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Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4447
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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I have a 1998 camry, 4 cylinder, with the common problem of

Customer Question

I have a 1998 camry, 4 cylinder, with the common problem of LOTS of oil leaking from the passengers right front side. We just bought this car from a lady who had it maintained religiously. However, my son took it to college in Utah and when I went to help him drive it home, I saw it was about 3 quarts too high. So before we drove to CA I drained the excess oil to the normal level and we drove home fine. The leak started about 2 weeks after that. I know some seal is gone and the mechanic says thetiming chain was changed but what do you think is wrong and what should I replace as he is hoping to drive it back in a month.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for posting

The most common leaks on this engine are the valve cover, the crankshaft pulley seal, the seal in the front of the head, the oil pump seal the oil pan. the engine has a timing belt not a chain, all the seals I mentioned are under the timing belt cover . The top cover half can be removed to inspect the belt and to see if there is oil on the belt and inside the cover, the water pump is driven off the belt so anytime the belt and seals are replaced the water pump should also be replaced.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What does it mean if there IS oil on the belt and/or inside the cover? How hard is it to replace the seals. (I have pretty good mechanical ability)
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the reply, it simply means that if there are oil deposits inside the timing cover the seals I mentioned should be replaced, not just one or two but all, if there is oil on the timing belt it comes from the leaking seals. The most difficult part is to get the front crankshaft bolt off. they can be extremely tight. The plastic timing cover is held on with some 10mm size bolts, there is a front engine mount that has to be removed, the camshaft pulley is removed to get the cam seal out, the oil pump is removed to replace the shaft seal and the o-ring seal. So basically it takes some common tools like ratchet, sockets, extensions and a breaker bar and a chain wrench to grab the front pulley to keep it from turning when the bolt is removed