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  #1  
Old 03-02-2012, 12:47 PM
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Red face 99 Camry - Oil leak on cold start up

So, in to my 2nd week with the Camry. A '99 with the 2.0 engine. 130K on the clock and the timing belts and such were changed just before I bought it (the car had 127K on the clock). Assuming that seals were changed at around the same time.

The car runs and drives great. As it is cold here in MN, I like to leave the car running for about 5-10 minutes before driving off. I have noticed that when I start the car in the morning there is a small (noticeable) puddle of oil towards the front right (passenger)/middle of the vehicle. However, once I get to work (55 miles away) there is no sign of the leak or no noticeable drops of oil anywhere under the vehicle. At the end of the day, when the vehicle is sitting outside in sub-zero temps, this repeats itself.

Tried looking under the hood and could not find anything. Oil was recentyly changed with recommended grade Pennzoil and a Fram filter.

Any thoughts on what might be the problem? Where to start looking!?

Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 PM
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Are you sure it is engine oil?

If so suggest first removing front passenger tire and with the chassis well supported have someone start the engine while you look at the timing cover for leakage.

Look at the bottom of the cover below the crankshaft and at the lower firewall side where there would be a bow in the cover. Look below the bow.

If oil is coming out of below the bow area the oil pump seal is going failing. This needs to be attended to ASAP.

Look in back of the oil filter area for an oil cooler. Check for leakage where the cooler mates to the block.

Also check the oil filter can seal in case its bad.

Look under the distributor for leakage, oil pressure sender area, back of engine for leaks from valve cover.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:03 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the prompt reply. To start with - I am not sure if this is oil - it certainly looks like oil but seems to be a little more fluid than oil should be. A lot more runny - from what I can see. Hopefully, the weather clears up tomorrow and I will have a better picture of this situation. Also, the fact that there are no more puddles or drips once I get to work - kinda make me wonder if it is oil at all.

Your post has been most helpful and I will start troubleshooting by following your instructions. Hopefully, it is not too difficult to get the cause of this issue!

Thanks again!
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2012, 11:00 PM
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you have transverse engine. if pass side is engine front - that's where pulleys are - you have main oil seal leak.
reason you do not see anything driving is because air flow blows it off and under on the underbody.
2nd possible is leak coming from the top - valve or head gaskets. ditributor seals, if you have one.
maybe, just maybe - though I doubt - driveaxle seal, but that is much more towards the car center.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2012, 08:31 AM
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Default Main

Yes,

The first thing that crossed my mind was - main seal leak. However, I have had the similar problem in my Nissan and the oil would get blown towards the back of the underbody. However, once you park the car - there would be some traces of the oil on the under side. In this case, there is nothing at all to indicate the same.

I will look at the top of the motor today and see what gives!

Cheers
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:50 AM
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PS, trans and diff fluid are trans oil which is about 10W. This would make it thinner the engine oil.

Compare the oil found with the PS or trans oil.
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2012, 12:06 PM
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Cool

Ok!

Thanks for the feedback. I did take a quick look this morning, but was super cold and windy. There was oil running down the right (driver) side back edge of the oil pan. It was just a drop or so.

My SO took the car to work this morning, as hers does not do too well in the snow. The oil level was at full (infact a tad bit over) when checked at cold level. Will check the trans fluid this afternoon when the SO gets back from work.

Cheers!
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2012, 07:58 PM
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1. if it's leaking on the firewall side of the engine, it's head gasket, valve cover gasket, may even be a pressure sensor. Say, our son's Eclipse has oil pressure sensor on that side. It can be veru daunting to locate such a leak.
2. Quick and easy is to get her to a wash station, pressure wash under and everywhere else as much as possible(bag distributor is you have one), then buy some contrast dye, add to crankcase, drive around for 2 days, and then shine UV light under the hood. It works the best.
Report back, we'll have it figured.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:57 AM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the reply!

I am really hoping that (like my mazda) it is a sensor that is leaking. I just bought the car - and the fact that it was sitting for the last 4 months makes me wonder about the whole situation.

I will drive it around a few more days and see what happens; atleast it is starting to warm up outside and should help get a picture of the problem.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2012, 11:50 PM
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I normally slide clean cardboard underneath, and overnight, gives fair understanding where leaks come from. But there are so many angled planes underneath, that can divert the flow. Like that infamous Eclipse - for the love of gods, I can't find where the leak comes from. Had her in shop, they swore it was oil pressure sensor, replaced it, told me it's all good forever - and it's back all over the engine belly. Engine compartment is so crowded, I can't even stick my (large) finger in there.
Once again, do contrast dye test. Only few bucks and bulletproof.
Oh, and part of Eclipse leak was leaking clutch master. Go figure.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:50 PM
 
 
 
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1997, 99, camary, camery, camry, cold, engine, filter, leak, leaking, leaks, oil, pump, start, started, startup, toyota

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