2003 Leaking bright green fluid.

Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
New owner of 2003 Tbird, purchased Sept. 2021 with 53,000 miles on the odometer. Wife had a 2002 Form Mustang GT Convertible and wanted another convertible. She was very happy until about 2 weeks ago when I found bright green (almost a fluorescent green) color fluid on the garage floor (see picture). Not sure what it is, manual says to use Orange antifreeze, I do know that antifreeze can change colors over time, but not from orange to green, that would be a stretch. Could this be some kind of dye? I read somewhere that Ford's refrigerant is green color, not sure if that is correct or not. At first, I thought the hose clamp had come lose but after more troubleshooting that does not appear to be the case, since it's not spraying out on the pipe. The leak is coming from between the engine and firewall and appears to be running down along a hose from that area and dripping on the catalytic converter. Since I can't see hose/pipe from top or underneath the car where it runs between the engine and firewall, I'm not sure what this is. Included some pictures, best I could get of the issue. Appreciate any help I can get from the experts on this forum. Thanks, in advance. Mark M.

InkedIMG_7081 copy_LI.jpg IMG_7077 copy.jpg
 
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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
Yes, unless something is up with your camera that Day-Glo bright green looks like dye trace...
You may have inheritied someone's prior problems along with the car.

If the leak is near the firewall on the driver's side it wouldn't hurt to check the plastic overflow tank where you add anti-freeze, they
seem to be notorious for leaking after a time
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
Thanks for the quick response, Frankie. I agree with you, I might have inherited someone else's problem. No problem with my camera, that's what it looks line. I can't find any leaks on that side of the car in or around the degas tank. This is coming from the passenger's side between the firewall and the engine. What I need is a borescope so I can see back in there. Just looked at it again and it looks like it's coming from where the hose is crimped onto the pipe that goes across to the degas tank, still not positive though. I did purchase an extended warranty from the dealer where we got the car, so I might end up taking it to my mechanic to find the problem. I'm still open for suggestions. Thanks again for the quick response.
Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone!
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
Hey @Johnvins, that's what I thought also, the Ford owner's manual says to use Premium Gold Engine Coolant (yellow-colored) and that's looks to be the color of what is in the degas tank. Unless someone flushed and refilled with green antifreeze at some point. Still a mystery to me. I'll post my findings when it gets resolved. Thanks!
 
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Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hey @Johnvins, that's what I thought also, the Ford owner's manual says to use Premium Gold Engine Coolant (yellow-colored) and that's looks to be the color of what is in the degas tank. Unless someone flushed and refilled with green antifreeze at some point. Still a mystery to me. I'll post my findings when it gets resolved. Thanks!

You can look in the reservoir bottle and see if it's the gold coolant or the green coolant.. I had a PT Cruiser that was in a front-end accident before we bought it used. The it should have been Chrysler's gold coolant not the green. That really does look florescent green almost like dye.
 
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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
These cameras work well in tight places and work with your smartphone I use them for a ton of things:

Zerex G-05 coolant is miscible (yeah that's a real word) with neary any other anti-freeze in modern cars; its golden in color and I've used on everything from my 2002 Thunderbird to my 1963 Corvette...
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
Thanks everyone! Looking up refrigerant color on the internet is confusing. Some hits say manufacturers will add a dye to the oil that shows up under a UV light and other hits state the manufactures add dye to the oil that is bright yellow or green, and better scene under a black light. So, it could be A/C refrigerant. Warranty covers the A/C system parts. Got an appointment in the morning at my local mechanic's shop.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thanks everyone! Looking up refrigerant color on the internet is confusing. Some hits say manufacturers will add a dye to the oil that shows up under a UV light and other hits state the manufactures add dye to the oil that is bright yellow or green, and better scene under a black light. So, it could be A/C refrigerant. Warranty covers the A/C system parts. Got an appointment in the morning at my local mechanic's shop.
Make sure you report back with findings. FYI I've seen that exact green color in my Jeep's AC. It's found it leak seal and it's that color without the light.
 
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Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
I live about 13 miles from the repair shop, checked the coolant degas tank and it was full when I left. Suspecting it might be A/C refrigerant, I also pulled the #1 fuse for the A/C clutch before leaving, so as not to cause further damage. No overheat issue during the trip and degas tank still full when I arrived at the repair shop. So, it's not a coolant problem, most likely a refrigerant issue. Mechanic used an endoscope and was able to see behind the engine, he said it looked like there was a pin hole in the refrigerant line to the expansion valve at the firewall. Left before he was finished, and I still haven't heard back from the shop. Well update when I hear from the shop.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
2003 Tbird, extended warranty will not cover the repair, they only cover major components, so $480.00 out of my pocket, less than what I expected. :) Repair shop found everything needed except one part. The tubing is on back order, and it will be at least two weeks until the part is available. I was afraid there might be a problem with parts, but a least they have a handle on it. Shops been parking the car inside at night, I'm going to pick it up, bring it home, and keep it in my garage until they get the part. Will follow up with result, whenever that is. Happy New Year!
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Repair shop found everything needed except one part. The tubing is on back order, and it will be at least two weeks until the part is available
You never did say what was wrong. What parts are they replacing? What was wrong? I guess this means it was dye you saw from the refrigerant. Whoever had the car before probably used AC/Leak and an attempt to plug pinholes. Sometimes this will work for one summer.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2004
I had the same problem with a 2003 Explorer that I brought new and maintained myself for 17 years. I think Ford was using refrigerant with the green dye at the factory.
 
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