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Mysterious leak

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Joan from Prescott AZ I moved hear 14years ago from CT. I have a mystery that no one can solve I write you because I know if any one can solve this mystery it is you guys. Let me start by saying I just love you guys and love your show. Hear is your mystery: After a trip to Tucson I washed the car on a Monday. I went to work on Tuesday and came directly home and parked the car in the garage. On Wednesday morning I noticed a long straight puddle of oil from them front right flap to the back tire. I I cleaned up the oil and took it to my mechanic who had serviced the week before. They check all the oils and took the tire off and after an hour and a half they said the car mechanically was fine and as strange as it seems it appeared to be a mineral oil and it was leaking from the door. I than called the body shop that had fixed the door of the car (3) weeks before and had them talk to my mechanic of 10years plus who told them the car mechanically is fine and there appears to be a mineral oil leak from my door. They said they have to see this and I drove the car over, I have know them for (10) years as well they are an approved body shop for all the large insurance companies. They had (4) people check the car as well as a curious insurance adjustor that happened to be there and came to the conclusion as my mechanic its a mystery and in all their years they never seen anything like it . They said the only way this could happen was I had to run over something but there is no oil at all on the tires and my drive way which is pavers has no oil on them nor did the garage till Wednesday morning. They checked underneath the car as well no signs of oil anywhere accept along the right side underneath the doors and the wheel wells not a spot on the tires. They cleaned it with a degreaser and rinsed it off and I continued to clean it when I cam home nothing since. PLEASE SOLVE THIS MYSTERY

Thank You



I do have a couple questions - probably should have included this in the post, too:

  • What year/make/model is the car?
  • Have you owned it from new?
  • What was the temp (roughly) in your garage, and in Tucson?

What it sounds like (to me): Some manufacturer’s use a mineral based coating inside the doors (and sometimes in the sills) to protect against rust. When it gets hot (a long drive in the sun, sitting in a very hot area, etc) this substance changes to a more liquid form, and leaks out. Although, typically it doesn’t leak out enough to form the kind of spot you’re describing, the the type and style sounds about right. It’s normally a tan, or light brown substance, and it will smear readily, but can be cleaned up on the underside of the car easily enough with Windex or a similar cleaner.

Good Luck!

My car is a 2006 toyota 4-runner with approximately 25000 miles on it and I bought it brand new.The temperature in the garage was about 55 degrees and approximate 72 in TUCSON. It has been in the heat of Phoenix and never a problem. It was not a spot but rather a long puddle and both the mechanic and the body place said it was mineral oil it was a clear oil with a smell. They cleaned it with what they called purple power . It was on the front tire flap and all the way back to the front of the back tire

Do note that you are not writing to Tom & Ray. This is just a discussion board full of people who don’t do radio shows.

You said that the body shop had fixed that door 3 weeks before? What, exactly was the nature of that repair? My own guess is that they had to remove the interior door panel as part of the repair. While that panel was off, someone working on the car set something down inside of the door cavity and forgot to remove it (a can/bottle of lubricant of some kind). If it is done dripping then whatever it was would likely be empty and you will see no more of this.

If that guess is correct I wouldn’t worry about it.