Car Doctor Q&A: The Case of the Incontenent Impala

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AAA Car Doctor John Paul gets a question from the owner of a 2015 Chevrolet Impala that keeps whizzing in the driveway. The solution? Depends. Get it? DEPENDS?!

I purchased my Impala new in May and I have noticed a steady stream of dripping water coming from the left rear of the vehicle. When I returned to the dealer, the service advisor told me this is normal for the Impala as well as most cars. I was skeptical and forgot about it, but now it seems to be dripping enough to notice a puddle on the ground. Have you ever heard of anything like this?

More than likely, what you are seeing is condensation from the exhaust system. When a gallon of gasoline burns, it creates nearly a gallon of water. In some cars, the water turns into vapor, and with other cars, the water drips. This depends more on how the vehicles are driven, length of trips, engine temperature, and doesn’t indicate any problems. As a point of history in the days of old when there were dirigibles flying there was a system that collected condensation to supplement the weight loss of the fuel being used to power the engines. This collection allowed the dirigibles to fly at the same altitude without using additional power.

John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England. A certified mechanic, Paul tests dozens of new cars each year and also hosts a radio show on AM 950 and 550.