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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 10-03-2010, 03:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Toyota Camry 1998 : Oil Leak

Car has 180K miles on it. Noticed that my oil level is low when I am checking with the dip stick.
Probably there is an oil leak.
When I get unde the car without the car on the ramps I noticed some black slimy liquid when I wipe it off (The leak is under the right front passenger side of the engine, about a foot inside the right wheel)
Any idea where the leak might be...have had the Tbelt and water pump replaced , and also have gotten a new valve cover gasket.
What could be the effect of driving the car with a low oil level, should I por some oil to bring up the level?
Kindly help...
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well definitly add more oil by sounds of it maybe an oil pan leak ik there is a dif in the years between mine nd urs but i know I have a small oil leak from my oil pan due to bad seal but not bad enough where it drops like crazy
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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maybe your oil pump seal could b leaking...right from under your timing belt cover...
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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or that to was just thinking of tht lol
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You could sludge up or seize your motor is you if drive too long with low oil level. Always top off your oil as needed. Check it daily so you can calculate the loss rate and adjust accordingly.

A good timing belt 'kit' usually includes "crankshaft camshaft oil pump o-rings/seals", timing belt idler, tensioner spring, tensioner, water pump.... Sounds to me that you missed some of the things that usually get replaced with the T-belt.

If you're lucky, the valve cover gasket might not be seated properly and leaking oil down the side of the engine.

If you're not lucky, go back in and complete the job replacing the rest of the seals/gasket that were overlooked. If you did replaced them and they leak, they weren't installed correctly or are defective. If oil gets on the 'new' timing belt, you might have to replace it again.

Use a thicker oil and/or a high mileage oil to slow down the leakage.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Double check that the valve cover isn't leaking on the back side (firewall) of the engine. The spark plug tube grommets could have taken a set and loose compression. I'd glad Toyota fixed this stupid design later with the 2.4L.

Did the mechanic replaced oil seals (crank, cam, and oil pump seals) during the timing job. They should be replaced as a part of a complete timing belt job.


Quote:
Originally Posted by coolguy004 View Post
Car has 180K miles on it. Noticed that my oil level is low when I am checking with the dip stick.
Probably there is an oil leak.
When I get unde the car without the car on the ramps I noticed some black slimy liquid when I wipe it off (The leak is under the right front passenger side of the engine, about a foot inside the right wheel)
Any idea where the leak might be...have had the Tbelt and water pump replaced , and also have gotten a new valve cover gasket.
What could be the effect of driving the car with a low oil level, should I por some oil to bring up the level?
Kindly help...
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Before you start guessing, go to a car wash and power wash your engine top, sides and bottom. Then after a day or so re-examine the engine. You should then be able to see exactly wher the oil leak originates as opposed to where it is dripping to.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joede View Post
Before you start guessing, go to a car wash and power wash your engine top, sides and bottom. Then after a day or so re-examine the engine. You should then be able to see exactly wher the oil leak originates as opposed to where it is dripping to.
Is this a subtle way of suggesting that he part ways with this car?
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No these cars last forever if maintained properly. Keep the car if all that is needed is regular maintenance items.

This is a 1998 car. It is at least 12 years old. As an owner of a 1999 Toyota Camry with 180k miles, I can attest that over time some oil leaks begin to crop up. Over time, I have replaced all the seals that are exposed when changing the time belt. I have replaced the valve cover gasket, the oil filler cap rubber seal, and the oil pan gasket. No leaks at all now and the car runs fine.

However, what I have learned over time is that when an oil leak springs up, it usually starts leaking slowly, then the oil migrates to a different place other than its source due to gravity. This makes it very difficult to locate leak source UNLESS the engine is cleaned first.

Even if one wants to put an ultraviolet liquid into the oil to help isolate the source of the leak, even with the ultraviolet leak detection liquid in the oil, leaks ( especially multiple leaks) are hard to spot unless the outside of the engine is clean. In that case (clean engine), spotting the source of leak(s) is easy with an ultraviolet leak detecting liquid in the crankcase oil.

Repairing the usual 12 year leaks yourself in an old Toyota is fairly inexpensive and easy. If that's all that's wrong, repair the leaks and keep the car.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joede View Post
No these cars last forever if maintained properly. Keep the car if all that is needed is regular maintenance items.

This is a 1998 car. It is at least 12 years old. As an owner of a 1999 Toyota Camry with 180k miles, I can attest that over time some oil leaks begin to crop up. Over time, I have replaced all the seals that are exposed when changing the time belt. I have replaced the valve cover gasket, the oil filler cap rubber seal, and the oil pan gasket. No leaks at all now and the car runs fine.

However, what I have learned over time is that when an oil leak springs up, it usually starts leaking slowly, then the oil migrates to a different place other than its source due to gravity. This makes it very difficult to locate leak source UNLESS the engine is cleaned first.

Even if one wants to put an ultraviolet liquid into the oil to help isolate the source of the leak, even with the ultraviolet leak detection liquid in the oil, leaks ( especially multiple leaks) are hard to spot unless the outside of the engine is clean. In that case (clean engine), spotting the source of leak(s) is easy with an ultraviolet leak detecting liquid in the crankcase oil.

Repairing the usual 12 year leaks yourself in an old Toyota is fairly inexpensive and easy. If that's all that's wrong, repair the leaks and keep the car.


I see your point. Still it sounded like coolguy was prepping this car to get ready to sell it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"I see your point. Still it sounded like coolguy was prepping this car to get ready to sell it."

Actually i did have secomd thoughts ..to sell this car...but since i got a very good deal on the tbelt,valve cover gasket, spark plugs,wire harness and the water pump...I repaired it and hopefully it lasts longer, I love my camry and dont wanna part with it.
BTW I topped my oil level today and have seen that in the morning large bursts of gray smoke dissipates and that may be also a cause of loss of oil.
However if the problem is too small then it can be ignored as i will monitor the oil level at regular intervals.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolguy004 View Post
"I see your point. Still it sounded like coolguy was prepping this car to get ready to sell it."

Actually i did have secomd thoughts ..to sell this car...but since i got a very good deal on the tbelt,valve cover gasket, spark plugs,wire harness and the water pump...I repaired it and hopefully it lasts longer, I love my camry and dont wanna part with it.
BTW I topped my oil level today and have seen that in the morning large bursts of gray smoke dissipates and that may be also a cause of loss of oil.
However if the problem is too small then it can be ignored as i will monitor the oil level at regular intervals.
Good
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