Toyota Camry 1999 engine oil leak

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Old 09-17-14, 08:45 AM
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Toyota Camry 1999 engine oil leak

Hi,

My 1999 Toyota Camry (current mileage: 243k) is now leaking oil badly; every several days or a week I have to check the oil level and I keep having to add a substantial amount of oil. (Dipstick indicates oil level is low.) I notice on the driveway there is oil drip--not to the point of becoming a puddle but it is leaking noticeably. The lower part of the car, including the front-left side drive shaft are black with oil, FYI. One of the frame part (I guess it is, I don't know the exact name of that part) underneath the engine is also covered with oil.

The front side of the engine looks dry and clean. I suspect that it is on the back or lower side where the leaking problem is. But I don't know for sure. Can somebody assist me in finding out which part is leaking? I don't want to go through all seals and replace them if they do not need replacing.

Wirawan
 
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Old 09-17-14, 08:52 AM
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A few missing info. This is a 4-cylinder 2.2 L engine. It is *probably* 5S-FE engine; not sure. This is a standard Camry (LE?).

The oil leak was not as bad as this, but has been happening for a few years. Yes I had to check oil level and add some, but not that much. Now in the past few months (1-2) it is pretty bad, as I described in the earlier post.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 12:18 PM
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The 1st thing to do is clean the engine, once it's relatively clean you can better identify where the leaks are.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 06:36 PM
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Valve cover gasket on its firewall side. They do leak and it may create quite an impression of major leak from anywhere else.
Is transmission on the same side leak is? If yes, next culprit is main seal there.
Oil pan gasket is usual suspect.
 
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Old 09-18-14, 04:18 AM
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Just traded up to a newer model, but the old car was an '01 Camry (4 cylinder, 175k miles) and I had that going on for quite a while. Near as I could tell it was the valve cover gasket as Igor mentions. Other possibles (on the 4 cylinder anyway), oil pump seal (under timing belt cover) and if that year still had a distributor, the seal where it mounts to the end of the head. For distributor-less, there's a half-moon shaped plug in that spot that can leak.
 
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Old 09-18-14, 09:22 AM
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Ok, I saw today that there was a drip..drip..drip leak from the oil pan gasket area. So oil pan is the major culprit. And maybe also the rear side of the valve cover gasket as @ukrbyk said because . Thanks all for your opinion.

BTW I found a nice article here exactly for this kind of engine leak:

http://www.motor.com/magazine/pdfs/012011_04.pdf

Maybe somebody would benefit from this one day.


Next question is on washing the engine in search for the leak location. A lot of people said to cover (with plastic bag) the distributor cap, electrical connectors, alternator. Which parts actually need to be covered before the engine is washed/degreased? If all electrical connectors (plugs) need to be covered, that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe someone can shed me a light on this.
 
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Old 09-18-14, 06:18 PM
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I used to cover distributor cap. If you do not have distributor, don't worry, simply spray hose anything you want to. Not sure for 99, it may be both ways. Honda was real stubborn with distributors.
Best ever is to wash engine well - simply go to any public car wash, as they dispense engine cleaner - pressure wash well, and use either contrast or UV dye in oil to spot leaks.
Do NOT buy cork oil pan gasket, buy rubber, black one.
 
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Old 09-19-14, 10:01 AM
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I'd double check the oil filter and oil filter gasket. First, make sure that the oil filter gasket isn't "doubled up" from the last filter change (i.e. old filter gasket stuck to the block when the filter was removed). Second, make sure that the filter is properly tightened.
 
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