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Discussion Starter #1
My Elise seems to have caught a cold, and I can't figure out what's the source of it.

Sometimes, especially when there's a headwind and a lot of air comes up through the radiator, some sort of clear, slightly sticky, slightly slimy fluid gets picked up somewhere and splattered all over my windscreen. It's sort of the consistency of the stuff that comes out of runny noses.

I know it's not brake fluid, that would have eaten the paint and it's not clear. I know it's not radiator fluid because that's sweet and this stuff is extremely bitter - the brake and coolant reservoirs aren't losing anything either. It's not wiper fluid, because it doesn't evaporate and I have to clean it with bug and tar remover.

I found a small pool of the stuff underneath the vent on the driver's side and cleaned it out, but it seems to have returned. My car is garaged at home, garaged at work so it's not tree drippings.

Any ideas? I can usually figure out these things, but this case seems to be some sort of strange automotive stigmata.
 

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It sure sounds like you have a small radiator or hose leak and the stuff getting onto your windshield is coolant/antifreeze. Pull off the front access panels and start checking all the hose clamps and the radiator ends for leaks.

Also be sure to check the coolant level in the expansion tank to make sure you haven't lost too much due to the leak.
 

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Here is another possibility. It could be refrigeration oil that has leaked out of a damaged A/C condenser or from a bad O-ring on one of the A/C hose fittings/lines in the front of the car. Does your A/C still work?
 

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if you have the track pack, it could also be the shock oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know, it hasn't been warm enough for A/C. When I do turn it on, the air is a little bit cooler, but not much. Thanks.

Here is another possibility. It could be refrigeration oil that has leaked out of a damaged A/C condenser or from a bad O-ring on one of the A/C hose fittings/lines in the front of the car. Does your A/C still work?
 

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I agree with Tesprit, most likely refrigerant oil, especially after you have stated that it is not , coolant, hydraulic or washer fluid. The only one not mentioned is engine oil from the oil coolers, but that's certainly not clear in color
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, I think I know what's happening. I have a slow radiator leak that's pooling and drying out, and occasionally, when the airflow is just right, it gets splattered on my window.

It looks like I have to remove the front clam to get to the attachment, so off to the dealer it goes for warranty service.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Finally, the mystery is solved. As I was driving on the highway, my left blinker popped out, and I saw pooled fluid in the gaping (former) blinker hole. There's definitely a radiator leak that the dealer will fix under warranty, it was just extremely slow. The slimy stuff was actually mostly dried out radiator fluid that made a thick goo that slowly worked it's way up.

Now, for the part that blows. I signed up for the track in a couple of weeks, and it's unclear if I can have the car back by then. Sigh. My first track day and I might have to use my 3300 lb, four door sedan instead of my Elise.
 

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...some sort of clear, slightly sticky, slightly slimy fluid gets picked up somewhere and splattered all over my windscreen. It's sort of the consistency of the stuff that comes out of runny noses.

...this stuff is extremely bitter ...
Sounds like semen. Is your Elise actually a boy? Flip it over and look at the naughty bits.
 
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