I just noticed about a week ago, (Feb. 14,2011) that my car was leaking a clear, oily fluid. It appears to be coming from the right side (passenger side),just before the front tire. I had the oil changed and a new A/C filter (I received a message on my message center that read "replace A/C filter soon" or something like that)right before Christmas. It may have been leaking since then, but just noticed the leak on the driveway recently. also, a week or so ago (i don't drive this car often) i noticed a puff of white smoke when i started it. i had just driven about 20 miles, i had stopped to eat lunch, and the smoke happened when i restarted the car to leave the restaurant.
clear oily leak on 2001 Lincoln LS
by mamanan in Greenwood, SC on February 23, 2011
ANSWER by DaveJM , February 23, 2011
Clear, oily fluid - hard to really say what that really is. Are you certain it's oil - water condensation will come out of the evaporator drain at the right front - not sure where the leak is compared to where the drain is. Water coming out would be normal; brake fluid (kind of clear) would not! Of course, a brake fluid leak would probably show other symptoms braking as well. A good physical inspection is in order to see where the leak is originating from. The puff of smoke - this could be related to some mild piston ring wear. Also hard to say, but I would probably not spend a ton of time on that puff of smoke at this time. I do not think it is related to the leak.