Howdy Car Talk Community,
I have a 1996 Camry LE 4 cylinder automatic which I dearly love for reasons that aren’t terribly compelling. (example: I’m used to it, it has cold AC, etc)
The poor thing currently has four issues, two of which are extremely obvious (busted flex pipe on the exhaust, and bad tires, if bad tires can be considered an issue), and two of which are not. My husband and I have been attempting to track them down.
Issue #1: Absolutely Pours Oil When Hot and Running, and only when hot and running
Doesn’t leak when cold, will start to drip as it warms up, then turns to a disturbingly steady stream when it’s at temperature and running. Will revert back to a drip as soon as car is turned off. and will stop dripping as it cools.
- Looked under the car, saw that oil was collecting around the transmission bell housing-ish area, although a fair number of parts had that oily fuzz on them.
- Hoping it was a the intake valve gasket, we cleaned the pipes and bolts behind the intake valve until they were shiny, drove it around to induce the leak, and then checked to see if there was new oil in the area. The parts were still clean.
- Hoping it was the distributor seal, we did the same clean and drive routine. Parts were still shiny.
Putting it up on jack stands and getting under it while it runs sounds like a really terrible idea, so beyond that we’re kind of out of diagnosis tricks that we can do ourselves without taking it to a shop.
We THINK it might be the rear main seal that connects the engine to the transmission, a repair that we couldn’t do ourselves and that would probably cost more than the car is worth. However, we’re not sure how to check that out.
Issue #2: Intermittent, Unpredictable Power Stutter/Miss
Sometimes when driving, I’ll experience a very quick, momentary loss in power that I would tentatively describe as an engine miss. This happens under acceleration, while holding the car at steady speed, while idling, basically anytime. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it.
We haven’t really put any time into tracking this one down since the oil leak is a much more compelling problem, and since it’s really hard to reproduce, but I thought I should throw it in here anyways just to show the complete picture. It could be as simple as replacing the spark plugs, but maybe it’s related to the oil leak or to the busted flex pipe?
Absolutely any information or ideas or tips are all very much appreciated. Thanks!