Oil leaking, but don't know from where??!

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Old 19 Sep 2006, 12:51 pm   #1 (permalink)
Ed
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Default Oil leaking, but don't know from where??!

I have a 97 Camry 4 cyl LE with 71,000 miles. I had a large puddle
(maybe 8 inches by 16 inches?) of clear oil under the left side,
slightly inside and behind the left front tire. It was definitely oil,
not water. Since it was clear, I thought brake fluid - but I inspected
the master cylinder and all around it and found it dry.

The fluid was actually dripping onto the top of the frame or suspension
member going to the wheel, then running down and off the bottom of it.
The only wet thing I could find was the boot on the hydraulic steering
ram. I know that's right below the lines coming out of where the ram
connects to the power steering pump, but none of the lines were
dripping oil.

I did have a whining power steering system a few days ago. The
reservoir was quitelow and I added fluid up to the cold full mark. Two
days later, it's dropped about 1/4 inch.

My car was involved in an accident a while back (6 months or so), in
which a backing-up semi caught it at the left front wheel and slowly
pushed it sideways about 25 feet. The dealer fixed everything that
could be seen at that time. Now I'm wondering if the impact could have
set up a seal failure on the left side of this steering ram, and I'm
leaking inside the boot, and it's seeping out through cracks in the
rubber fro pressure and movement. Does that sound plausible?

Are there any other things I should look at before I go buy one of
these?

Ed

(PS - would anyone venture to guess as whether I would stand a chance
getting the insurance company to add this to the repairs as related
damage?)

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Old 19 Sep 2006, 04:40 pm   #2 (permalink)
mack
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Default Re: Oil leaking, but don't know from where??!


"Ed" <prof_ofwhat@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1158688284.176836.51300@m73g2000cwd.googlegro ups.com...
>I have a 97 Camry 4 cyl LE with 71,000 miles. I had a large puddle
> (maybe 8 inches by 16 inches?) of clear oil under the left side,
> slightly inside and behind the left front tire. It was definitely oil,
> not water. Since it was clear, I thought brake fluid - but I inspected
> the master cylinder and all around it and found it dry.
>
> The fluid was actually dripping onto the top of the frame or suspension
> member going to the wheel, then running down and off the bottom of it.
> The only wet thing I could find was the boot on the hydraulic steering
> ram. I know that's right below the lines coming out of where the ram
> connects to the power steering pump, but none of the lines were
> dripping oil.
>
> I did have a whining power steering system a few days ago. The
> reservoir was quitelow and I added fluid up to the cold full mark. Two
> days later, it's dropped about 1/4 inch.
>
> My car was involved in an accident a while back (6 months or so), in
> which a backing-up semi caught it at the left front wheel and slowly
> pushed it sideways about 25 feet. The dealer fixed everything that
> could be seen at that time. Now I'm wondering if the impact could have
> set up a seal failure on the left side of this steering ram, and I'm
> leaking inside the boot, and it's seeping out through cracks in the
> rubber fro pressure and movement. Does that sound plausible?
>
> Are there any other things I should look at before I go buy one of
> these?
>
> Ed
>
> (PS - would anyone venture to guess as whether I would stand a chance
> getting the insurance company to add this to the repairs as related
> damage?)
>

Just an uneducated guess, but if you've had the car almost 10 years and 77k
miles without such trouble, and then had a fairly severe collision, it
certainly sounds related (and it's not as if the spare tire in the trunk
lost air, since it's close to the point of collision). I'd ask my own
insurance company how to proceed with the trucker's company to get
satisfaction in this matter. (or they may go to bat for you.)

The sudden drop in power steering fluid and the drop after replenishing it
sounds like you've found the leak.


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Old 19 Sep 2006, 07:21 pm   #3 (permalink)
Butzmark
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Default Re: Oil leaking, but don't know from where??!

On 19 Sep 2006 10:51:24 -0700, "Ed" <prof_ofwhat@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I have a 97 Camry 4 cyl LE with 71,000 miles. I had a large puddle
>(maybe 8 inches by 16 inches?) of clear oil under the left side,
>slightly inside and behind the left front tire. It was definitely oil,
>not water. Since it was clear, I thought brake fluid - but I inspected
>the master cylinder and all around it and found it dry.
>
>The fluid was actually dripping onto the top of the frame or suspension
>member going to the wheel, then running down and off the bottom of it.
>The only wet thing I could find was the boot on the hydraulic steering
>ram. I know that's right below the lines coming out of where the ram
>connects to the power steering pump, but none of the lines were
>dripping oil.
>
>I did have a whining power steering system a few days ago. The
>reservoir was quitelow and I added fluid up to the cold full mark. Two
>days later, it's dropped about 1/4 inch.
>
>My car was involved in an accident a while back (6 months or so), in
>which a backing-up semi caught it at the left front wheel and slowly
>pushed it sideways about 25 feet. The dealer fixed everything that
>could be seen at that time. Now I'm wondering if the impact could have
>set up a seal failure on the left side of this steering ram, and I'm
>leaking inside the boot, and it's seeping out through cracks in the
>rubber fro pressure and movement. Does that sound plausible?
>
>Are there any other things I should look at before I go buy one of
>these?
>
>Ed
>
>(PS - would anyone venture to guess as whether I would stand a chance
>getting the insurance company to add this to the repairs as related
>damage?)



If your car sat for awhile after the accident it would give the seals
a chance to dry out. Try using some of the power steering fluid that
says it stops leaks. It has a seal conditioner in it...worked for me.

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Old 23 Sep 2006, 01:59 am   #4 (permalink)
sqdancerLynn
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Default Re: Oil leaking, but don't know from where??!

I would contact the Body shop that repaired the car originally About the
leak. The possibility of getting a revised repair estamite ?? MOST
insurance Co guarantee the repairs to your car.
If the body shop won't help call the truckers insurance to file a revised
claim based on your belief that the problem is due to damages from the
accident

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