If you spot a puddle of a liquid that looks like thick lemonade, you’re looking at a coolant leak. Fortunately, modern engine cooling systems are much more reliable and troublefree than they were years ago. Leakage may still occur, however, and you’ll want to have any leak fixed promptly to avoid serious engine damage.
The most common locations for coolant leaks are the hoses that connect the radiator to the engine and to the car heater. Page 26 of this booklet has more details on hose inspection, but remember that rubber hoses eventually wear out. Over the long-term life of your car, hose replacement is common maintenance.
Coolant also can leak from the radiator itself if it is damaged and from the cooling system core plugs in the engine block. Telltale signs of coolant on the outside of the engine, or a puddle on the ground under the engine, may indicate a leaking core plug.