2012 Highlander 4WD with oil under mid-section - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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2012 Highlander 4WD with oil under mid-section

Wife left for work this morning and I noticed on the garage floor, about mid-way between the front and back of the vehicle there was a 8-10 inch diameter area that had some older oil. At first I thought it was just some water but when I put my finger in it I noticed it had the look of dirty oil. Looks like it's been there a bit since it wasn't fresh. We took the car out of town over the weekend and just drove it around town for a few errands yesterday. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this in a HL? Like I mentioned it's about mid-way between the front of the vehicle and back. She won't be back in town until Thursday evening so there's no way for me to look under the vehicle.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 03:19 PM
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All you can do is wait (and pray) that there is no big oil leak until you get the vehicle back.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Vangm25 View Post
All you can do is wait (and pray) that there is no big oil leak until you get the vehicle back.
Yep...but it does look like its been there for a bit and we did drive quite a few miles over the weekend. And she got there today (around 80 miles) with no call
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by scsiguru View Post
Yep...but it does look like its been there for a bit and we did drive quite a few miles over the weekend. And she got there today (around 80 miles) with no call
Not sure if you are talking about a stain that is mildly wet or a puddle of oil. If it is a puddle, I would be scared, if it was a stain I would just keep an eye on it.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 07:17 PM
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One thing to check, do you have the tow prep package oil cooler? Have you checked the oil level? I had a pinhole leak in the hose of my oil cooler about 3 weeks ago and lost 3 quarts of oil in a very short time. If its the oil cooler hose, you need to get that replaced ASAP. Even with "only" losing 3 quarts of oil, there was loud noise coming from the valve train area that could be heard inside my HL with the radio on. It fooled me into thinking it was rev'ing high and thinking I had a transmission problem.



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post #6 of 14 Old 05-28-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by paul_probus View Post
One thing to check, do you have the tow prep package oil cooler? Have you checked the oil level? I had a pinhole leak in the hose of my oil cooler about 3 weeks ago and lost 3 quarts of oil in a very short time. If its the oil cooler hose, you need to get that replaced ASAP. Even with "only" losing 3 quarts of oil, there was loud noise coming from the valve train area that could be heard inside my HL with the radio on. It fooled me into thinking it was rev'ing high and thinking I had a transmission problem.



Paul


Donít have a tow package on the HL...but I will definitely check the oil level.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-29-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by scsiguru View Post
Donít have a tow package on the HL...but I will definitely check the oil level.


OK, not to question your knowledge of your own vehicle, but the tow prep package, as I under stand it, comes from the factory with the oil cooler. You don't have to have ordered the HL with a hitch to have it. My 2009 Sport has the tow prep package, but I don't have a hitch for it, yet (I bought it used about 6 mos. ago). The way I understand it, possibly only the base HL's don't come without the TPP (someone with more knowledge feel free to correct me)?


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post #8 of 14 Old 05-29-2019, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by paul_probus View Post
OK, not to question your knowledge of your own vehicle, but the tow prep package, as I under stand it, comes from the factory with the oil cooler. You don't have to have ordered the HL with a hitch to have it. My 2009 Sport has the tow prep package, but I don't have a hitch for it, yet (I bought it used about 6 mos. ago). The way I understand it, possibly only the base HL's don't come without the TPP (someone with more knowledge feel free to correct me)?

Paul
Yep..you are correct. Went back to my original paperwork and it sure does have the tow prep package. I remember the wife just loved this vehicle on the lot and wanted it...don't even have a hitch on this vehicle and I will never tow anything...crazy!!

Do you remember where you saw the oil on the ground? Mine is mid way between the front and rear of the vehicle.

Last edited by scsiguru; 05-29-2019 at 07:16 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-29-2019, 10:51 AM
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SCSIguru, if yours is a AWD as the title of your first post indicates, the leak might be from the differential or transfer case. Might want to check those, too.


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post #10 of 14 Old 05-29-2019, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TN SkyPilot View Post
SCSIguru, if yours is a AWD as the title of your first post indicates, the leak might be from the differential or transfer case. Might want to check those, too.


Will
Yes...it is the AWD model. Toyota Highlander SE
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-29-2019, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by scsiguru View Post
Yep..you are correct. Went back to my original paperwork and it sure does have the tow prep package. I remember the wife just loved this vehicle on the lot and wanted it...don't even have a hitch on this vehicle and I will never tow anything...crazy!!

Do you remember where you saw the oil on the ground? Mine is mid way between the front and rear of the vehicle.

I didn't see any oil on the ground. As far as I know, the pinhole leak developed while my wife and I were out running our errands and I noticed an increase in noise as I was pulling up to a traffic light. While stopped at the light, I noticed smoke coming from both behind me and from in front. It was pulling away from the light that I noticed a definite increase in engine noise that even my wife said something wasn't right before I did, that I found a place to pull over. When I looked under the hood oil was splashed all over the place and I didn't pay attention to any oil drip in the parking lot of the park we pulled over in, so I can't help there. Oh, and before we got that far, I noticed that my rear window had dirt on it, which is not unusual since we live on a dirt road and there was a lot of tree pollen in the air, so I was frequently using the rear window cleaner to clear off the rear window and that day, I just could not get the window to clear off, there seemed to be something on it, but I wasn't sure what it was, at the time. While I also agree that it could be a transfer case or differential leak, making sure its not the oil cooler hose is, IMHO, more important because it can leak out very quickly. Although I am not sure when the leak started, I was using my HL the day before, so it could have started then for all I know, but if it only developed in the time from when we left home to where we parked to await a tow truck, we lost 3 quarts of oil, it was roughly 1/2 hour from our house to that point, roughly about 12-15 miles. Not to downplay a leak in the transfer case or differential, but it sounds like the leak is slow now and likely won't increase much if it is one of those two issues, while if it is the rubber hose for the oil cooler, then it could very well increase quickly, IMHO. Ruling that out should also bring some peace of mind and narrow it down to the transfer case or differentials.


Keep us informed of what you find.



Good luck,
Paul

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post #12 of 14 Old 05-31-2019, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Wife came back from the out of town work and she didn't notice anything different with the HL. I looked under the vehicle and saw no leaking (or evidence of past leaking). Only thing was the usual condensation from running the AC. This morning I look under the vehicle again and there was the remaining puddle of water from the AC condensation. I reached over and ran my finger through the small remaining puddle. It was mostly water but there was a small amount of oily mixed in with the water. Kind of dirty looking oil but a small amount. I'm wondering if the condensation is picking up any residual oil that is there whenever an oil change is done? Can it be anything else at this location? Going to check the oil level later today and see what that looks like.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-31-2019, 07:55 AM
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If it were my vehicle I would check all fluids: oil, transmission fluid, gear oil(if any), power steering fluid, brake fluid, the whole shebang. Take no chances.
Pull the vehicle up on ramps - crawl underneath. After that - back it up on ramps and do the same.

Thorough inspection is the only way to know what's going on.

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post #14 of 14 Old 05-31-2019, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mike Murrell View Post
If it were my vehicle I would check all fluids: oil, transmission fluid, gear oil(if any), power steering fluid, brake fluid, the whole shebang. Take no chances.
Pull the vehicle up on ramps - crawl underneath. After that - back it up on ramps and do the same.

Thorough inspection is the only way to know what's going on.
I checked all the fluids that I can. I have NO ramps or anyway to get the vehicle up. Sounds like a trip to the dealership next week.
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