Mystery leak on a 2003 Impala


#1

I have a 2003 Impala LS with 3.8 engine. This past Friday my local dealership installed a new Rack And Pinion and sway bar bolts. Prior to this work I had no noticeable leak (fluid in the ground). Now since that work, in my driveway I have fluid in the ground and it is located right around the the driver side tire. I have checked all fluid groups and none are low.

With the replacement of the rack I thought maybe it might be PSF, but after cooling down I checked my power steering fluid and it was full, maybe even a tad overfull. Could this maybe just fluid that leaked out when they replaced the rack and is just dropping off the frame?


#2

That’s a good possibility. If it stops showing up on the driveway after a few days, that’ll be the confirmation of your theory. Put some white paper on the ground under that area where you park maybe so you can monitor it more carefully. If it doesn’t seem to be improving, take it back and ask them to take a look.


#3

It does not take much to make a stain, first guess brake fluid.


#4

So far break fluid is full, but plan on monitoring all fluids this week.


#5

@brm7675

I suggest you actually crawl underneath the vehicle to see what is/was leaking

Don’t want to assume everything is okay, when maybe it’s not

if you’re not comfortable doing that, take it back to dealership and say “After you installed the new rack, I’ve been noticing spots on my driveway. Could you please put my car on the rack and make sure everything is okay?”

Perhaps they forgot to tighten something . . . ?

You just spent a lot of money there. They should check it out. Shouldn’t take them more than a few minutes. If they messed up, hopefully they’ll admit to it and make things right. If it’s something else, hopefully they’ll be able to tell you what is leaking


#6

A Chrysler dealership sent me on my way with a loose brake hose connection after a transmission replacement. I noticed it after half an hour of driving when the pedal kept sinking at red lights. Nice dribble of brake fluid all over the inside of my wheel and on the ground. From where you’re saying the fluid is on your car, I’d say stop driving it until you know what’s leaking.


#7

Unfortunately I can’t get it back to the dealership until Sat as I work during the week, but plan on monitoring it closely.


#8

Not driving it isn’t an option, I will be monitoring all my fluids all week until I can get it back on Saturday. Looking underneath I can’t tell where the drop is coming from.


#9

Brake fluid is easy…washes off your fingers with water. PS fluid (like any oil) won’t.


#10

At this point I am just tired of dealing with car issues. I got lucky and it only cost me $100 to have the R/P replaced as my extended warrenty covered the remaining $700, but now this “leak” issue has me all stressed out especially since every item checked from brake, to trans to PSF are all full. Will try and slip a bowl under the car tonight to catch the droppage to see what it might be, have an appointment with dealership for Saturday morning…
Funny thing is that when the R/P was leaking never saw a drop of anything on the ground, and as soon as I get it replaced boom…fluid on the ground.


#11

Don’t park it on a concrete pad and keep checking fluids daily. Checking often should keep your fluids from running dangerously low until Saturday. I’d check brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and engine oil. They were probably sloppy when loading the PS fluid, but you never know.


#12

Well given where the idiots of GM put the PS fluid holder it’s no easy to get to let alone fill with fluid. I will never understand how car makers can be so stupid when designing cars and putting things in places that is near impossible to get to.


#13

The first rule of design is to make it easy to assemble. The next is to make it tolerable for the dealer to fill. They may have an overhead hose attached to a reservoir. They feed the end of the hose into the PS reservoir and start pumping. You and I can’t afford this setup, but the dealer might use it a few times a day.


#14

I wouldn’t be too worried until this weekend, assuming all fluids are full, you should be ok.


#15

Actually I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to add PS fluid. Actually I can, it was on my Riviera with 530K on it. I always carried a funnel with a long tube for our old Acura for trans fluid. Never used it but it was in the trunk anyway. On our new one though, you’d need the funnel to even add oil and you really have to look for coolant tank. Just gotta check this stuff out ahead of time and be ready for it.