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All you car guys out there... tell me why my cars leaking oil!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by glockguy, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Soo I bought a puddle jumper ('89 Toyota Camry) a couple weekends back... The guy i bought it from fried the clutch so I put a new one in and it drives and runs great... the only thing is it leaks oil... every time i drive it and leave it parked it will leak about a 1/8 cup to about 1/4 while it sits... but when i check my oil level its still in the safe area on my dip stick:confused:, I know its oil cause the tranny fluid is red and this stuff looks and smells like oil...

    The guy i bought it from ( a coworker) said He doesn't remember it leaking oil...
    So could in the process of putting in the clutch is there something that if the tranny was not put back on correctly cause the engine to leak oil? My brother inlaw put the clutch in for me, and hes in the process of moving so he doesn't have time to look at it right now...

    I also bought this car for 150 and the clutch was 119 so for $269 i got a running car that is a good work commuter car.... So the oil leak really isnt that big of a deal i guess... id just like some input.... and the car has 196k miles on it... perhaps its just cause its old?
     
  2. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    There's something wrong. "It's just old" isnt a reason. Motors dont just become porous after a certain mileage.
    First step is to find out where the oil is coming from, and the only way you're going to do that is to get underneath and look.

    It could be as simple as a gasket, or your motor could be toast.
    Either way, you should get it fixed. It sounds like your oil leak is fairly decent. Do you really want to be THAT guy who leaves an oil slick wherever he goes?
    Not to mention the lack of oil pressure and such could lead to a breakdown, being stranded, a $300 tow bill, and repair or disposal fee's.
     
  3. VW_Factor

    VW_Factor Woodburn Oregon Active Member

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    Motors leak oil when a seal or gasket goes bad or deteriorates.

    Edit : >.>

    :D

    j/k

    I dunno. Need more info or pics of it.
     
  4. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I hate the fact that it leaks oil... Iv stolen a piece of cardboard from work and just put it under it whenever i park it at work or home lol... but its leaking on the bottom somewhere... there's no oil visible from the top of the motor... i did jack it up and i couldnt locate the leak there is just oil on the support bar that goes from one side of the frame to the other... i thought about pressure washing the oil off and driving it around then climbing under it and waiting for it to drip,,
     
  5. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    How did the motor get supported while the trans. was pulled to replace the clutch? Sounds as if the pan is leaking possably from being jacked on while supporting the motor. Possable that the seal at the trans end of the motor was broken loose, doesnt take much.
     
  6. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    the pan isnt leaking (im assuming you mean the one with the drain plug in it??) its dry and clean...
     
  7. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    toyotas are known for the leaky valve cover gaskets. They usually leak at the rear of the motor and run down the back.
     
  8. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    On second thought why is the trans fluid red, Is it synthetic? Most sticks have gear oil and if it does it could be from the seal where the half shaft goes into the trans. which can be torn when replacing the shaft due to the splines.
     
  9. mattt

    mattt Salem Or Member

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    If the leak started right after the clutch was replaced then it sounds like the rear main seal. Old, dried out seals can easily start leaking when disturbed. Pop off the inspection cover and check for oil inside the bell housing. In the future, your best bet is to replace the rear main seal when replacing the clutch.
     
  10. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    and where abouts is this inspection cover? Im not a car guy im quite dumb when it comes to cars:(
     
  11. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    Try to clean the area, then inspect. Red color is interesting, does it match any other fluids?

    Inspection is better than guessing. There can be many causes.
     
  12. mattt

    mattt Salem Or Member

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    Underside of the rear of the engine where it meets the tranny. Usually a thin piece of sheet metal. As for the tranny oil, some cars run gear lube, some ATF, and some use motor oil. Just make sure its diagnosed correctly before you spend the time or money ripping parts out.
     
  13. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    ok... I called around and asked what kinda fluid to put in as well as looked on the net.. that tranny takes DEXRON III tranny fluid... odd I know but a few stores and places confirmed it lol.. but the fluid thats leaking is motor oil...
     
  14. mattt

    mattt Salem Or Member

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    When finding the cause of a leak, clean the area and start at the highest point, oil always runs down.
     
  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Auto trans fluid is red. Some synthetics are as well. The oil I drain out of my manual goes in golden, comes out smelling like regular oil does.
     
  16. Colt Carbine

    Colt Carbine Oregon Gears-N-Guns

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    Have you checked the fluid in the transmission yet? Maybe the previous owner put gear oil in it rather than tranny fluid. Just a thought since you mentioned the oil level in the engine is not changing.

    As others have mentioned, you need to clean the engine to help find the leak. If you lived closer I wouldn't mind looking at it for you.
     
  17. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    yes the tranny fluid is full... as well as all the other fluids, power steering, breaks, and clutch... and the tranny fluid is red...
     
  18. littlecars

    littlecars tacoma wa Member

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    First off. ATF in a manual transmission is very very common!

    Second, you say 1/8 to 1/4 cup!!! that is a lot of oil!!! pour 1/4 cup of water on the floor and see how far it spreads out. I bet you are over estimating the amount of oil leaking.

    Pressure wash the under side of the motor and tranny. then start watching to see where the leak is starting from. rear main seal and valve cover are very common to leak. the rear main seal is the seal that is on the back of the motor where the crank goes threw the block. to fix this, take the tranny back out, remove the pressure plate and flywheel. you will see it. If it is the rear main seal you should see inside the bellhousing and leaking out the bottom of the inspection plate. If this is the case, I would just keep carrying the cardboard.

    The valve cover is more likely the problem. this will drip down the motor and spread out all over. easy to fix.

    I would buy a hayes manual and dig in. you will learn a lot.
     
  19. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    perhaps you are correct about the amount... lol... ima try to see what i can do this weekend
     
  20. Colt Carbine

    Colt Carbine Oregon Gears-N-Guns

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    Have you checked the oil filter for leaking? Just throwing that out there, you never know.

    If you are unable to locate the oil leak after cleaning the engine, then you might want to add some florescent dye and check it with an ultraviolet light.