Question about 1997 Toyota Camry

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Car is leaking fluid under driver's side - checked the oil levels and it seems fine... (i drive a 97 toyota camry) in addition, i blotted tissue on the leak - it seems like it was almost a dark red, burgundy color... what could it be?

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A dark red or burgundy color fluid most likely means you have a transmission fluid leak.

Warm you car up for 5-10 minutes and check your transmission fluid level while it's running and you will likely find it to be low.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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The two fluids of this colour come from either the automatic transmission or power steering circuit.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009


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New truck leaking oil/fluid onto drive way (owned less than 24 hours. Owner manual states this model does not have transmission level to check, why is this? never heard o this before.

You don't state what make, model or year the vehicle is, that being the oil / fluid brown/ black like oil or is it red like transmission fluid? Some cars today have what they call sealed transmissions. Yes, they have fluid in them but there is no dipstick to check it with. The transmissions plugs that can be removed and you stick your finger in it to get the level, but you have to crawl under the car / truck to do this. Manufacturers like Kia and Toyota, and others feel that since they put in a high mileage long lasting fluid there is no need for the regular Joe to check the fluids on the car, therefore you can pay the bigger $$$ at 50k or 60K miles and let the deal tech do it for you.

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Change transmission oil

Hi Peter, If your Camry has an automatic transmission, for normal driving the auto fluid should be changed every 40,000km, there should be a drain plug on the transmission pan that takes a 10mm hex drive or 17mm socket to undo. You have two choices after driving the car onto ramps or jacking up and supporting on jack stands so you can safely get under the car. 1 - You can loosen and remove the transmission drain plug to let the auto fluid drain out into a container (careful not to lose the sealing washer) refit and tighten the drain plug and washer again. Remove the auto transmission fluid level dip stick, using a suitable funnel pour about 2.5 litres of suitable new auto trans fluid back into the transmission via the dipstick tube (I believe they take dexron 2 of 3 type fluid). Start the car and move it onto a level surface. With the engine running, handbrake on and brake pedal applied, shift the transmission from park through every gear selection slowly into 1st gear, then back to park. Leave engine running. Wipe the dip stick & insert it back into the dip stick tube fully, remove and check where the fluid level mark is on the end of the dipstick. If the fluid level indicates low or does not show at all, add 100ml of additional fluid and recheck the level till the fluid reaches the full mark on the dipstick. 2 - The second option is everything in the first option but includes replacement of the transmission filter and pan gasket. I would only do this if the car had travelled high km or the pan gasket was leaking. At the point where you've drained the old fluid into a container and refitted the drain plug and washer, remove all the transmission pan bolts and the transmission pan. If you have the time to let the fluid drain overnight prior to removing the pan it's a good idea because once the pan is removed, fluid will continue to drip from the transmission. You'll need to remove the old pan gasket, some may be stuck to the pan and or transmission, a razor blade type gasket scraper can be good for this but be careful not to scratch either surface when cleaning off the old gasket. Remove the bolts/nuts that hold the transmission filter onto the bottom of the transmission. Careful caus more fluid may drain out of the transmission or filter once removed. Fit the new filter and filter tube gasket & bolts/nuts, careful not to over tighten. Fit new pan gasket, pan and bolts. Continue with fluid filling procedure from option 1. I would suggest you only use option one and remember to double check the drain plug is tight. Also, remember to dispose of the old fluid correctly. Cheers

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2 Answers

Oil leaking from under metal guard when it has set for a couple of days

There are a number of possible fluids that you're seeing. The three below are the most likely (less likely is refrigerant oil - if your car has air conditioning and windshield washer fluid. It could be condensate if you have air conditioning and are using it- but that is simple water and would evaporate). The fluid you're seeing is probably leaking from a point above the guard and running down the side of the engine block and dripping on the guard - where it eventually pools and drips on the pavement.

Make sure the oil filler cover, dipsticks for oil and transmission fluid are secured properly.

You should check the current levels of motor oil, transmission fluid and coolant. This should be done on a level surface and in the case of coolant - only after the engine has cooled for a couple of hours if there is none visible in the reservoir. All of these fluids are difficult to identify just by looking at them on pavement. You should try blotting the stain on the pavement (or touching a drip with it on the underside of the car) with a white or light colored paper towel or napkin to see what color the fluid is. Coolant is available in different colors - either a yellow - green and pink. Transmission fluid is pinkish - red when new but turns more reddish - brown the longer it has been since it has been flushed & replaced. Motor oil starts out golden color, and quickly gets darker as it is exposed to heat from the engine and suspending of dirt particles, etc.

Aside of crawling around and looking under the car for the source of the leak, a trip to a Jiffy Lube (or similar service provider that either lifts the vehicle aloft or services the vehicle from a pit underneath) will be the easiest way to determine where the leak is - but you should tell the technician that you are finding puddles under you car in the driveway - do that he can actively look for it while working on the undercarriage of the car. Bringing your paper towel witht he stain on it will allow him to identify the fluid.

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2 Answers

1991 toyota camry stiff steering no leaks, safe to drive?

No, it is not unfortunately. This may be an indication of impending total failure, and you can't really handle the car well in traffic.

If the reservoir fluid level is OK, then the next thing to check is that the drive belt is tight enough to drive the steering pump.

If that appears OK then either you have a fault inside the pump or steering rack valve, or there is something binding in the steering knuckle ball joints, and that will need a specialist.

May 12, 2012 | 1991 Toyota Camry

1 Answer

Transmission problem with 97 camry

The 97 has an allen head(14mm?) drain plug on the pan. Drain the fluid and
exaimine it in a clear container. Good transmission fluid smells like new ATF and is usually red. If yours is dark and smells burnt AND/OR HAS DEBRIS IN IT which I think is likely, you will need a new ******.

Dec 20, 2011 | 1997 Toyota Camry

1 Answer

What is the good idling for a car driving at 40mph? Because it idles at 2000 rpm's and I think thats a little high? the car is 97 toyota camry 4 cyl 2.2. Also after I stop it has a certain smell. Good...

A car cannot idle when you are driving, the term "idle" is only used when the car is stopped and motionless. You mean the the car's RPM's are at 2000 when driving at 40mph. The RPM's are normal at that speed and you cannot change it unless you change the gear ratios inside your Transaxle.

The smell you are referring to may be a oil leak of some sort, you may need to look on the ground after you are parked awhile and see if there is fluid leaking and try to determine what type of fluid it is so you can trace what component is leaking.

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1 Answer

Check engine light is on, and when i go past 40 it stops running. doesnt turn off just stops running.

check transmission fluid level.if fluid level okay, transmission fluid and filter been changed. code scan for ecm faults.sound like problem in the transmission torque converter.leaking valve body gasket or faulty valve body and bad oil pump losing pressure not enough oil pressure to get transmission in drive or over drive.

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When i shift into Drive it does nt move right away 10 seconds pass bumps into gear drives great" Camry 1991

1st check fluid level in trans. If o/k then suggest a trans oil filter replacement. If the filter is clogged it will starve the trans oil pump. Another cause would be a faulty check valve inside the trans that stops oil from leaking out of the torque converter back into the pan. Check this by checking the oil level after overnight and see if the level is about 2-3 litres over. Nope this helps Moe

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First and easiest thing to try is put some additive in your gas like "heet" to remove any moisture that may have collected in your tank, and re-fill at busy station.

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