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First off, I just want to apologize for my lack of automotive technical expertise, but I'm a proud Camry owner trapped in a land of Ford and Chevy owners and very few folks to bounce questions off of. I've got a 97 Camry V6 with 189,500 miles. Thing rolls like it will never die; last major repair was a blown water pump about three years ago. Other than that, just routine maintenance (oil, belts, tires, etc.). Last week, I started noticing that the car's leaking something. It's been leaving small pools on my garage floor on the driver's side under the front of the car. Seems too watery to be oil, but it's too "dirty" to be pure condensation or whatnot (it's not red or green or yellow... just looks, literally, like dirty water). Only other symptom is a "whirring" sound under the hood when the car idles which changes pitch whenever I turn the wheel (as I'm backing out of the garage, etc.) My owner's manual was swiped a couple years back when someone broke into the car, but I'm trying to track one down online. In the meantime, just wanted to throw it out there in case anyone had any thoughts as to what it might be. Again, sorry for the lack of technical savvy, and thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

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2020 Camry SE
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Driver's side, dirty watery looking....sounds like transmission fluid that REALLY needs to be changed. Check around the transmission pan and plug, see if you see the same fluid. Also, check the fluid level on the dipstick.
 

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Ninja wrench anywhere
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Well, the "whirring" sound correlated with wheel turning sounds like maybe the power steering fluid might be getting low, and the seals on the power steering are known to be a bit iffy at high mileage. See if the fluid matches what's in the PS fluid reservoir (on the passenger side, a bit closer to the firewall than the coolant reservoir). I use tranny fluid in mine (red), but the original fluid, and many "power steering" fluids are clear, and if the fluid is getting old & burned it'll turn a mite brownish (and smell burned, too).

Another fluid that possibly would fit the bill would be brake fluid (reservoir on driver's side up against the firewall).

A distant third would be coolant...if the fluid doesn't match either of the first two, then check it against what's in the radiator. You'd hope your coolant was colored, but I've seen folks running straight water <shudder>.

The tranny can drip in that area, too. Should be pink or red, but if it's been neglected long enough it tends to be pretty brown. Compare against what's on the tranny dipstick.
 
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