PT Cruiser - smoke or steam coming from under the hood



I am borrowing a friends car and noticed that when I stop driving and turn the car off there is either smoke or steam coming from under the hood. The person who owns the car thought it could be the coolant so that was refilled yesterday. But less than 24 hours later it still seems to have this smoke/steam coming from under the hood shortly after it is parked and turned out (and after having driven it for a while). Any ideas what it could be? Thanks.


is the coolant level down, or changing in the overflow tank?

have you popped the hood and looked when it is steaming?

some easy causes may be: a failing radiator cap, a loose/ failing hose (or hose clamp) or a hole in the radiator.

but until you LOOK under the hood, and give more info none one of us will know.

BTW. what year, and how much mileage?


Could possibly be oil/coolant dripping onto the exhaust manifold, where it’s burned up and smokes. You need to look under the hood and tell us where it’s coming from.


A simple sniff test will give you the answer. If there is a sweet or syrupy odor, you have a leak in the coolant system. If a burning smell, suspect an oil leak dripping onto the hot exhaust. Also check underneath the car for drips or puddles, and apply the same sniff test.


Someone better raise the hood, figure it out, and repair it before a possible minor leak becomes a requirement for a new engine.
Exactly what is the temperature gauge doing during all of this?