Question about 1997 Toyota Camry

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Oil Leak (major) 1997 Camry 2.2 ltr.

1997 camry 2.2 ltr. automatic. Oil leak passenger side when engine is running only. About 1. qt. per 10 miles driven. Oil sending unit sprayed all the oil out and car was driven 40 miles w/o oil. Could this be because the catylitic converter is clogged? Shop said engine has back-pressure. Could it be the head or valve cover gasket(s)? I did replace the oil sending unit and also tried stop leak to no avail. After the oil sending unit went out, there is now a buzzing/humming sound from the engine. Could this be the balance shaft and or cam shaft bearings? There isn't a knocking or pinging sound, it just sounds like there's bumble bees in my engine. No codes are showing. No check engine light showing. Looks like the oil leak might be coming from the upper part of the engine area (passenger side) in the upper back right, where the valve cover gasket is located. There's also a small black hose that looks like it might be where the leak is coming from. Thank you for any help you can give! This car has 212,000 miles on it and my be time to trade and not put too much money into it. Are there two catylitic converters on this car? I heard the front one is $1,000.00 just for the part? I need this car to drive to Cincinnati, Ohio every other weekend to take care of my 88 year old Mother and I also drive 150 miles round trip each day to work and back Monday thru Friday and 800 miles every other weekend. Oregon, Illinois to Hoffman Estates, Illinois. I'm a flavor chemist by trade.
Dan in Oregon, Illinois.

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  • flavorchemis Feb 28, 2009

    Is the oil pump gasket on the upper part of this engine? Could the noise be from the oil pump itself. I heard an oil pump is just two gears that rotate to push the oil throughout the engine.

    Thank you very much!

    Dan

  • flavorchemis Feb 28, 2009

    I did take the oil filler cap off the other day while the engine was running and there was a lot of air being pushed thru it, like a hair dryed on high. I could hear it blowing very loudly and a lot of pressure being forced thru it. I do believe there should be more air coming from the tail pipe than there is. If the cap was on just a little, it would for sure blow it right off. If I replace the two catylic converters, could this completely stop the oil from being forced out. On the oil sending unit, there is no red hose like you mentioned, just what looks like electric wires. The oil sending unit screws into the valve cover and then I pressed the plug wire back into it.. I will change the PCV valve tomorrow morning. The PCV valve was replaced three months before the oil sending unit went out. I bet it is now ruined as well as the plugs. There isn't an oil pressure gauge for this car. I do believe it is an electric oil sending unit. There are no oil leaks coming from or around the oil sending unit now.

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The noise might be oil on the timing belt. The oil leak might be from the oil pump gasket. The oil pump is ran by the timing belt and the leak would saturate the timing belt. Inspect the belt

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock Feb 28, 2009

    The oil pump is midway up on the passenger side. It is just two gears, I had to fix one of these 6 months ago and the pump was fine, just the gasket between the two case halves of the pump was leaking like a stuck hog. You can buy just the gasket from a dealer for about 5 bucks. But the noisy is likely oil saturated into the timing belt. If it is, the belt is junk.

  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock Mar 01, 2009

    A clogged converter would cause the engine not to run before at would cause high crankcase pressure. Check the pcv valve, but if the crankcase pressure isn't high enough to force oil into the air intake, I wouldn't worry about it. I think the oil coming out of the fill cap is coming from the timing gears that are right under the oil fill cap. Didn't you say the oil leak was on the back of the engine near the belts. I think the oil sender is on the front of the engine on the cylinder head on the other end of the engine. Good luck.

  • Clint Smock
    Clint Smock Mar 01, 2009

    There are also pressurized oil ports going through the head gasket to oil the camshafts. It could be a head gasket problem. But I would check for the oil pump gasket first. Pull the upper timing belt cover, and start the engine, then look for leaks.

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Take the filler cap off and see how much pressure there is. you should not have very much. Also check your PVC valve. For the oil leak, does the car have a electric oil sending unit or is there a hose going to it? when you replaced the sending unit do you show oil pressure inside your car? if it is a manual sending unit, then there will be a very small hose coming from it. it is about the size of a very small straw/ or like the red straws used with WD40. make sure that it does not have a hole in it or if it is broken. you have 60 lbs of oil pressure at that sending unit.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

  • Thomas Kessenich
    Thomas Kessenich Feb 28, 2009

    I would take the car down to a muffler shop and have them test the catalytic converters. most places won't charge you for this. That way you you know if they are good or bad. you don't want to buy them if you don't need them, they are very expensive. If they are OK. email me back and I will do some research on your problem.

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My 97 toyota started making a noise as if a stick was in a moving fan.Im at a lost of what it could be..it still runs but very loud...what could it be...help please

Posted on Apr 12, 2011

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