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PT Cruiser leak

I’ve got a 2006 pt Cruiser with about 36000 miles. Manual 5 speed, 4 cyl. Its been whirring/whining some from the front end. The sound is independent of engine RPM and seems to get faster with increased spead. Checking out what could be the cause I noticed a fluid leak about a foot and a half under the car behind the driver side wheel. It looks like maybe the transaxle? Any idea if this is the case…if so is it probably a seal or indication of something more problematic?

There are several things it could be so the only thing you can do is get it up in the air and look. The thing is that many fair sized leaks will end up showing evidence in the location you described since whenever you drive anything leaking will tend to migrate backwards. So seeing evidence of a leak there doesn’t mean that the leak is there.

Its often hard to tell when everything is dirty (which it probably is), but reddish would likely be transmission fluid. Brownish would likely be engine oil. Power steering fluid could be different colors, but your GM recommendation probably comes as something roughly clear. Some cars are supposed to get trans fluid in the steering so it could be red also. Your coolant is probably Dex-Cool which is orange - but the coolant/water mix will be so thin you won’t likely see the color unless it is a puddle.

PT Cruiser is Chrysler, not GM

Absolutely right - my bad. The OP wrote “PT Cruiser” - I had an HHR in my head. I should stop doing this while I’m distracted by work (or vice versa).

Thanks for your help. I was thinking the humming from the front may have something to do with the leak…but logically you’re right…it could be anything leaking. The liquid is dark so I’m assuming engine oil. So perhaps they’re two different problems. The leak isn’t as bad as I first thought. I put a pan under the leak last night and had much less than a teaspoon of fluid this morning. I guess a little liquid makes a big spot on a driveway. I’m getting it looked at on Monday.
Thanks again.

Please realize that there’s a good possibility that it leaks at a higher rate while the car is moving. In fact, it may not leak at all while sitting and what you collected could just be what was sitting around on the parts that it leaked on to.

I agree with Tardis. Most of the fluids in your car including tranny fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and even fuel, are pressurized when your engine is running and not when it’s parked and cool. A leak to any of these could easily be small enough to be only significant when the engine is on and leave a trace when the engine is first turned off as it depressurizes. Your brake fluid is only pressurized when you press the pedal.

Whatever the fluid is, it’s imperative that you (1) check all your fluid levels, and (2) get this checked out. Some leaks, like minor oil leaks, are minor and you can live with them if you monitor your fluid level. Some leaks, like tranny fluid leaks and coolant leaks, can result in very expensive major repairs if left unaddressed. Some, like brake fluid leaks and fuel leaks, can kill you. You need to find out which yours is.

Get this checked out ASAP. Best case, you’ll find out it’s nothing important. It might even be condensation from your AC. Likely case, you’ll find you need some repair work. Worst case, it’ll save your life.

Thank you both very much for your advice. I’ve got it scheduled to be checked out tomorrow. I’m almost positive it’s oil after closer inspection, and have been monitoring my level…also been checking my other fluid levels just in case.

Thanks again.

…no one is reading that its a five speed so it doesn’t have transmission fluid, it has hydraulic fluid. Which is brake fluid that is also clear. If you think it is oil pull your dipstick and hold them side by side and that should tell you if it is. Good luck