddish in color. I don't think it's the orange Dexcool. It is not oily enough to be transmission fluid. It has no smell. It can only be best described as raspberry koolaid. I have had a lot of cars n my life, and a few leaks. But this one has me totally stumped since the liquid is so thin and has to travel through plastic to drop to the concrete floor.

02-22-06, 02:07 PM
Is the plastic wet with the fluid? (either above or the bottom)

Have you tried tasting it? :p

I'm guessing it's your coolant, since somebody else had a red fluid that turned out to be coolant, once.

02-22-06, 04:47 PM
Sounds strange, but put a little on your finger, and taste it. Coolant has a sweet taste to it. I am guessing it is trans fluid. You may have a leaking fitting at the radiator. That is where I would look first.


02-22-06, 06:09 PM
Dexcool is that color and will have a bitter taste to it not sweet like older green fluid (keeps the pets and kids out of it). I bet your water pump is leaking. Mine went at about 40,000 miles and had the same symptoms you are describing.

02-22-06, 06:44 PM
I give one of two things other than water pump. Greasy feel and taste that kills all sensation in your mouth for a few minutes would be trans fluid, possibly from broken trans cooler fitting or corroded line. Coolant from water pump or thermostat housing junction is the other one. Dexcool is still mildly sweet.

02-22-06, 07:20 PM
The dexcool I poured in was bitter.... go figure. It wasn't the fluid from GM though.....

02-22-06, 07:58 PM
Lets all get together for a game of "What's that fluid?" one of these days... ;) :alchi: I think it's... well... yep, definately 5W30.

Ding ding ding! Winner!

02-22-06, 08:10 PM
All good guesses. Except maybe the 5W-30. If it was oil I would think the fluid would have a slight tannish brown color to it. And smell like oil?

It's due for a coolant/tablet change anyway, so I will let the dealership nose around and see if they can determine where it's coming from.

I have not removed the plastic to see if the top of it is wet or not. But the few holes that do exist in the plastic undercarriage piece don't seem to be allowing the fluid to drop. The plastic piece looks next to useless down there anyway. But I guess it serves some type of purpose.

02-23-06, 01:26 PM
i really think he was kidding about the 5w-30 comment being whats leakin in your Deville lol

02-23-06, 03:07 PM
Yeah, I was thinking we all get together to take shots of "mystery fluid" to identify it..


"No fair guys, that was kerosine! that stings!"

02-23-06, 03:34 PM
I had the car into the dealer at noon, so it could cool off while they were at lunch until 1:00 p.m. New Dexcool and tablets were installed. $72.69 total, fair price I think. Sure, I could have gotten my fingernails dirty and done it for $25.00 myself. But mechanics have to eat too ya know!

The mechanic searched the rest of the undercarriage area and could not find any leaks whatsoever. He said he had a hard time finding any seepage of any kind on the bottom, sides or front of the engine, coolers or radiator. So all is well. As it should be at 32,000 miles of course

So the dripping thin raspberry koolaid looking fluid spots are even moreso of a mystery now!

Last night, nothing dripped at all. Guess the car knew I was getting ready to take her into the shop the next morning. :)

Aaron J Williams
02-23-06, 04:18 PM
Dead bird blood?

02-23-06, 05:10 PM
Don't want to taste that.

Gross. :vomit:

02-23-06, 05:41 PM
Dead bird blood?

Believe it or not, that's actually a pretty good description of what the liquid looked like the two nights it dripped.

When I got home this afternoon I left the DTS parked out on the city street. I am leaving here in a few minutes, will see if anything dripped while parked out front.

02-23-06, 05:47 PM
Sorta off topic, but still worth a mention.

I filled up with gas last night before parking the DTS. My preferred dealer is 30 miles away, down good two lane roads with speed limits of 45 and 55 mph.

My average miles per gallon was 27.2 when I got back to my house this afternoon. This is absolutely amazing on a car so big and heavy!

02-23-06, 07:14 PM
Do you ever floor that thing?

02-23-06, 08:29 PM
Do you ever floor that thing?

Based on what the experts say, yes.

But short runs don't affect the miles per gallon much in the grand scheme of things. :thumbsup:

02-24-06, 06:23 AM
Does antifreeze taste good? Last time I got some on my tongue it made me ill. But then again it was a mouth full.:alchi: :histeric:

STS 310
02-24-06, 12:02 PM
You know, the ground is a funny place. Seems due to gravity most every thing finds it way to the ground eventually.

Chances are the drops arent even related to your vehicle cept for the fact that you ran over something.

02-24-06, 02:17 PM
Steering fluid also can be redish, kind of the koolaid color you describe. Not usually quite like that though. Try exposing the drops to water, if it turns white and breaks down (steering oil is hygroscopic) then it's either steering or brake fluid. Brake fluid's never red in my experience though, it's usually clear until it gets old then discolors. Brake fluid can be flushed every coupld years with very little effort.

02-24-06, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the continuing responses.... but after I got home from the shop Thursday afternoon, nothing dropped on the pavement out in front of my house at all. I then drove the car again last night and parked it under the carport. Nothing dropped at all last night as well.

So.... fast forward to this morning. I discovered what it was and where it came from. On a hunch I walked out to the garage and checked under another car I have which was now in one of the garages. It had been under the carport for a few days last weekend. It was indeed transmission fluid and was coming from the transmission cooler on front of the Police Interceptor shown below. A mechanic stopped by today on his lunch break, took it the shop, and put in a new O-ring. While "test driving" it and checking for leaks he simply brought it back to me and picked up his car. :)

Weird though, it just didn't feel like transmission fluid to me. :thepan:


02-25-06, 11:29 AM
[QUOTE=SHERIFF]Weird though, it just didn't feel like transmission fluid to me. :thepan:
You should have tasted it.:alchi:


02-25-06, 12:48 PM
Trans fluid will make you want to vomit. It kills all taste for a few minutes and feels like your mouth is numb and full of oil, even if it's a tiny drop (for me it was accidental, I didn't even want to taste it!)