Yellow stain in snow - same colour as brake fluid


Asked by Feb 22, 2013 at 04:26 PM about the Volkswagen Golf

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Today I noticed (for the second time) a yellow stain in the snow from under the car (after digging the car
out after a big snow storm). The last time I noticed it was about a month ago - also after a snowstorm.  I
checked the brake fluid and it is the same colour, but the resevoir is not low so I'm confused... if it's been
leaking for a month, wouldn't the resevoir be low by now? Or does it have something to do with the
snow and/or spinning the tires a bit to get out? any ideas would be helpful

16 Answers

Yellow snow. Only one thing I can think of does that

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Sorry 'bout that I couldn't resist. I did some looking around to see if anybody had the same or similar problem, with a Golf, came up empty. And yeah, if it has been leaking for a month the brake fluid would be low, it does not hold a lot to begin with. I will look some more, it is a bit of a mystery


pretty sure it's not urine... we smelled it and it smelled like petro-chemicals


is it possible that brake fluid would leak only when you drive through heavy snow... something to do with the tires spinning? or snow/ice scraping underneath?

Well yes, that is possible if it's really that deep and the snow/ice pushes on a brake line that ordinarily would not leak unmolested. The likely hood? Hard to say

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Old coolant could appear to be yellow in snow! Trust me, this happened with my old Crown Vic... It looked like urine too! Check your coolant system.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I had the same droppings a month ago. Never did figure it out for sure. Never did see it before in 10 years of ownership. The only thing that might be different is that I lubricated the transmission levers with wheel bearing grease. My coolant hasn't changed and it's full of orange.


collant comes in various colours ,check water level at rad


Gear box fluid is yellowish in color ,is it an automatic transmission?Maybe fluid getting hot,expanding and getting forced out through some seals,spinning will heat up a gearbox pretty quickly.


turns out it was this: http://www.theglobeandm tips/an-explanation-for- the-yellow-snow-under- your-car/article621975/ apparently the garage gets calls about this all the time in the winter, but it's nothing. good to know for next time

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

THERE ARE NO FLUIDS LEAKING FROM YOUR VEHICLE! These bright yellow spots are Zinc Oxide crystals that form in cold temps on the galvanized steel under your vehicle (heat shield, etc). The salt on your car interacts with the galvanized steel and the cold weather and BAM! Zinc Oxide is formed and drips from the undercarriage of your vehicle. You are not "losing fluids", or your mind for that matter...It's completely normal when these conditions are met. Cheers!

15 of 15 people found this helpful.

thrrightstuff is absolutely right!!!!!!!! its a chemical reaction from the road salt hitting the hot muffler.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I am getting the same yellow spots in the snow very sparatic and I cant say what triggers it on my 2013 vw jetta - can anyone tell me exactly what it is before i go to the dealership - is it a warranty thing?? please advise


Go to Search for this title "Yellow Fluid Stains On Snow Under the Car - What Causes This?"



Updated location (Oct 2015)

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Golf in your area?

CarGurus has 3,785 nationwide Golf listings starting at $1,500.


Volkswagen Golf Experts

  • #1
    Jon Kempson
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen GTI
143 Great Deals out of 6,303 listings starting at $1,490
Used Volkswagen Jetta
622 Great Deals out of 35,563 listings starting at $995
Used Volkswagen Golf R
5 Great Deals out of 228 listings starting at $13,992
Used Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
41 Great Deals out of 1,669 listings starting at $12,000
Used Volkswagen Passat
492 Great Deals out of 26,505 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Civic
766 Great Deals out of 60,151 listings starting at $950
Used Mazda MAZDA3
344 Great Deals out of 27,315 listings starting at $899
Used Volkswagen Beetle
218 Great Deals out of 8,881 listings starting at $1,295
Used Volkswagen Rabbit
17 Great Deals out of 469 listings starting at $2,615
Used BMW 3 Series
1,068 Great Deals out of 32,575 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford Focus
750 Great Deals out of 61,363 listings starting at $900
Used Subaru Impreza
205 Great Deals out of 22,399 listings starting at $1,505
Used Honda Accord
1,101 Great Deals out of 71,971 listings starting at $1,100
Used Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
3 Great Deals out of 4,102 listings starting at $18,377
Used Audi A3
128 Great Deals out of 6,081 listings starting at $3,990

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.