2002 RAV4 massive oil leak

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bigcountry78

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Hopefully someone here has some insight. Back in January, my Rav radiator sprung a leak. It got parked until a couple weeks ago, because I have my truck and I drive my patrol car daily. So I finally got around to putting a radiator in, and that went smoothly. I pulled it up to the driveway and let it idle for 10-15 minutes to check for leaks and then shut it down. The next day I started it up to run some errands. I got less than 3 miles down the road and stopped at a stoplight. That’s when I noticed smoke rolling from under the hood. I pulled over and popped the hood. I saw oil running down the transmission and had a pancake sized oil puddle in less than 30 seconds. So I high tailed it back home and parked it. But, I can’t figure out where it’s coming from. It’s a front wheel drive, so the motor is mounted sideways. It was running down the front and rear of the transmission, so it had to be coming from that area. Any ideas? I zoomed in best I could to show where it’s leaking. You can see oil pooled up on the transmission. And yes, it’s motor oil.
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bigcountry78

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I guess I should mention, it’s the 2 liter 4 cylinder, automatic.
 

bucket

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I'm not familiar with those later ones, but for it to be leaking that bad, it must be from somewhere with pressurized oil. Like maybe a pressure sender or a solenoid/valve for the variable valve timing.
 

bigcountry78

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Well, that’s a start. I’m hesitant to start taking it apart, right now I can still crank and move it out of the way if I need to. Once I start taking stuff off, moving it around gets a whole lot harder. If I can’t fix it cheaply and relatively easily, then I’ll probably just park it and save money on insurance.
 

bigcountry78

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Just another picture I found of the location of the leak.
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Snoots

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IIWM, I'd top off the oil, spray down the motor with engine cleaner and hose it off. Let it dry and have the SO start it up while you watch under the hood. Just my 2 cents.
 

bucket

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I'd take a closer look at this doohickey here:

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It screws in which usually means there's oil pressure associated with it. Also, the puddle seems to form directly below it.
 

bigcountry78

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Alright, I’ll see what’s going on with that thing. Maybe it’s that simple, a cracked sensor or blown seal.
 

PrairieDrifter

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I've seen sending units leak through the connectors before. It comes up through the sending unit and out of the electrical plugs. The connector in the back on the top right looks pretty greasy for an electrical connection.
 

bigcountry78

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I've seen sending units leak through the connectors before. It comes up through the sending unit and out of the electrical plugs. The connector in the back on the top right looks pretty greasy for an electrical connection.
I’ll check that out too.
 

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