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1991 Toyota 4Runner oil leak

My Toyota is leaking oil from above the oil pan, in the front. I think it is we’re the crank shaft plate is. Do I have to pull the engine to replace the gasket

Usually not. I had the seal replaced on our Nissan Sentra and even that did not require lifting the engine out. Our Corollla has a small leak on its oil pan, and it is not necessary to remove the engine to fix it. Your leak is likely the valve cover gasket, and that is even easier to fix. Budget $200 or so for a proper fix.

Go to a reputable shop, and and get an analysis and estimate.

The leak is probably from the front crankshaft seal.

These seals can be replaced without removing the engine. But it does require that the front of the engine be disassembled. And while you’re in there might as well replace the timing chain.

Try this. The next time you change the oil, use a high mileage oil such Valvoline Max-Life. If the leak slows down or stops you know it’s the front crank seal.


Good ideas above. It’s very difficult to identify the source of an oil leak by noting where the leak is dripping. There’s a lot of wind under there when going down the freeway, and any oil that leaks is blown everywhere. I had an oil leak on my Corolla that looked like it was coming from the front of the engine area, then onto the oil pan area, but it turned out to be from a leaky valve cover.

There are UV dyes you can add to the oil in really difficult to diagnose cases, but the equipment is a little pricy for a one-time use. You could ask an auto parts store if they rent it though.

+1 to Tester’s reply.
Replacing front crank seals on an aging engine is not at all unusual. And I agree that the chain (or belt if you have the V6) should also be changed along with the tensioner/chainguides, and the water pump if that’s belt driven. Basically, the chain is sold in a “kit” with all the other necessary stuff, and the kit is 'round about $50-$60. You’ll be paying for a lot of labor, you might as well do everything up there. The parts themselves are cheap.