What can this be

i was out snow blowing Fri,so i started my 2004 Buick lesabre v-6 with 49,000 miles. so i let it run for about 25 min.before i moved it to the other side of the driveway. well there was two things— i looked over and saw green spots on the snow-- not a lot but made me wonder. where was it coming from and why green — i was positive it was green. i have dex-cool in my car and that is not green it’s kind of a red --orange-- i looked and could not figure where can the green be coming from–i moved it back to the other side let it run awhile again and nothing leaked??? that was number one —the other thing, i stepped on the gas in park, not a lot but the rev got to 4rpm and i got this sputtering ??? like it was choking out— took it out for a little ride ,but with the snow i really could not get any results. it did run smooth. no codes came up.i have noticed the mileage has gone down some but with the cold i expect it to be down( LIKE3MILES A GAL.) – last summer i did have a new intake gasket put on to stop the smell of coolant. any ideas would be thankful

Start by checking your fluid levels…all of them.

While a 3 mpg drop would not be unusual in cold weather, the aputtering may be due to s simple need for a thorough tuneup with filters. When was the last time you did one?

You could have a weak fuel pump, a vacuum leak, or some other cause of the sputtering, but start with the tuneup. They solve a lot of poor operation problems.

You had the intake manifold gasket changed last summer because coolant was leaking. The repairer may have replaced the orange / red Dexcool with green universal coolant.
Have you looked in the radiator–at the coolant? It could be time to have the coolant system pressure checked for leakage.

thanks i will check with my mechanic with the tune up. i never remember stepping on the gas and feeling that sputtering. of course it’s my wife’s car.— when i use it i just start it and go gently maybe this has been their all along. i still don’t know which fluid would be green?? the only thing that comes close would be the washer fluid- but that’s blue drives me crazy—i will also ck. filters— weather permitting. 20inches and counting – can’t wait for spring.thanks again always like responses.

it is dex-cool, no doubt. been around the bush with all dex-cool problems all here on car talk .there are pros and cons on that big problem.i was little late on the recall!so far so good now this other problem— never ending.

I can’t tell you what the green drops were, but if you rev your engine in park, there’s a rev limiter in the computer that prevents the engine from over reving while in park. It’s normal.


thanks tester, it sounds encouraging— i try to take care of my vehicles the best i can. i will keep an eye on the snow to try to pinpoint where the spots are coming from-- i can’t figure what the heck is green ??? it really bugs me when things like that can’t be found. I’m a worry wort. thanks again

Is your windshield washer fluid the green kind?

i wish it was??? it is blue

Why did you idle your car for 25 minutes then move it only a couple feet away?

so i let it run for about 25 min.before i moved it to the other side … .i have noticed the mileage has gone down some but with the cold i expect it to be down( LIKE3MILES A GAL.)

Well if you tend to leave you car idle for 25 minutes, I can’t understand a 3 mpg drop. I would expect an even bigger drop. Give you car a break. Don’t let it idle like that.

[i]Golf Nut, Don’t Worry . . . Be Happy ![/i]

My Bonneville is essentially the same car with the same engine as your Buick. These are good cars and the 3.8 L V-6 is a great powerplant.

First, check all fluids, including brake and power steering. You will no doubt find them to be full. Since nothing is leaking, where’s the “green” drips coming from ?

I freak out at the beginning of every winter because I get green drips, too. I have for years and years and not just on my GM cars. Our Dodges do it, too and I’m sure other cars would as well.

As you point out the drips are only evident when they land on snow and only in the winter. Has road salt been applied to the roads on which you drive?

Road salt slathered all over the roads in my area gets combined with melted snow and accumulates under our cars. I can’t tell you why, but it drips green on snow. I have tasted it and it’s salt.

The only other strange “leaks” I’ve had were under the exhaust system (drain holes at low points) and have had greenish colored drips from exhast gases and water from combustion.

If your drips are from a non-exhaust part of the car, get a neighbor or your wife to taste them and spit it out, or try it yourself.

Don’t worry . . . be happy. Enjoy that LaSabre. Maybe I’ll see you on the golf course soon! Hit 'em straight and hit 'em long !


Glad to see you’re back! I noticed you hadn’t posted anything since early December. Hope everything is OK.


sorry it took so long for response went to bed early— dead tired from snow blowing and shoveling. i have two cars in my driveway---- i have enough room for 4 cars. what i do is have 2 cars one one side and snow blow the other side—while i do that i start both cars and let the ice melt off and brush them off. then move them to the other side and do the same thing to the other side. i usually don’t let them idle that long but the snow was 20 in deep and it took me longer than usual… i hope winter is getting done soon do you live in a winter place??? by the way it was 20 in. and counting it is now 25in.

thanks for the reply Joe, please read what i told bcar. i promise i won’t do it again

well thanks for all the encouragement, i did find where the green was coming from i stuck the end of a rag in the brake fluid reservoir squeezed some on the snow and that was what i was looking for — that was it one hundred percent. i thought that brake fluid was clear? tried my other car-- did the same test and the same results. now i have to see if maybe the brake line is the problem? will find out real soon! and yes we are salted up here in the snowy north. i try and keep my cars washed whenever there is a break in the weather. can’t wait for spring— i will hit them long and hope there straight—69 years old-- 8 handicap thanks again.

tried what you said --did the same on both of my cars ---- i will sleep well tonight thanks again --you are very informative. i had never revved my engines in a long time, i was just trying to clear anything from the engine from all the long idle—too much snow— i promised Joe meehan i won’t do it again thanks to everyone

Thanks, Joe

Everything is fine. I’ve been too busy and something had to give.


[b]Golf Nut, Eight Handicap Is Great ![/b]

I’ve noticed the fluid in my car is green, also. Was the fluid low ? It normally does go down a little as the brakes wear.

Seriously though, I’d taste test just a tiny bit of drip on my fingertip. Usually if somebody gets right down there and looks, they will see drips clinging to some part of the bottom of the car before they fall.

I really used to freak out about the green drips because some of my cars have green coolant and it would drip from the frame member that the radiator sits on, but it was salt water, not coolant. Testing, time, and attention proved this to be true.

Also, I freaked out the first couple of times I’d stop after driving and steam would come from the grille area. Turns out that driving in “driving snow” (I mean really heavy snowfall) would cover the radiator with just enough snow that it would melt and steam when I’d stop.

Try and take the car in for a brake system inspection if / when it is completely dry underneath (if you see the fluid getting low) so that it’s easier to visually inspect for leaks.

P.S. I’m no 8 handicap, so I’ll brag about my kids. My 22 year-old son got a hole-in-one while 18, in a high school golf tournament and my 15 year-old daughter got an ace when she was twelve (149 yds.). She played (#1 or #2) Varsity Golf as a Freshman last fall. Both kids can beat me handily, but I’m good at paying for the family membership.


you have a great tag—seems to fit you well. where i saw the green drips in the snow it was back door drivers side.got on my hands and knees to check but did not see where it was leaking. i will get it in my garage, jack it up and see. i did check the fluid and for now everything is o.k. from having older cars all my life it is always a habit with me to check the spot I’m leaving from and ck. everything all the time i have had a lot of training.thanks for the comeback----so happy to here you kids success— what a nice dad to pay for the membership.i belong to a public course here in Rochester n.y. only 70dollars a year. plus i get the 7 day pass for the year- unlimited golf-- for $450. last year i got in 184 rounds!!! i love my golf. it’s the only thing i have left.i have had 4 holes in one— i got 2 on the same hole 3 years apart, it is just luck it is not skill. again thanks for answering i feel like i know you!!!