Subaru leaking yellowish Fluid



Hello~ I have a 2007 Subaru Forester with 60,000 miles on it. I had an oil change a week ago and I noticed yesterday that it is leaking yellowish/brown fluid… there was a stain on my driveway after I had driven the car in the city for 1/2 an hour. The car sat for about 4 hours and the stain was about 12 ". I haven’t been out to check fluid levels yet. Could it be leaking oil due to improper oil filter replacement? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


It is hard to tell from your description. If it is oily, I would certainly inspect the oil filter installation and oil drain plug, to see if there is leakage. Did you have an oil change done recently?


Yes, from the description, you are likely leaking oil. The first priority is to check the dip stick to see if you are now low on oil, and to replenish it if it is low, prior to driving it.

A leak could be from an improperly tightened (or double-gasketed) oil filter or from the drain plug, and either one needs to be corrected before you wind up losing too much oil.


I had an oil change last week.


If the oil drain plug is the culprit, make sure that they don’t just try to over-tighten the plug; a proper Subaru oil change requires installation of a new crush washer ($1.13 at my Subaru dealer) on the plug. Not all places do that, and some may leak, although I never had a re-used crush washer leak. The oil change place should check and then tell you what they had to do to fix the issue. Depending on what happened, you may want to re-think where you get your oil changes. These guys may not do any leak checking when they get done.


First verify that its oil by going back to oil change place. Otherwise immediately go to dealer as you are at or only slightly over powertrain warranty(60k miles) if its more serious which Subaru will likely cover the repair.


Good point! I just hope that the OP had the required 60k maintenance items taken care of already, otherwise that warranty could be toast.


Thanks for all of your advice! I checked the oil level and it was at the full mark… took it back to jiffy lube and they said there was residue oil left on the filter that was not cleaned off properly. They sprayed it down and said everything should be fine. I just got home now and will check my driveway again in a little while to see if that did the trick. Does this sound plausible?


As they used to say in the old Western movies, “You’re new around here, aren’t you mister” (or, in this case, ma’am). Those who frequent this forum are used to many horror stories of ruined engines, transmissions, differentials, and brake hydraulic systems caused by the incompetence of the poorly trained teenagers at Jiffy Lube.

Their explanation is not really plausible IMHO. For a 12" oil spot to form on the ground, there would have to be much more oil dripping than could possibly be left on the outside of the oil filter. If there was that much oil on the outside of the filter, it would have been too greasy for anyone to get enough of a grip to tighten it. And, if we assume for the moment that this explanation is correct, do you really want people that sloppy working on your car?

PLEASE–If you value your car, DO NOT continue to patronize Jiffy Lube! As one of the veterans of this board says, “Don’t go to a Quick Lube place–even for directions!”


I’m with VDC on this one. It would be vi9rtually impossible to have enough residue oil left on the filter to create a 12" diameter puddle on the ground.

Top off your oil level and have this rechecked at a reputable independent garage. My guess is that they put the new filter on with the old filter’s gasket still in place.

Do this ASAP. it’s worth the extra charge of another oil and filter change (they’ll have to do that to correct it) to get the problem corrected and possibly save the engine.


And, when you take it to an independent garage and you explain why you are there, don’t be surprised when they sigh and say something like, Another screw-up from Jiffy Lube?”

Seriously, if you value the money that you invested in your car, you will do everything reasonable to preserve the life of that car. One of the best moves that you can make is to AVOID ever going to Jiffy Lube again. In most cases, they are not really cheaper than an independent mechanic or many dealerships, and they commit an incredible number of screw-ups that are “fatal” to vehicle engines/transmissions/differentials/hydraulic systems. Also, they use inferior quality oil filters.

The only possible advantage to Jiffy Lube is that they clean your windows and vacuum your carpets–the only two tasks that they are really capable of doing without damaging your car. I clean my own windows and vacuum my own carpets after I get an oil change from my dealership for $29.95 (including a high quality oil filter), and at least I have a decent assurance that they will not destroy the engine or other components.