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Toyota Repair/transmission fluid

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QUESTION: Hi Ted,

I have a 1998 Toyota camry 6 cyl with 149,000 miles on it.  I drive about 6,000 miles per year.

The transmission was serviced a little over 2 years ago.  I have driven 16,500 miles since.  We just discovered that the transmission fluid was OVERFILLED back when it was serviced.  Does this cause any problem?
Also, we have had leaks spots on our driveway and wonder if this could be excess transmission fluid.  And not the result of valve cover leaks as I was told by mechanic.

Also, we do not USE any oil when we check the engine oil.  If we had a valve cover leak, would we be using engine oil?

Please give me your take on this.

ANSWER: Overfilling the transmission fluid should not cause fluid to escape unless it is way overfilled where it may come out of a vent located on top of the transmission, the valve cover leaks are common so I don't doubt that it needs them replaced.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ted, if the valve cover is leaking more than "modestly" should that result in reduced engine oil level, over time, when we check with dip stick?

Answer
Not necessarily, a small leak won't drop the level much, it would need to leak about a quart in 1000 miles for the level to drop about 1/2 inch, that' would be a big leak, the color of the fluid, if it's brown or dark brown it's engine oil, if it's a reddish color it's transmission fluid. Put a clean piece of cardboard or newspaper under the car and let it sit over night, you should be able to determine pretty much where the leak is and what color the oil is.  

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Ted Ritter

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I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.

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Toyota technician since 1979,expert in electrical systems,OBD systems,engine repair, driveability problems,EFI systems,ASE certified,Toyota master technician.
Certified Hybrid Vehicle technician.

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Toyota master technician, ASE certified in eight catagories, Hybrid vehicle certified. Toyota technical training: Engine Automatic transmission Manual transmission Drivetrain Electrical systems Brakes and chassis Air conditioning Engine performance and diagnostics Hybrid systems

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