Seeing puddles or damp spots under your vehicle is very disconcerting for a new driver or when you are buying a used (but new to you) Jeep!
A lot of the time it’s just your Jeep leaking water underneath it…
But I get it, the first time you see a puddle under your Jeep you feel a spike of dread!
Well, I’m here to tell you that more often than not, it really isn’t something to worry yourself over. All types of vehicles have this happen to them, most of the time there isn’t anything major happening!
I’m going to share why it happens, how to tell if it’s water or something else, and what to do about it!
Why a Little Water May Not be Serious
Unlike seeing your Jeep leaking oil, which really is a cause for concern, finding water under your Jeep isn’t that serious of an issue.
Different functions of a vehicle build up condensation that leaks under your vehicle, along with water being splashed underneath or poured out of a water bottle.
Nothing in your vehicle functions off of water – Remember that!
What Causes Leaking Water Underneath Your Jeep?
When your Jeep is running, the extra heat created is pushed out and through the tailpipe. This heat causes condensation inside the exhaust system that will then turn into water droplets coming out of the tailpipe.
This water normally drips out of the tailpipe once the car is done running and the water has a chance to condense. Check below your tailpipe next time before you drive anywhere to check for condensation.
It Could Be The Air Conditioning
In Jeep’s that have A/C (I know a lot of the older beauties do not!) It is very common to see water dripping underneath it when and after it has been running.
While the Air Conditioner uses coolant to keep your engine cool and blesses you with cold air in the summer, its cooling mechanisms cause condensation build-up.
To be more specific, the evaporator core (a key part of the a/c unit) leaks the condensation build-up under the passenger side of the vehicle when the air conditioner is being used.
Even if your Jeep Wrangler a/c isn’t working, the same condensation build-up happens when the heater is turned on.
Damage Caused By Off-Roading
Jeeps get beat up when you take them off-road which can lead to potential issues going forward.
While the exhaust can create condensation on its own, if it gets damaged closer to the engine the heat expelled from a damaged pipe is much hotter than what it is at the tailpipe.
This will create much larger puddles than what you are used to seeing and might cause you to panic!
How to Repair it?
To fix this problem, take it into a mechanic shop and get them to replace the pipe that was damaged, hopefully, it was a section that didn’t have any sensors on it!
If it’s just a smooth section of your exhaust system, you may be able to just reweld the pipe, or simply cut it out and replace it with a new one.
Faulty Washer System
A faulty windshield washer system is fairly commonplace in colder climates.
When the temperature under the hood goes below your washer fluid’s rated temperature it will freeze and can cause the plastic reservoir or even the lines to crack.
When everything warms up and thaws out that liquid will then leak!
How to Repair it?
Test the system to see where it is leaking from and then replace the components that are leaking.
This is a job that anyone that is slightly mechanically inclined can do for themselves!
How To Determine Whether It’s Actually Water…
We have determined a few reasons why it is most likely water that is leaking under your vehicle. There is still a chance that you might be looking at a steering box leak, so we need to be sure it is water.
Water is odorless and clear so it is pretty safe to assume that if there is any coloring or a smell to the liquid that it likely isn’t water.
If you still aren’t sure, take a rag or paper towel to the puddle and check the color and smell up close.
Coolant comes in several colors with the most common being a bluish-green color. Other colors include orange, blue, purple, pink, and yellow. It also has a sweet smell to it!
Oil will be shiny and either be of amber coloring (fresh oil) or a dark brown color.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Take Your Jeep to a Mechanic?
If you find water dripping under your Jeep by the tailpipe or under the passenger side (where the A/C evaporator is) then there isn’t anything to worry about.
If you find a leak elsewhere, especially one that isn’t clear (like a red transmission fluid leak) then I recommend having a mechanic look at it and diagnose the problem!
How to Stop Water Leaking Underneath Jeep?
Water leaking underneath your Jeep is commonplace and isn’t a big deal. No matter what, condensation will build up in the exhaust after you drive it and unless you are okay with being a puddle all summer you will end up using your A/C.
It is never a bad thing to be diligent about your Jeep, but so long as those are the only two water spots you will be okay.
IF you really don’t want water to leak off your Jeep you will need to drive without the A/C running. This is the only tip I can give to stop water from leaking!
In general, finding water spots under your Jeep can be very disconcerting but it isn’t something you need to worry about! Water condensation builds up and drips from the exhaust and A/C systems all the time.
If the puddles under your Jeep are colored and have a smell, that is when there is reason to be concerned!
Need Help Fixing Your Jeep?
If you are looking for expert advice on diagnosing and fixing your Jeep issues, be sure to check out my other guides!