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What is my 2002 4Runner dripping?

Truck Trend
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What is my 2002 4Runner dripping?

Truck Trend Truck Trend
Administrator | Posts: 4666 | Joined: 02/07
Posted: 01/20/09
04:51 PM

Question: My 2002 4Runner Limited V-6, which has 130,000 miles on it, leaves small drops that look like transmission fluid on my driveway. There's fluid on the bolts that hold the transmission to the engine but I'm unsure where the leak originates. What are your thoughts?

Answer: Best-case scenario, assuming you have an automatic and it is transmission fluid you're looking at, would be a leak from the transmission's pan gasket. Replacement is simple, inexpensive, and part of a recommended service anyway. Next up would be a leak from the front pump seal. That's where the torque converter fits into the front of the transmission. This more involved repair requires removal of the transmission and could lead elsewhere. Sometimes the bushing in the front pump, which supports the torque converter, wears out. The initial symptom is a leak from the pump seal because the converter is no longer being held perfectly straight while it rotates. A less common leak in the same area is the front pump gasket. The worst case would be a crack or porosity in the transmission case, which can get expensive. As always, we recommend proper testing before coming to a conclusion. In this case, that involves the addition of a transmission-fluid dye followed by a careful inspection with an ultraviolet light. This is a great way to spot a small leak without any major cleaning or disassembly, and you may be able to purchase an inexpensive leak test kit at a local auto-parts store.


If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex Steele, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048, or e-mail us at

Have you ran into this problem or know of a solution you'd like to voice, Post it below!  

truckboy6 truckboy6
New User | Posts: 18 | Joined: 07/10
Posted: 07/21/10
01:17 AM

you could have a stuck open injector pull all the plugs and see if any are wet looking  
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