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 Post subject: AutoShop 101 - Where's my leak?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 1:07 am 
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Subject is a 95 Toyota 4Runner SR5. A couple of weeks ago I started noticing some leakage on the driveway. My first suspicion was the power steering since I had worked on it previously. This vehicle uses automatic transmission fluid for the power steering, btw.

Checking all of the normal vital fluids I haven't noticed any loss.

Now its pointing to the transfer case just by the physical location of the drip. Since its an automatic the transfer case also uses ATF. I noticed today that the consistency of the leaky fluid is getting really dark and oily as compared to ATF. Maybe the transfer case is dripping out its last bit?

Anyway, tomorrow I'll climb under there and do some checking and refilling as needs be.

My question is...shouldn't I be noticing some symptoms?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 1:42 am 
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Don't think so. A gear case can get pretty low and not make noise.

I don't know your unit, but some have transfer case together but apart so to speak. Seals to keep the gear oil and ATF apart.

I'm sure someone will have a better answer soon. You might easily find the problem on your "creeper cruise" tomorrow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 2:06 am 
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You might try and check the area where the transmission joins to the engine. Old Toyota trucks are known for leaky main engine seals and the leaks can sometimes show up in weird places, but especially where the two join together. It could also very well be the transfer case. There should be a plug on the side of the case. Take it out and stick in your finger. It should come into contact with transmission grease. If not, that might be the problem. If its a very small leak sometimes some of those leak stoppers will work by swelling up the old seals a bit. I did that to my 55' Mercury 6 years ago and so far it hasn't leaked a drop since.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 2:22 am 
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My question is...shouldn't I be noticing some symptoms?


Yes , when the gas sticks wide open and the brakes wont work :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 3:00 am 
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Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank CA
It could drip drops for weeks if it weren't constant without symptoms. One drop leaves a large drop on pavement /cement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 6:56 am 
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Location: Northport wa. USA.
Does it have a V-6? I think they had some problems with head gaskets on those. Check and see if it uses red colored coolant. May look like ATF. If that appears to be the problem check with the Toyota dealer about the head gasket problem and see if they have been replaced on yours. If I recall Toyota was paying the bill for it. They should be able to look it up using the VIN.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Thanks for the tips, guys. And Jim, yes its a V6. Definitely not coolant in the driveway but your reply might be an answer to another nagging problem. I have to add a quart or so of water/coolant every few weeks. I've been suspect of the head gasket.

I've only had the vehicle for a few months but its 15 years old and I have to learn and get used to its eccentricities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Check all of your heater/cooling hoses at the connections. I found pin holes in mine in my Chevy pick-up, was adding fluid at about the same rate as you. Good luck with the other.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Sat 27, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Go to any (quality) shop and have them use their sniffer on your radiator to detect carbon monoxide. Minimal charge I'm sure, and proof.


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