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Oil leak - possibly Variable Valve Timing Solenoid?

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Oil leak - possibly Variable Valve Timing Solenoid?

Old 10-20-2018, 11:46 PM
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Default Oil leak - possibly Variable Valve Timing Solenoid?


I have a Camry 2008 4 cylinder and I just drove from south florida to south california in 7-8 days. The car has about 90,000 miles and I did an oil change 1 month before leaving. During the trip, I checked the oil and it burned 1 quart from South Florida to Flagstaff, Arizona (approx 2400 miles). What this means is that in Flagstaff after checking the oil level I noticed it was low (very close to minimum in the stick) and so I topped it off (which was 1 quart of oil). All my belongings were in my car so the back seat and trunk were full. When we arrived in California, we took the car to a Firestone since we suspected the struts were bad (noise when going over speed bumps). They confirmed and also mentioned there was a small leak in the VVT solenoid. Actually the mechanic did and wrote it on his report. The front desk did not mention that to us though we asked multiple times. Anyways we changed the struts and also the right CV axle (which we knew was bad already from previous diagnosis). The next morning (saturday) I checked the oil levels again and they were still fine (in the max mark on the stick). At the end of the next day (sunday evening), I noticed an oil stain in the driveway and checked the levels - they were low, almost in the min mark on the stick. I topped it off and decided to shop around for best price to replace VVT solenoid... This took me to another mechanic since Firestone would charge me $300+ and I thought that was a bit too much... The local mechanic told me that since there was no check engine light the VVT solenoid was probably fine. Also he did not seem convinced that an oil leak could occur in the VVT solenoid at all! so he decided to take a look. He found a leak in the crankshaft, which he fixed. The oil level is still ok as I check it with the dip stick, but I still see fresh oil in the driveway each morning ... it's not a lot, but it's there. I took it to do a smog check this morning to another place (I got a cupon online for smog check) and decided to ask for another opinion. The mechanic there said that the solenoid itself is cracked (or something to that effect) and the issue is not on the valve itself or the o-ring (not sure this makes sense but it's what I understood). Also it seems like the leak happens when the car is parked slightly at an angle (going up the driveway) and not so much if in a leveled driveway (it's been in a leveled driveway today all day and I don't see any oil underneath the car). My question is - Could the leak truly be from the VVT solenoid? Can a VVT solenoid in a 2008 camry leak oil at all?

Thank you in advance!!
Old 10-21-2018, 04:05 PM
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Suppose the solenoid could leak externally, but? The solenoid is divided into the side that has the hydraulic valve and the side that has the electric solenoid. The seal between the two sides would need to fail to leak oil.

Suggest you view the valve yourself for signs of leakage. The valve is located firewall side of the engine below the intake camshaft sprocket. Search internet for video's on replacing the 2AZFE VVTi solenoid to find exact location. Observe the valve with engine on for leakage under oil pressure.
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