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Q: my car is smoking and leaking green fluid

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my 03 murano is leaking green fluids right by the passenger front tire and i can see a leak but it has also begun smoking. it happened at the gas station while i was filling my tire and out of no where. a man walking by saw and said it could be my water pump then when we looked it was barley turning at all but then began turning all over again. i am just a college kid on my way to school and am wondering if you might have a better idea.

My car has 119000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there: The issue you’re describing (esp...

Hi there:

The issue you’re describing (especially the green fluid and the location of the drip) does indicate a problem exists with your cooling system. If it’s leaking by the front passenger tire, I would assume that it’s coming from the coolant overflow reservoir as opposed to the water pump.

Since you’re on your way to college, there are two things to be aware of while you’re driving. First, keep an eye on that temperature gauge. If it’s running in the red (or hotter than recommended as indicated in your owner manual), then you’ve got an overheating situation which could lead to serious engine problems.

Second, anytime you stop for fuel, pop the hood of your vehicle and check your coolant overflow tank. If it’s dry, go into the store and buy some radiator fluid (it should be a 50/50 mixture). Add fluid into the overflow tank until you reach the FULL line (which is marked on the outside).

If the water pump is what you’re describing as not turning, and then it does turn, this might indicate a problem with the serpentine belt or pulley - which powers the water pump. In any case, as long as you make it to school OK, when you get there, contact one of our local ASE certified mechanics so they can help you diagnose the leak and fix your problem.

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