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 on 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.