Mechanic Explains What That Yellow Snow Under Your Car Is

DULUTH, Minn. — We all know the rule about yellow snow: don’t go near it. But should you worry about it when it’s coming from underneath your car?

Some drivers who dug out their cars from the snow this week and then drove out may have spotted the yellow-green stained snow in their parking spots.

The owner of 4th Street Auto Repair in Duluth, Gary Lofald, said that after big snow storms the shop gets a few calls from drivers worried that their cars are leaking fluids like antifreeze.

It turns out, it’s usually gas from the exhaust pipe that is creating condensation because of all the snow underneath it as your car is heating up.

“As the exhaust, the gas comes from your engine through your catalytic converter down through this resonator, it’s called, and through the exhaust pipe, and it goes down to the muffler, it comes out as a moisture, harmless liquid it actually is, comes out of these drains and that color is that lime green color you’ll see in the snow there,” Lofald explained. “And that’s where the phone calls come from is that particular color. Again, totally harmless condensation that comes out of your exhaust system.”

He added that drivers should make sure their car has enough antifreeze for the winter.

Antifreeze works to keep your engine cool in the hot weather, and warm in the cold weather.

It also helps prevent engine corrosion.

“It should be good about 35 to 40 below, at least 32 degrees below, so the proper coolant is real important that you have in your vehicle,” Lofald said.  “All makes, models, have different types of coolants. Be careful if you’re adding to it yourself. Make sure that you get the proper coolant for it.”

If you do need your car worked on this winter, you’ll want to call a mechanic as soon as you can.

4th Street Auto Repair says they are booked until December 26th.


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