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Had this problem for quite awhile. The carpet under the mat on the drivers side of my 99 Camry (200k+ mi) is half saturated with some kind of oily residue. It eventually ruined the rubber on the back side of the mat. Have no idea what kind of oil it is. Not losing any clutch oil (it's a 5 speed manual) nor any brake fluid, uses some engine oil but don't think that has anything to do with this. I'm thinking of pulling up the original carpet on the floor and see if there are any signs of anything going on there. Read one thread that said the steering column has some oil in it, just never heard of such a thing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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But the top of the mat is not oily? Only the underside of it and the top of the actual floor carpet? Have you looked under the car? Maybe you have a hole in the floorboard? Have you ever spilled anything on the mat, even if it wasn't oily? Like a Coca Cola? I could see Coke disintegrating the compounds with which the mat was made (or anything else that may have been ground into the mat) causing it to ooze out the rubbery/plastic material under the mat fibers.
 

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Could that be transmission fluid? Trying to remember a problem someone had a while back (not even sure it was a Toyota product) where transmission fluid was backfeeding up the speedometer cable and in to the speedometer and leaking down from there. If my memory isn't going, there is a seal that goes in to the transmission from where the speedometer cable enters the transmission. Blot some of the mess up with a clean white paper towel and see if it's pink in color.

Mike
 

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Ruined the mat?!?! That's brake fluid. Change out the master and check the booster, because it's filled with brake fluid. I know you said you weren't using any, but that's the only fluid that's near, so Occam's Razor - it's brake fluid. Plus, it's happened to me.
 

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Huh..
I had similar mystery in my then RAM. It had storage cubbies under the rear seat. One day, I reached in to grab my tow straps and thay all were SOAKED in oil. As if dripping. No oil cans anywhere close, dry carpet. Never solved that mystery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
But the top of the mat is not oily? Only the underside of it and the top of the actual floor carpet? Have you looked under the car? Maybe you have a hole in the floorboard? Have you ever spilled anything on the mat, even if it wasn't oily? Like a Coca Cola? I could see Coke disintegrating the compounds with which the mat was made (or anything else that may have been ground into the mat) causing it to ooze out the rubbery/plastic material under the mat fibers.
Oily residue is on the underside of the mat only, not on the top of the mat but definitely into the car carpet including the topside where the mat lies. No perferations of the floorboard, body really has no rust to speak of. Can't remember spilling anything in this area, although I am not the only one that has driven this car over the years. I need to inspect a little closer tho and see if there is anything I missed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Could that be transmission fluid? Trying to remember a problem someone had a while back (not even sure it was a Toyota product) where transmission fluid was backfeeding up the speedometer cable and in to the speedometer and leaking down from there. If my memory isn't going, there is a seal that goes in to the transmission from where the speedometer cable enters the transmission. Blot some of the mess up with a clean white paper towel and see if it's pink in color.

Mike
This is a manual transmission and the oil that goes into it is not pink, and when I dab up oil on a paper towel it appears to be semi clear, as if it was like new (clean) motor oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ruined the mat?!?! That's brake fluid. Change out the master and check the booster, because it's filled with brake fluid. I know you said you weren't using any, but that's the only fluid that's near, so Occam's Razor - it's brake fluid. Plus, it's happened to me.
Can look into that a bit closer next week when I get a chance.
 

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Huh..
I had similar mystery in my then RAM. It had storage cubbies under the rear seat. One day, I reached in to grab my tow straps and thay all were SOAKED in oil. As if dripping. No oil cans anywhere close, dry carpet. Never solved that mystery.
That's kind of where I am at now, it's really weird.
 

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Well, oil either came from the carpet outside or from the engine bay specifically - only 2 sources of oil available there - master and master. So you need to remove carpeting and trace all the way up to them, on the firewall. Maybe even add UV dye to canisters and shine UV light there next day.
Otherwise, someone spilled something oily onto the carpet without you knowing or you noticing it. I doubt oil warped from planet Zebes onto your carpet.
 

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Now that you say it's a stick shift and are more specific that the fluid is under the carpet, I would have to agree with the others that it's most likely brake fluid and from my experience it most often comes from the clutch master. The rod goes in and out each time you depress the clutch causing wear and tear on the seal. Eventually it wears out and clutch fluid leaks inside the car and under the carpet. Get under the dash with a flashlight and your fingers and check for wetness on the rod that attaches to the clutch pedal where it goes through the firewall. You will probably find your leak.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well it sounds like the most likely cause is brake fluid so I will check it in a few days and let you all know. Thanks for all your inputs.
 
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