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Noob :(
1999 Toyota Camry LE
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I start, the car is a 1999 Camry LE (I believe I4 5SFE?).. oil was changed 8/18/10 at 154,775 miles. I have put about 550 miles on it since then. The air filter was also replaced. I last filled my tank either Friday or Saturday night (I can't remember if I got gas yesterday or not).. it was a bit under 1/4 tank when I noticed the smell.

I was working tonight (started at 4) and everything was fine and dandy until somewhere around the 8:00 hour.. I was taking a delivery and I noticed a faint smell. Random smells aren't unusual around here so I shrugged it off.. but I noticed on my next run that I could still smell it.. and that it was inside my car.. and it just continued on throughout the night. Both another coworker and my SO were trying to get me to close for one of them, but I'd already made a decent amount of money and I really didn't want to keep driving the car not knowing where the smell is coming from.. so I left around 9:00.

I can't smell it when I'm standing outside the car.. there's no smell when I pop the hood.. but as soon as you get inside the car you can smell it. Is it likely an exhaust leak or something? I should also mention that since I purchased the car (with 152.2k miles on 6/19/10), there's been a weird locust-type (not as high pitched) noise (I have posted about it before) that happens only when accelerating and I can almost always control the noise if I avoid accelerating too hard. It also idles pretty rough if your foot is on the brake in drive or reverse (stops if you take your foot off.. so I tend to stick it in neutral when stopped). Not sure if that's at all related.

Anyway, I've got the next 2-3 days off and my SO's family has a bunch of muffler shops around here so I'm planning to take it to one of them tomorrow.. but I was just looking to see if it could be anything else.

I appreciate it.. you are awesome. :)
 

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Moderator
1998 T100 SR5 2WD
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14,676 Posts
Check the filler hose to the tank...that's a common area fer failure.

Any check engine light on? Any codes stored? ;)
 

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Noob :(
1999 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

(Yes.. parking lamp on driver side is out in the shot.. it is working very intermittently.. :thumbsdow)

Took it in a couple hours ago.. there were no exhaust leaks that he saw, though he did fix up a lot of poor welding, and said that if there was something, that would fix it.. but he doesn't think it was an exhaust leak, and definitely not a gas leak (I didn't notice my fuel gauge going down drastically or anything.. so I didn't assume that anyway).

What he does think is that it's the valve cover gasket leak. Since the engine leans back, it's very slowly built up on something (I can't remember what it's called now..), instead of leaking onto the ground, and is starting to burn. That makes sense since it wasn't like this from the start yesterday and only after a couple hours of driving around.





From behind, where he said the smell is likely coming from because it's being burned.. you can see it on the left very well.


Up front..


From here we'll see if the smell goes away after he did some new welding and if it doesn't then I will go back and they are going to fix the leak.

Props to Ralph's Muffler if you are in the area.. not just saying that because they are more or less family.. all their shops seem to be busy all the time and they're good guys. :thumbsup:

 

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Moderator
1998 T100 SR5 2WD
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14,676 Posts
How good are yer motor and transmission mounts? If they are bad, it will allow the motor/trans to move around and can break the exhaust pipe/manifold/flex pipe.

The leak is definitely the valve cover gasket and if you have any mechanical skill, you can do that fairly easily. The key is to make sure you apply the sealant to the corners and the top of the access plugs. There's a sticky in the forums fer doing the valve cover gasket. ;)

I would degrease yer engine as soon as possible since you are already smelling burning. You don't want to find out yer engine is on fire after you go inside... ;)
 

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Noob :(
1999 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How good are yer motor and transmission mounts? If they are bad, it will allow the motor/trans to move around and can break the exhaust pipe/manifold/flex pipe.
Honestly, I'm not sure how the mounts are.. that's something I was hoping to take a look at soon.. just haven't had much of a chance. I would imagine it all looked okay (pipes etc) since he checked everything out this afternoon and didn't mention it.

The leak is definitely the valve cover gasket and if you have any mechanical skill, you can do that fairly easily. The key is to make sure you apply the sealant to the corners and the top of the access plugs. There's a sticky in the forums fer doing the valve cover gasket.
Yeah, I was just worried about a potential exhaust leak with that smell.. I knew I had a valve cover gasket leak, just wasn't aware it was all collecting right there behind it. :( I did see that sticky a while back, though, and have it somewhere in my bookmarks already. It was in my plans. ;)
 
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