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Timing cover leak? --Newly bought used 2016 Tacoma Limited

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by FishSailor, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Jul 11, 2020 at 4:36 PM
    #1
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think I really got a bad deal with this truck (bought it in Jan): first the power steering fluid is mysteriously over filled and spilling all over the place; then I found a big transmission fluid leak, turns out to be the transmission cooler outlet line has rusted through, so I had to replace both cooler lines and change the fluid (only about 1 qrt old fluid came out; so my transmission could have blown up if I hadn't noticed the leak for another two months). Now, I realized that I may have the dreaded timing cover leak: I should haven taken a picture before I cleaned the area with 4 cans of carb cleaner -- because I wanted to make sure there is oil leak. But all the read circled areas are covered with black oil (completely black):

    IMG_6704 (1).jpg

    Also, when I was working on the transmission cooler lines and fluid change, the areas below these areas are also covered in black oil.

    I was hoping it was the power steering fluid spilling over, so I cleaned area. It seems to be surrounding that square rusty cover right below the hose circled in green (is this the timing cover)?

    After 1 weeks of in town driving, I clearly see oil seeping out to the bolt pointed by the arrow. So there is no doubt that it has nothing to do with power steering.

    I want to confirm with the experts here is this the timing cover leak?

    Also, I have found that the repair is extremely labor intensive and costs thousands of dollars. But it seems to me that I can just unbolt the four bolts holding that green circled cover, applying some RTV. Please tell me where I am wrong.

    Thanks a lot!

    Man! I was willing to pay more to buy a Tacoma for its reputation of high quality. But this truck has been nothing but problems in just a few months. It is so disappointing. Sorry, just have to vent a bit here.
     
    davidstacoma likes this.
  2. Jul 11, 2020 at 4:42 PM
    #2
    Natetroknot

    Natetroknot Experiencing TW at several WTFs per thread

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    Drive it till she quits, yank the plates and dangle

    Welcome aboard! :wave:
     
  3. Jul 11, 2020 at 4:46 PM
    #3
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The Leak is definitely slow. I have been watching the oil very carefully, but can't detect any oil loss with the dipstick. So I guess I won't do anything yet -- but it is certainly upsetting and disappointing when you just bought this truck.

    Does anyone know roughly what fraction of the 3rd gen Tacoma has this issue?

    Also, how quickly does it become a big leak and have to be fixed?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. Jul 11, 2020 at 4:55 PM
    #4
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    Maybe it’s just me, but for a 2016 it seems like quite a bit of rust going on, what part of the country do you live in?
     
    shakerhood and synaps3 like this.
  5. Jul 11, 2020 at 4:57 PM
    #5
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I live in upstate NY, near Syracuse, Rochester. We have gone through the rust issue before on this forum -- it is normal for my region, unfortunately.
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  6. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:11 PM
    #6
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    Yes, I am familiar with the region, I once had a Datsun 240Z in the 70's while I was living in Montreal, Quebec, it rusted to nothing in just a short time. The salt on the winter roads killed it.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:19 PM
    #7
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Going back to the original thread, can someone confirm whether I have the dreaded timing (chain??) cover leak issue based on the picture and description in my original post?

    Thanks!
     
  8. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:48 PM
    #8
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So this is the timing cover leak?

    The truck only has ~70k miles (just out of the 60k warranty)
     
  9. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:50 PM
    #9
    Bleep100

    Bleep100 TOYOTA 4 LIFE

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    I'm not sure . I would take it to Toyota and have them look at it and answer all your questions .
     
  10. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:52 PM
    #10
    Bleep100

    Bleep100 TOYOTA 4 LIFE

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    When was that truck made ? Maybe it was one of the first third gens .
     
    shakerhood likes this.
  11. Jul 11, 2020 at 7:55 PM
    #11
    suaveflooder

    suaveflooder Well-Known Member

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    Either way, it’s not a cheap fix. Engine has to be pulled if it’s a timing leak and out of warranty, correct?? Toyota wouldn’t cover my third break light. I would be shocked to see if they covered that kind of repair.
     
  12. Jul 12, 2020 at 7:22 AM
    #12
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It is out of warranty alright. :<

    What is the green circle cover? Is it the timing cover? Or timing cover is something more inside?
     
  13. Jul 12, 2020 at 7:40 AM
    #13
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am doing some research online and found this post on TW by Mingy:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/how-to-fix-the-timing-chain-cover-oil-leak.525227/

    It seems to have done exactly what I suggested in my post. See his pictures below:
    Cover in place.jpg One Side of gasket.jpg Engine side of cover.jpg

    If this can fix it, it doesn't seem like a very difficult job and I should be able to handle it. Especially given the excellent detailed step-by-step description by Mingy. Can someone comment? This job, even at the dealer, shouldn't cost thousands? I start to think there might be two different issues: one is this one described by Mingy (seems like I have the same issue) with a seemingly easy fix, another one is much more involved and expensive.

    I am really new to Tacamo, please help me!
     
    Grossomotto likes this.
  14. Jul 12, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #14
    specter208

    specter208 Well-Known Member

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    That little square piece is the timing chain tensioner inspection port. The actual timing chain cover leak happens at the seam of the engine block and timing cover seam a little above where the the power steering pump bolts to the engine. This is a common problem on 4.0 V6s all the way back as far as 03 I believe.
     
    shakerhood and suaveflooder like this.
  15. Jul 12, 2020 at 8:03 AM
    #15
    Hooper89

    Hooper89 Well-Known Member

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    Buy from a dealer or private party? When I was in college I got taken by a shitty z28 that looked cool but had every problem under the Sun incl a previous accident so I know the feeling.

    If it were me I’d find a reputable local shop, go over everything and work out a deal to have it fixed...or do it yourself. Sounds like timing chain cover and maybe power steering pump? Never heard of it overflowing unless previous owner added too much thinking that was the leak.
     
  16. Jul 12, 2020 at 8:11 AM
    #16
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot. This is 3rd Gen, so a 3.5L V6. Does it have the same problem as the 4.0L engine?

     
  17. Jul 12, 2020 at 8:12 AM
    #17
    FishSailor

    FishSailor [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I bought it from a Toyota dealer no less! They lied to me from the beginning (they said it has the tow package, turns out to be an aftermarket tow, the hitch is from UHual -- I had a post on TW about this in Jan). :<
     
    Hooper89 likes this.
  18. Jul 12, 2020 at 8:54 AM
    #18
    specter208

    specter208 Well-Known Member

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    Yes the 3.5 and 4.0 are from the same family of GR engines (1gr is 4.0 and 3.5 is the 2gr) they basically share the same engine block. The 4.0 V6 had this timing cover leak for a long time and the 3.5 basically inherited this defect. To fix it on a 4.0 you take off all the engine accessories and pull the timing chain cover, clean the mating surfaces and reapply silicone rtv gasket material. If you have the proper tools you can do this in maybe half a day or even less with some help without needing to pull the engine. The 3.5 may be a little trickier because it has more accessories and the engine bay is smaller. I tried this on my 05 Tundra which has a lot of room in the engine bay but I didn’t finish the project because I discovered other issues with the engine and aborted the mission. If you have experience with working on cars, it should be rather simple but takes time imo.
     
    Grossomotto likes this.
  19. Jul 12, 2020 at 9:10 AM
    #19
    Hooper89

    Hooper89 Well-Known Member

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    Get a lawyer? Raise hell at the service dept? They must be a shit dealer to let it go out the door with oddball oil leaks.
     
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  20. Jul 12, 2020 at 9:37 AM
    #20
    Grossomotto

    Grossomotto Complete 3rd Member

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    It's a labor of love, fix it yourself if it get's bad. All trucks and cars need work even if they're four years old. You'll spend more time and money than you want trying to get the dealer to fix it.

     

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