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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys I’m David from LA Lincoln Alabama. I have a 1996 RAV4 with an oil leak. My mechanic is saying I have a main seal leak, but I’m just not 100% sure that what it is. She has 155000 miles. I know there's a small valve cover leak. He says to not fix that it would just put more pressure on the main seal. I am adding I’d say 1 1/5 qts. Per 3000 miles. Is she worth fixing?
 

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Have your mechanic define "main seal." Does he mean the crankshaft seal?

Get a friend to drive behind you. Accelerate and decelerate your Rav4. Does your friend see blue smoke coming out the exhaust pipe, especially when you accelerate? If so, the Rav4 is burning oil. Report back here.

Have you put a piece of cardboard beneath the engine bay and looked at where the drips accumulate? If the drips appear to be coming mostly from the passenger side, near the front, passenger side wheel, then the leaks are likely mostly from parts underneath the timing belt covers. When was the last time the timing belt (and associated parts under/around the timing belt covers) were changed? During a timing belt replacement, normally the crankshaft oil seal; camshaft oil seal; oil pump shaft seal; and oil pump housing seal are replaced. It is usual for any or all of these to be leaking after a number of miles or years. It's not a big deal money-wise if you change the timing belt and these associated parts yourself. If you pay an independent shop to do it, it will run you around $500 to $1500. The Toyota dealer will charge more.
 

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Smoke at (some) start-ups? Valve stem seals, most likely.
Manual or automatic trans? If rear seal, clutch could be toast.

If were mine, I'd pull and rebuild the engine (and clutch if manual). My idea of a really good time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well it seems to leak more from the drivers side, I have replaced The timing belt, water pump and cam seal. Allso it only leaks when it’s running. I think the dripping I see on the cement is what’s, pushed out when it’s running.
 

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A couple of threads with some clues:


Note that the distributor has an oil seal. The distributor oil seal is often found to be leaking.
 
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