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Got my fj(2012, 140Kmile) from a Toyota dealership like 300 miles away. They did a full inspection and maintenance before hand over to me. I drove like a week(Not offroad yet) and just found there was fluid(red) under my engine. I checked and find out the Skid plate looks nasty. I do an engine oil dip and find out its way over the max position. I text the seller and he wants me to bring it to a nearest Toyota dealer service center. what should I do, if there is a fee(inspection and fixing)? Should the seller cover that?
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First you need to check the oil correctly, Engine off and setting for 10 min. or so, pull and wipe dipstick and reinsert. Remove and check. Then correct if necessary. Then identify what is leaking is it antifreeze or oil, then identify where it is leaking from. It could be as simple as tighting a hose clamp or a drain fitting/plug. If you are not mechanically inclined get some help. Then once you have identified the issues you can proceed with a path forward for resolution.
 

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I agree with pop. If you have room, slide something in-between the engine and pan to see where the drip is coming coming from. Trace the drip up and make sure it is not traveling along something else in the engine. Check the dipstick and pay attention to see how much is going down.

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Fluid looks red. Either transmission or power steering....see if either of them are low :)
 

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Actually three red fluids ... Toyota engine coolant, Toyota automatic transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.

Was the engine oil dipstick wiped and re-inserted, or just pulled out right after engine shut-down?

2010+ 1GR-FE is difficult to get a good reading on engine oil dipstick immediately after shutdown because dipstick tube is so long, During engine operation, oil gets splashed up in the tube and gets transferred to dipstick when pulling it out and then it's unclear exactly where the oil level live actually is.

Check engine oil level in the AM with cold engine and vehicle perfectly level. The oil level will rise slightly from the cold reading as oil heats up and expands.
 

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Well if you can’t figure out coolant from hydraulic fluid..... It’s in the skid plate. Carry on.


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'09 Off-Road package, Voodoo Blue. Single owner. Just starting the mods... I've got as far as a K&N!
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I’d say based on the sway bar having some oily lookin’ stuff on it, it’s probably a leaky power steering system. I wouldn’t think the transmission fluid could get that far forward onto the front skid plate, but air can do some pretty wild stuff that seems very counterintuitive.

If it were me, before I took it anywhere, I’d clean the entire area with a solvent of some sort. I’d probably just use a can of brake cleaner/or parts cleaner into some sort of drip pan. Certain solvents would dissolve rubber, so read the label first, or avoid the rubber boots on the steering and front CV’s. Wipe/brush if need be. Try not to get any on your belt. Once I’ve got the oilyness gone and it’s just dry metal, after the solvent has evaporated, I’d start it up and let it get to operating temp. Shut ‘er down and do a visual with a flashlight and a small mirror to look for leaks or your camera on your phone. If there’s nothing, start it again and crank the steering back and forth a few times and then check it again... I wouldn’t drive it, because the air movement can throw oil around. At least that way you know what’s going on before going to a shop...

There’s probably a better/more technical approach to this, but I’m a simple guy. This is how we diagnosed oil leaks in airplanes except instead of brake cleaner we used a garden sprayer full of avgas... lol. I’m amazed i survived my 20’s.


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I’d say based on the sway bar having some oily lookin’ stuff on it, it’s probably a leaky power steering system. I wouldn’t think the transmission fluid could get that far forward onto the front skid plate, but air can do some pretty wild stuff that seems very counterintuitive.

If it were me, before I took it anywhere, I’d clean the entire area with a solvent of some sort. I’d probably just use a can of brake cleaner/or parts cleaner into some sort of drip pan. Certain solvents would dissolve rubber, so read the label first, or avoid the rubber boots on the steering and front CV’s. Wipe/brush if need be. Try not to get any on your belt. Once I’ve got the oilyness gone and it’s just dry metal, after the solvent has evaporated, I’d start it up and let it get to operating temp. Shut ‘er down and do a visual with a flashlight and a small mirror to look for leaks or your camera on your phone. If there’s nothing, start it again and crank the steering back and forth a few times and then check it again... I wouldn’t drive it, because the air movement can throw oil around. At least that way you know what’s going on before going to a shop...

There’s probably a better/more technical approach to this, but I’m a simple guy. This is how we diagnosed oil leaks in airplanes except instead of brake cleaner we used a garden sprayer full of avgas... lol. I’m amazed i survived my 20’s.


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If you had my recent experience with an oil change at a local shop - F 150 Lariat...they simply pulled the oil filter thru an access hole in the skid plate. Oil drained on top of skid plate. Tech put new filter on. Vola- oil changed. As I lubed my driveway, I thought I had a serious problem with the truck. Contacted different shop and got yet another oil change. The removed skid plate, power washed lower engine and skid plate and did the job correctly. Perhaps the ops problem was a lazy tech and removing and cleaning the skid plate night be the answer
 

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'09 Off-Road package, Voodoo Blue. Single owner. Just starting the mods... I've got as far as a K&N!
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If you had my recent experience with an oil change at a local shop - F 150 Lariat...they simply pulled the oil filter thru an access hole in the skid plate. Oil drained on top of skid plate. Tech put new filter on. Vola- oil changed. As I lubed my driveway, I thought I had a serious problem with the truck. Contacted different shop and got yet another oil change. The removed skid plate, power washed lower engine and skid plate and did the job correctly. Perhaps the ops problem was a lazy tech and removing and cleaning the skid plate night be the answer
This is why i do damn near everything myself. Never even considered that!

Some peoples kids!


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This is why i do damn near everything myself. Never even considered that!

Some peoples kids!


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Good on ya brother for doing all your own maintenance. It gotten to the point where very few shop or techs are trustworthy. I'm an old guy now and dont spin wrenches anymore....but know all the earmarks of a trusted mechanic. If you have mus on your rear diff oul plug and you take it in for and oil change and fluid check, if the mud is still there...you got screwed. If you got a tire rotation - mark your tires to see if it really got done. Sorry for the rant, but I did spin wrenches for a living...earned my money and never ever screwed a customer
 

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That looks to be atf. Coolant will be less slick. Your truck uses atf in the power steering line and if it's a auto it will be in the transition aswell.
 

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2013 FJ Cruiser 4WD, Quicksand. Falken Wildpeak AT3W 265/70R17/115T All Terrain Radial Snow Rated
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Got my fj(2012, 140Kmile) from a Toyota dealership like 300 miles away. They did a full inspection and maintenance before hand over to me. I drove like a week(Not offroad yet) and just found there was fluid(red) under my engine. I checked and find out the Skid plate looks nasty. I do an engine oil dip and find out its way over the max position. I text the seller and he wants me to bring it to a nearest Toyota dealer service center. what should I do, if there is a fee(inspection and fixing)? Should the seller cover that? View attachment 1146045 View attachment 1146046 View attachment 1146047 View attachment 1146048
 

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Hey there, Im no expert but the fluid on your finger looks Red- and I'm thinking it could be transmission fluid? Oh I see you are saying Puddle IS Red fluid.. Don't clean or alter anything until the Local Dealership checks it out and documents what happened! Collect some in a glass container for proof and testing (sop a good amount out of the skid plate with paper towel and put into lidded glass jar(s)).. Take photos of fluid volume & color involved at scene..and at the local Dealer. Find out from the Seller Dealership if they are paying first. When you call and find the nearest Toyota Service Center ask the Supervisor/Manager to call the Seller Dealership and work out who is paying also, just to be certain. Not You- why would you pay! They will likely have to drop the skid plate to check what's leaking. Find out if the Dealership where you bought your FJ changed the Oil and Oil Filter (get the Name of who changed it /who did the work), and if by chance they did a transmission flush or messed with that transmission drain plug (intentionally or by accident). Like someone said, let FJ rest and cool before oil level checked for accurate level. Take photos of the engine oil level on the dipstick before you leave for the local dealership. When you take FJ in to nearest Toyota Dealership you need to tell them to look at every seal, plug and report & document where it is leaking, what type of fluid/oil, and what they think is going on, etc. Is there/was there engine oil coming/spirting out of the dipstick area or around the oil filter?? Did they accidentally drain a little of the transmission fluid, realize fluid was red, and not put the plug back in correctly?? I think I've read the transmission drain plug is near the engine oil plug and someone unfamiliar could open that by mistake. Did they drain All the transmission oil by accident, never drain the engine oil (or change the filter) and therefore also overfill the engine oil? I hope not, but it is unfortunately possible. Make sure they check the transmission Fluid level BUT I don't think there is a transmission fluid dipstick for you to check. There is a fill port somewhere I believe, and I'm betting the Local Dealership will find a way to make sure there Is transmission fluid- they have to in light of a Red Puddle!. Take Pics or have them take pics with your phone or camera if they won't let you in the repair bay. They need to document that the engine oil is overfilled & if it is overfilled badly and write down any other screw ups they find. Remember the Dealership you pick will probably end up being your Go-To place for things that require a Dealership, and they want a good New Customer. The Seller Dealership cannot afford to do you wrong with Social Media on your side. Good luck.
 
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Hey there, Im no expert but the fluid on your finger looks Red- and I'm thinking it could be transmission fluid? Oh I see you are saying Puddle IS Red fluid.. Don't clean or alter anything until the Local Dealership checks it out and documents what happened! Collect some in a glass container for proof and testing (sop a good amount out of the skid plate with paper towel and put into lidded glass jar(s)).. Take photos of fluid volume & color involved at scene..and at the local Dealer. Find out from the Seller Dealership if they are paying first. When you call and find the nearest Toyota Service Center ask the Supervisor/Manager to call the Seller Dealership and work out who is paying also, just to be certain. Not You- why would you pay! They will likely have to drop the skid plate to check what's leaking. Find out if the Dealership where you bought your FJ changed the Oil and Oil Filter (get the Name of who changed it /who did the work), and if by chance they did a transmission flush or messed with that transmission drain plug (intentionally or by accident). Like someone said, let FJ rest and cool before oil level checked for accurate level. Take photos of the engine oil level on the dipstick before you leave for the local dealership. When you take FJ in to nearest Toyota Dealership you need to tell them to look at every seal, plug and report & document where it is leaking, what type of fluid/oil, and what they think is going on, etc. Is there/was there engine oil coming/spirting out of the dipstick area or around the oil filter?? Did they accidentally drain a little of the transmission fluid, realize fluid was red, and not put the plug back in correctly?? I think I've read the transmission drain plug is near the engine oil plug and someone unfamiliar could open that by mistake. Did they drain All the transmission oil by accident, never drain the engine oil (or change the filter) and therefore also overfill the engine oil? I hope not, but it is unfortunately possible. Make sure they check the transmission Fluid level BUT I don't think there is a transmission fluid dipstick for you to check. There is a fill port somewhere I believe, and I'm betting the Local Dealership will find a way to make sure there Is transmission fluid- they have to in light of a Red Puddle!. Take Pics or have them take pics with your phone or camera if they won't let you in the repair bay. They need to document that the engine oil is overfilled & if it is overfilled badly and write down any other screw ups they find. Remember the Dealership you pick will probably end up being your Go-To place for things that require a Dealership, and they want a good New Customer. The Seller Dealership cannot afford to do you wrong with Social Media on your side. Good luck.
Unfortunately, some bad information here, many assumptions and guesses.

1. "Collect some fluid in a jar for testing" ...
No one is going to perform any kind of 'laboratory testing' on a little bit of fluid on a scrap of paper towel.

2. "Take your FJ to the nearest Toyota dealer and tell them to report and document.."
No Toyota dealer is going to perform a meticulous inspection and leak source investigation without getting paid at their usual hourly shop rate ($100-130/hr). You will be responsible for any charges.

3. If anyone 'accidentally drained' all the transmission fluid, the vehicle would not move under its own power.

4. There is absolutely no evidence that the "engine oil is grossly overfilled" ... this sounds simply like wild speculation.

5. Probably most importantly, if the vehicle was sold as a used vehicle, "as-is, where-is", then it's the buyer's responsibility to perform any needed repairs. If there was a 30, 60, or 90 day warranty on specific components, then immediately contact the selling dealership and describe the issue. Check the easy-to-check fluids like engine coolant level, power steering level, and, with a little more effort, the transmission fluid level.

6. Rather than just assuming and speculating, after checking the fluid levels listed above to make sure the vehicle is safe to drive, take it to a self-service car wash and thoroughly clean the lower part of the engine bay, especially the upper surface of the engine skid plate. Then, drive for 10 minutes, stop, and check for any signs of fluid leakage. If nothing is seen, drive for 20 minutes and repeat. Given the volume of leaked fluid shown in your photos, the leak source should be easy to spot. Once you know what fluid is leaking, and from where, you can determine what your next action will be, and what information to relay to the selling dealership 300 miles away.

(Question ... is this your first motor vehicle?)
 
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