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'22 Rav4 w/ leaky main seal on front transaxle

2143 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Paul894
Hello all. Been lurking for a number of months and finally decided to join - mostly prompted by my experience with my 5 month old XLE.

At 8500 km I found a leak beneath the car, that has subsequently been diagnosed by the dealer as a main seal leak of the front transaxle (output side).

Most frustrating is that 72 hrs before I found the leak, the Rav4 was in for Service 1, and was given an 'all good' by the dealer. A few days later, like many new owners of these modern Toyota engines, I did my first oil change. The moment I got under the car I noticed streaks of fluid on the underside of the oil filter/drain plug panel. After a quick inspection I determined that neither the drain plug nor the filter were the source of the leak.

As frustrating as it is to have a new Toyota with this sort of problem, more frustrating is the fact that having paid for Toyota's ESP, the technician/s who had the car on the hoist three days earlier did not have the presence of mind to raise a red flag when streaks of fluid were clearly present (on a new car). Imagine the mess and mechanical problems that could have been present if I did not change my oil when I did, and had waited another 8 thousand km to go in for Service 2 (which as you already know is the first oil change). Needless to say, the service work to repair the leak is being done by another dealer.

Curious, has anyone else experienced this sort of issue on a new Toyota?
What about dealing with incompetence at some dealer service centres?

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For myself, I would get it fixed, sell it for a profit, then buy another one. My trust would be zero on this 1 in a million Toyota new vehicle mishap. Vehicle was maybe made on a late Friday or early Monday. Plus I would stay away from that dealership. JMHO
 

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If it was in for service that didn't involve pulling the cover how could they possibly see it? I would have hit it with brake cleaner and wait a month or so to see if the leak was active before replacing a main seal.

Main seal leak involves a lot of disassembly. It may come back with new noises. Good luck with the repair but any issues I'd trade it. Sorry you have to deal with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If it was in for service that didn't involve pulling the cover how could they possibly see it? I would have hit it with brake cleaner and wait a month or so to see if the leak was active before replacing a main seal.

Main seal leak involves a lot of disassembly. It may come back with new noises. Good luck with the repair but any issues I'd trade it. Sorry you have to deal with this.
The second picture shows what can be seen w/o pulling any covers off. It is the first thing I saw the moment I got under the car (clear fluid streaks on the underside of the panel), and I knew that it was not supposed to be there. An older Toyota with 150k may well have lots of new and old fluid streaks, but a new one in for a first service should have prompted the technician to at least investigate further. Maybe the first service should include them pulling off the covers to have a more comprehensive inspection.

The one curious thing about the alleged failed main seal was that I asked the mechanic to check the gear oil in the transaxle (I was present), so he removed the plug and confirmed it was full - to the top. So, if it was leaking where did it come from if it is currently full? Your idea to clean it and check later seems like the right move. I guess I'll see how it goes this coming Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For myself, I would get it fixed, sell it for a profit, then buy another one. My trust would be zero on this 1 in a million Toyota new vehicle mishap. Vehicle was maybe made on a late Friday or early Monday. Plus I would stay away from that dealership. JMHO
Not a bad idea. The main barrier to your idea is the wait times. The dealer says 3-7 months for a gas Rav4 here in Western Canada, and longer for a hybrid.

And yes, I will be staying away from Cochrane Toyota (not sure if I'm allowed to say their name on here).
 

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Often, it's from manufacturing. Honda has plenty of forum posts with this issue. I remember with a brand new CRV in 2015 I saw a drop and some residue where the trans and engine meet. I cleaned it and fortunately it never came back but the CVT ended up failing at 62k due to a manufacturing error.:(
 

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Hello all. Been lurking for a number of months and finally decided to join - mostly prompted by my experience with my 5 month old XLE.

At 8500 km I found a leak beneath the car, that has subsequently been diagnosed by the dealer as a main seal leak of the front transaxle (output side).

Most frustrating is that 72 before I found the leak, the Rav4 was in for Service 1, and was given an 'all good' by the dealer. A few days later, like many new owners of these modern Toyota engines, I did my first oil change. The moment I got under the car I noticed streaks of fluid on the underside of the oil filter/drain plug panel. After a quick inspection I determined that neither the drain plug nor the filter were the source of the leak.

As frustrating as it is to have a new Toyota with this sort of problem, more frustrating is the fact that having paid for Toyota's ESP, the technician/s who had the car on the hoist three days earlier did not have the presence of mind to raise a red flag when streaks of fluid were clearly present (on a new car). Imagine the mess and mechanical problems that could have been present if I did not change my oil when I did, and had waited another 8 thousand km to go in for Service 2 (which as you already know is the first oil change). Needless to say, the service work to repair the leak is being done by another dealer.

Curious, has anyone else experienced this sort of issue on a new Toyota?
What about dealing with incompetence at some dealer service centres?

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There is a Toyota Tech Tip that may apply: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2021/MC-10204549-9999.pdf

Have your dealer investigate that possibility before you tear into the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is a Toyota Tech Tip that may apply: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2021/MC-10204549-9999.pdf

Have your dealer investigate that possibility before you tear into the car.
Unfortunately I don't believe the TSB pertains to the specific situation my vehicle is experiencing. My leak is coming from above the oil pan, and the problem noted in the TSB specifically notes that it affects Kentucky built vehicles. My Rav4 was built in Canada. Thanks for looking into this though :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A quick update.

I expect to have my Rav4 back tomorrow (Tue). The dealer (different than the one I purchased from) has had it since Friday AM. There has been a delay from the promised delivery time due to the lack of Toyota gear oil. Apparently it has been backordered for a long time in Canada. They told me that they found a dealer in another town that had stock, and were able to get their hands on some.
 

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Not a bad idea. The main barrier to your idea is the wait times. The dealer says 3-7 months for a gas Rav4 here in Western Canada, and longer for a hybrid.

And yes, I will be staying away from Cochrane Toyota (not sure if I'm allowed to say their name on here).
The chances of people in the US or Canada knowing where Cochrane, Alberta is few and far between, unless you live here. And why not call out bad dealerships, why should they get a free pass.
 

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Hello all. Been lurking for a number of months and finally decided to join - mostly prompted by my experience with my 5 month old XLE.

At 8500 km I found a leak beneath the car, that has subsequently been diagnosed by the dealer as a main seal leak of the front transaxle (output side).

Most frustrating is that 72 before I found the leak, the Rav4 was in for Service 1, and was given an 'all good' by the dealer. A few days later, like many new owners of these modern Toyota engines, I did my first oil change. The moment I got under the car I noticed streaks of fluid on the underside of the oil filter/drain plug panel. After a quick inspection I determined that neither the drain plug nor the filter were the source of the leak.

As frustrating as it is to have a new Toyota with this sort of problem, more frustrating is the fact that having paid for Toyota's ESP, the technician/s who had the car on the hoist three days earlier did not have the presence of mind to raise a red flag when streaks of fluid were clearly present (on a new car). Imagine the mess and mechanical problems that could have been present if I did not change my oil when I did, and had waited another 8 thousand km to go in for Service 2 (which as you already know is the first oil change). Needless to say, the service work to repair the leak is being done by another dealer.

Curious, has anyone else experienced this sort of issue on a new Toyota?
What about dealing with incompetence at some dealer service centres?

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Not a happy camper right now. My 2022 RAV4 Adventure is at the dealership (not where I purchased it), for the same issue. Took delivery on 9/19, in the shop on 9/28 with just over 300 miles on it. Noticed a puddle of gear oil on the garage floor and a trail where I turn in the driveway. Dealer says they have not seen this before. Search RAV4 Oil Leak on youtube. Several 2021 and 2022 RAV4s with the same issue.
 

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We just took my wife's 22' LE AWD in for a rear main seat leak . Car has 1000kms on it . We are not happy either .. when I get the car back I'll be going over it with a fine tooth comb making sure everything is as it should be . Here's a couple pics of the leak
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Not a happy camper right now. My 2022 RAV4 Adventure is at the dealership (not where I purchased it), for the same issue. Took delivery on 9/19, in the shop on 9/28 with just over 300 miles on it. Noticed a puddle of gear oil on the garage floor and a trail where I turn in the driveway. Dealer says they have not seen this before. Search RAV4 Oil Leak on youtube. Several 2021 and 2022 RAV4s with the same issue.
Update: 10/18/22
Went to pick up the RAV4 yesterday as it was finished. Asked them to bring the vehicle in so I could do a walk-around.
Vehicle was not cleaned, had dirt and what looks like oil streaks on the front passenger fender. Needs a good cleaning. Found 2 scratches through the paint. 1) on the front grill surround as it rolls up toward the hood. 2) under the hood just right of center, scratches down to bare metal. Also found broken glass in the rear driver side floor. Luckily the all-weather mat was installed and caught most of it. I can see where something hit the doorsill and splashed to the inside, landing in the mat.
Needless to say the RAV4 is still at the dealership as I did not accept it.
 

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Update #2: 10/24/22
Drove past the dealer on Saturday, just to see where they were at with the repairs (see previous replies). My Rav4 was parked outside and it looked like it was finished. Asked the service advisor about it and he said he was waiting on the paperwork. I asked if I could open the car and give it a once over, which he approved. Everything looks good. Paint was repaired in both locations. Can't tell there was anything wrong. Looks like it was detailed as well. Then I looked under the car, just being curious, as it was in the shop for the gear oil leak. IT'S STILL LEAKING GEAR OIL! There was a about a 2" to 3" circle of gear oil on the ground and oil drips on the bottom of the car. I reached underneath and touched the drip and it ran down my finger into my hand. I went in, told the service advisor and showed him the oil on my hand.
He wrote a note, to give to the service manager this morning. Waiting on a call.
 

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Well this is a timing thread. My 2020 Rav4 is due for an oil change and I am debating to do it myself or take to the dealer.
My 3 year warranty is up as well. After reading this thread, I am inclined to do myself.

Sorry to folks that are having this issue. I hope mine is ok and thanks for posting so I know to look for it.
 

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If you have the leaks that are shown in post #12, I wouldn't panic too much. I'd try cleaning it up with brake clean on a rag, and seeing if it comes back. My car had that, and it hasn't come back. I'm wondering if they used oil or something to lube the seals, and excess lube flung out and dripped down. If you have drips or puddles though, that's a different story.. I guess I'm also coming from a place of not wanting toyota to do any invasive repairs that they don't have to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update on the original post.
The repair was completed. I'm not in a position right now to get under the car to inspect the work, but eventually I will be and I'll have a very close look. At least the plastic covers were all put back. I'll also be talking to the service advisor about them doing a wheel alignment, as it is slightly off.

The only frustration occurred when I picked up my Rav4. As the service advisor was handing me the key she told me that they did a complimentary car wash. I was like...tell me about this car wash. She then tells me that it is a soft touch car wash. Not since I was 17 have I abused a car I have owned by putting it through these types of machines.

I go out and immediately can see micro scratches all over the paint and glass. WTF!!

I get the service manager and he agrees to have the car sent to their auto spa and have it buffed.
I agree, but whatever they put on to make the scratches go away is only temporary - as after the most recent car wash I can again see the scratches. I get it, first world problems and all, but nonetheless I am pissed off at the utter stupidity at these Toyota dealers.
 

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We finally received our 22' rav4 back from the dealer after a month of waiting,, story is that they found a nick in the crankshaft where the rear main seal rides . so they replaced the crankshaft along with new bearings , We asked that the car be left on a hoist for me to inspect prior to taking it . , met the mechanic who performed the job as well as the service manager . All looked good , vehicle was very clean , we were happy . fast forward 3 days later and about 200 kms put on the rav4 , I removed the underbelly cover to inspect again to make sure all is good , and I find now a couple drips of ATF coming from between the engine and transmission , I suspect the front seal of the transmission where the converter slides in is leaking .. We will be taking it back again to the dealer .... Very very angry at the situation . we would really love to just have the dealer buy back this rav4 at this point
 

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Update #3 11/15/22
A lot has happened, none of it good. Going to try and keep this short and to the point.
10/24 - No returned call. Had to call Svc Dept to get an update. Was told "I had to give them time to fix the vehicle". I explained the leak was supposed to have already been fixed and as of 10/22, they were just waiting on paperwork. The car was still leaking.
10/27 - Got a call that the car was ready. They said it was just residual oil, and all was cleaned up now. Picked up car.
10/28 - Drove car to work, checked underneath, gear oil streaks on bottom of car. It's STILL LEAKING! Back to Toyota Svc for another look. Was asked to bring the car back Monday as the Svc Mgr was out.
10/31 - Car stayed in my garage over the weekend. Gear oil on floor of garage Took it in and told the Svc Mgr that I wanted to see under the vehicle went they get it on the lift. When on the lift, they saw there was gear oil on the bottom. They removed the plastic cover and found gear oil leaking from the same location as before. They had to remove the engine and change the seals between the transmission and the transfer case the first time. They wiped it off and within a minute, it was oozing out again.
11/2 - Got a notification from the Toyota app that the car was driven 63 miles on 11/1. (3 separate 21 mile trips). To see if it would continue leaking between trips apparently.
11/3 - Drove to Toyota to see what they figured out after all the miles. Master Tech was in the Svc advisor area, so I asked him. He said that the FST Rep from Corporate told him that it was designed to leak as it was an "oil slinger". I called BS on that. MT did as well. He said the Rep was supposed to come down but did not make it. The Master Tech said he inspected everything and it looked ok, but no reason as to why it was still leaking.
11/10 - Toyota called and said a Rep would be down next week.
11/14 - Toyota called and said the Rep would not be down and they were told to replace the transfer case. Svc Mgr told me he would be changing everything right of the transmission.
11/15 - Looking over photos that I took, noticed paint and body sealant scraped off the under of the vehicle, down to bare metal. I'm guessing when they pulled the engine the first time. Sent photo to Toyota. Waiting on a call.
 
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