Antifreeze leaked out and car can barely steer for some reason
I have a 2006 Ford Fusion with just under 220k on it. I'm basically driving it into the ground when it's just me driving and not the family. Been using an Accord for that. Ready to replace it with an SUV or minivan in a few months.
CEL came on three days ago and got a P0420, which is catalytic converter. I read that it's not a big deal and I can keep driving, but might lose some efficiency. Actually had a problem with that three years ago when it was rusted out. Mechanic welded it or something for like $200. Running fine since. And of course, since March 2020 I haven't had to commute the ten minutes to the train station so life of car extended past what I was expecting.
Anyway, drove about 20 minutes today to go pickup some kijiji thing on someone's porch. Stopped at the curb, left car idling since it was going to be 30 seconds, but I heard like a clanging sound under the hood and then I thought I saw a little smoke coming up so I turned it off. Picked up the thing then started car again and as I pulled off I noticed the steering was extremely stiff. Pulled over at a school for half hour and checked some fluids like power steering. But it turns out it was from the coolant tank. Hard to tell in the pic but it's pretty much empty.
When the car is not running, there's no leaking. When it's running you can see it dripping out. CAA guy immediately guessed that too. Anyway, he drove the car to my house but didn't back it into my driveway on the flatbed because it was late at night and didn't want to beep, beep, beep. He dropped it on the street and drove it up. As you can see, it left a stain on the street. I'm about to go get kitty litter and drop it on there for an hour then sweep it up and hose it down.
Anyway, I don't understand why leaked out antifreeze would cause steering failure. Also, the two times I started the car after this happened, about ten seconds in, the CHECK CHARGING SYSTEM and battery light would come on and stay on, despite having the car running.
Also, with car running, the exhaust was sputtering somewhat and shaking.
This car ain't worth $500 and unless replacing the coolant tank is like $200 and will somehow fix the steering problem as well, then it looks like this car is done. Plus it is rusty underneath. Other than that, barely any rust. None that anyone would notice unless you closely examined it. And who knows what damage has been done to the radiator. It was noticeably hotter than usual when I lifted the hood.