Question Hi! I have a 2008 Chrysler Pacifica. The last few days, ocasionally, there will be steam coming from the front left side of the engine. No check engine lights have come on, the coolant in the resivor is fine (we don't have a radiator cap to check the radiator itself... which is freaking me out) and the car is not overheating. It is not a large amount of steam either, it's like boiling a pot of water. As far as my husband can tell everything is fine. He thinks it is just because it is cold and wet here and once the car heats up the water is evaporating. Is that possible?
Answer Hi Devony,
The water pump is at the front of the engine and may be leaking slightly enough to have coolant come in contact with the exhaust manifold and where it then turns to steam. If that were the case then the steam would have the odor of anti-freeze as the clue to that possibility. There might be a leak at a hose clamp at the thermostat housing also at the front/top which would cause the same sort of slight leak with the associated odor. So smell the steam (let some of it condense on your hand and then smell your hand). If it has no odor then it probably is local precipitation. But keep your eye on the radiator overflow bottle and check it when it is cold to verify that it is still between the low and high marks.
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