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Old 01-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy antifreeze dripping from exhaust??

Took my 99 Sahara out to wash it today after driving in a snowstorm Monday.

When I put it back into the garage I noticed greenish/yellow drips in the snow where I had washed it.

When I crawled under the Jeep, I could see drops of yellowish water hanging from the place I spliced the exhaust and the "drain" hole in the exhaust where moisture is supposed to drip out of. I wiped it off and started it again and only clear water came out like I'd expect.

I think I might have noticed drips in the snow last winter but it looked more yellow than green so I suspected our '07 or '05 Fords that have the yellow antifreeze.

Never noticed anything but clear water dripping on the garage floor out of the exhaust over the Summer. And my antifreeze levels seem fine.

Could it burn some antifreeze just when it's cold? Anyone else have this problem or know what's going on?

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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It probably needs a new head gasket.

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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I have seen exhaust condensation with a little yellowish color in the past. Does it smell like coolant (sweet)? Are you running green coolant? How is your coolant level? Based on what you described it is probably not an issue but it wouldn't hurt to monitor your coolant level for the next week or so. Better yet if you have a radiator pressure checker that would be the best thing to do. Cold ambient air temperature (winter) isn't going to have much of an effect in itself however varying engine temp can cause a crack or failed head gasket to leak more sometimes than others.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Had a similar problem before. I'm pretty sure it's just colored condensation coming from a little hole in your muffler. Pretty sure it's just that tiny drain hole doing its job. I'll prolly get slapped on the wrist for this but If I suspect coolant I'll dab my finger in it and taste it on the tip of my tongue then spit it out. I'd say your issue is just condensation though
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #5
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Condensation will always be clear. I suspect you have a blown head gasket.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Condensation was clear when I started it and watched it AFTER finding spots in the snow. Total run time BEFORE washing it was about 2 minutes. Then I just started it and ran it back into the garage (1 minute). Next time I started it, condensation was clear.

Never actually saw green/yellow dripping, just saw it on the ground and droplets hanging in various spots of the exhaust.

Would it run bad if it had a blown head gasket?

Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow and start it up and watch.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JeepinDave View Post
Had a similar problem before. I'm pretty sure it's just colored condensation coming from a little hole in your muffler. Pretty sure it's just that tiny drain hole doing its job. I'll prolly get slapped on the wrist for this but If I suspect coolant I'll dab my finger in it and taste it on the tip of my tongue then spit it out. I'd say your issue is just condensation though
I do that too..
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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I am going to toss an wrench at ya.....true story.

Took my stang to a wash....came home....open hood....orange fluid everywhere under the hood. Even got into the plug holes and F-ed things up. BUT.....my coolant was GREEN.

Know what it was, degreaser from the under spray at the car wash.

To be more sure, do this.....measure the pH of the clear condensation. It should be low....probably below 7.

Then, measure the pH of your coolant. Should be higher.

When you get drips that are colored, check the pH.

You can use spa strips. If it is coolant, it should manifest itself with pH.

You can also use an invisible dye in the radiator. Under UV light it will glow and you will see it in the exhaust. BUT....unless you know what you are doing, don't mess with that one.

If you suspect a leak, time to do a draw-down and leak test. You need to fix this before the motor is trashed.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BlackJeepoftheFamily View Post
Condensation was clear when I started it and watched it AFTER finding spots in the snow. Total run time BEFORE washing it was about 2 minutes. Then I just started it and ran it back into the garage (1 minute). Next time I started it, condensation was clear.

Never actually saw green/yellow dripping, just saw it on the ground and droplets hanging in various spots of the exhaust.

Would it run bad if it had a blown head gasket?
The engine could still run fine, it would just go through coolant more quickly. Any coolant dripping from the condensation drip hole in the muffler would not give me any doubt as to it being caused by a blown head gasket.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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Subscribed, I have the same issue. I'm not losing coolant and the theory seems to be I had years of grime built up when I hit it with the hose. Condensation comes out clear now.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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Just to be clear, if coolant is in the exhaust.....bad....if there is colored fluid in the exhaust that is not coolant, probably not bad.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Had a similar problem before. I'm pretty sure it's just colored condensation coming from a little hole in your muffler. Pretty sure it's just that tiny drain hole doing its job. I'll prolly get slapped on the wrist for this but If I suspect coolant I'll dab my finger in it and taste it on the tip of my tongue then spit it out. I'd say your issue is just condensation though
Me too. New antifreeze doesn't taste as good as the old stuff did.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:22 PM   #13
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If you are loosing coolant then you have a problem. Brownish/yellowish water could be nothing more than rust and condensation.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BlackJeepoftheFamily View Post

Could it burn some antifreeze just when it's cold? Anyone else have this problem or know what's going on?
Only way that could happen is to have Water (antifreeze) in the oil. Blown headgasket most likely.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:29 AM   #15
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Antifreeze has a very noticable smell, Just keep an eye on the fluid level and unless it drops rapidly don't worry about it. It is very normall for water to be in the exhaust after exiting the engine and going through the cat converter.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:12 AM   #16
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Hmmm, greenish yellow in the snow. Make sure the family dog didn't do something in the spot where you park your Jeep.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #17
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I had the same problem once, ran fine but after awhile as the coolant leaves , air goes in, and begins to mess with the operation of the thermostat.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #18
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** New thought** I first saw the greenish/yellow drips when I started spraying the underside. Never actually saw them coming out of the drain hole...only clear condensate later. Coolant level is perfect.

I live in Minnesota...they use a liquid de-icer on the roads. They also add green or blue stuff to the salt mix to help it work better. Mix it with snow/slush and my tires throw it all over the bottom of the Jeep. Then when I sprayed the underside, it started washing off and dripping from the lowest points. Seriously I had these drips all the way back behind my muffler on my tailpipe where there are no holes. Doesn't really smell.

Checked the coolant this morning and it was perfect. Need to wash my car and see if it drips greenish/yellow also...that is if MN weather permits.

Last thought...condensate is just distilled water right? Wouldn't have a color. If I were leaking/burning antifreeze would I really get greenish water dripping out? I'd think it would just smoke white. It would have to be a pretty bad leak to lose enough antifreeze to drip out of the exhaust and my level is fine and the Jeep runs fine.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BlackJeepoftheFamily View Post
** New thought** I first saw the greenish/yellow drips when I started spraying the underside. Never actually saw them coming out of the drain hole...only clear condensate later. Coolant level is perfect.

I live in Minnesota...they use a liquid de-icer on the roads. They also add green or blue stuff to the salt mix to help it work better. Mix it with snow/slush and my tires throw it all over the bottom of the Jeep. Then when I sprayed the underside, it started washing off and dripping from the lowest points. Seriously I had these drips all the way back behind my muffler on my tailpipe where there are no holes. Doesn't really smell.

Checked the coolant this morning and it was perfect. Need to wash my car and see if it drips greenish/yellow also...that is if MN weather permits.

Last thought...condensate is just distilled water right? Wouldn't have a color. If I were leaking/burning antifreeze would I really get greenish water dripping out? I'd think it would just smoke white. It would have to be a pretty bad leak to lose enough antifreeze to drip out of the exhaust and my level is fine and the Jeep runs fine.
If it's burning antifreeze, you can usually smell it in the exhaust.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #20
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Finally got to run the Jeep again. Ran it in the garage...nice clean/dry floor and clean/dry underbody of the Jeep.

Ran it with a white shop towel under the drain hole. Condensation was completely clear...ahh. Sniffed the exhaust...no antifreeze smell. Ran the Jeep up to normal temp of 208/209. Held it at 1500 and then 2000 rpm's and let it drop back to idle. Idles at steady at 750, needle moves but not even off the line. Smoother than my '07 car.

So do you think I'm okay? Just something I rinsed off? Sorry to bother you guys but I was just freaking out because my first throught was also blown head gasket. Stupid MN winters and de-icers...gotta move somewhere warm!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #21
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That's definitely a good sign. Nevertheless, I'd still keep an eye on your coolant level and make sure your Jeep isn't overheating. I tend not to rule things out on my Jeep until I give it enough time for something to go wrong. In fact, I replaced the headgasket in mine a few months ago and still check the coolant level and smell the exhaust.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #22
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Yeah, I'm the same way. Anytime I have a problem and fix it, I'm cautious for a long time afterwards. Even more cautious if I have to take it to someone else to fix. Just not a trusting person I guess.

Thanks for all the info though.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #23
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Yeah, I'm the same way. Anytime I have a problem and fix it, I'm cautious for a long time afterwards. Even more cautious if I have to take it to someone else to fix. Just not a trusting person I guess.

Thanks for all the info though.
im not either and would like to prevent the problem before it happens!
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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Oxidation

I noticed a bright neon yellow/green coloring in the snow under my '04 Explorer--thought the dog had gotten into some B vitamins. A bit of internet research reveals this:

"95 per cent of the exhaust systems built today are made up of iron alloy and galvanized steel. Exhaust pipes are made of either iron or stainless steel. Heat shields are made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel uses zinc as a rust inhibitor.

Zinc, when hot and in the presence of iron and a catalyst, creates yellow zinc oxide in the form of crystals. The connection is the catalyst – salt water – or compacted snow with road salt mixed in. If the snow is able to touch the exhaust heat shields and the exhaust pipes at the same time, the chemical reaction between the two dissimilar metals creates the bright yellow crystals."


My electrochemistry is a bit rusty, but it sounds plausible and the colored snow placement was not under the engine.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:46 PM   #25
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I noticed a bright neon yellow/green coloring in the snow under my '04 Explorer--thought the dog had gotten into some B vitamins. A bit of internet research reveals this:

"95 per cent of the exhaust systems built today are made up of iron alloy and galvanized steel. Exhaust pipes are made of either iron or stainless steel. Heat shields are made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel uses zinc as a rust inhibitor.

Zinc, when hot and in the presence of iron and a catalyst, creates yellow zinc oxide in the form of crystals. The connection is the catalyst – salt water – or compacted snow with road salt mixed in. If the snow is able to touch the exhaust heat shields and the exhaust pipes at the same time, the chemical reaction between the two dissimilar metals creates the bright yellow crystals."


My electrochemistry is a bit rusty, but it sounds plausible and the colored snow placement was not under the engine.

I know this is an old thread, but I've noticed similar yellow drips under our Jeep... coming from the exhaust piping under the passenger compartment. This explanation sounds very plausible to me, in that my coolant is the pink kind, and there is nothing else to leak in that area. We use tons of road salt here and it's been quite a snowy winter, so it seems to me to be the chemical reaction of the dissimilar metals and the road salt.

Thanks.

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