Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content


New Member. Oil leak LS400


Recommended Posts

Hello, I am new here. I have looked for a similar issue like mine around the web and haven't found anything. So hopefully I can get some help here.

I have a 1997 LS400, it is high miles, 230k miles. And it is a small running project car. My issue is, an oil leak. I recently had my oil changed to full synthetic at a Jiffy Lube. I do not know what oil they used, but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. I also, had my alternator, serpentine belt, and Battery replaced. 

Prior to those small fixes, my car was NOT leaking any oil or fluids of any kind. However, after I had the oil changed, there was a slight leak. And it is still present. I previously believed it was the power steering. However, I am not sure. I should mention, there sometimes is a slight burning rubber-like smell that's coming from the engine bay. I haven't found where or what it is. But I believe it might be some oil.

My oil levels seem to be good, and I haven't seen any steam or smoke coming from the engine bay seeping from the hood. I did take my car to a shop telling them my issues and what I saw. And they later told me that the timing cover needs to be changed. And they do not have the tools to pull the engine and fix it, and it will be expensive. They advised me to just keep adding oil and watch my oil levels.

Any help would be much appreciated. This is my first car, it is also my only car that I need to get to and from work, and soon school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


my indy mechanic thoroughly recommended NOT to use fully synthetic in my old worn engine ...  just semi-synthetic

Maybe that's the problem, wrong oil grade possibly 

Malc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Erik and welcome to the LOC.

Firstly you mentioned you had the alternator and Battery recently replaced, if the old alternator was covered in power steering fluid you may want to get the pump situated directly above it sorted as they often leak wrecking the alternator below.

”Jiffy Lube” I don’t know which country you’re in but it sounds like a fast fit joint.

Regarding the oil leak and the smell of burning rubber I would be looking firstly at the camshaft cover gaskets, these are known to leak and the oil drips down onto the exhaust manifolds resulting in the symptoms you describe.

Finally the “car shop” you took the car to with “no tools” .......please don’t ever go back there, the camshaft oil seals can leak but it’s not an engine out job to replace them.

If you have any pictures of your car please feel free to post them up

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


2 hours ago, steve2006 said:

Hi Erik and welcome to the LOC.

Firstly you mentioned you had the alternator and battery recently replaced, if the old alternator was covered in power steering fluid you may want to get the pump situated directly above it sorted as they often leak wrecking the alternator below.

”Jiffy Lube” I don’t know which country you’re in but it sounds like a fast fit joint.

Regarding the oil leak and the smell of burning rubber I would be looking firstly at the camshaft cover gaskets, these are known to leak and the oil drips down onto the exhaust manifolds resulting in the symptoms you describe.

Finally the “car shop” you took the car to with “no tools” .......please don’t ever go back there, the camshaft oil seals can leak but it’s not an engine out job to replace them.

If you have any pictures of your car please feel free to post them up

I'll add some photos when it stops raining here.

The alternator didn't appear to be covered in fluids when I replaced it. I have the older broken one. I'll double check if there is any fluids or signs of fluids on it.

"Jiffy Lube" is a chain company, I am located in the States (USA) in VA. 

Where can I find the camshaft cover gaskets? And if it is the gaskets, is it a simple fix?

The shop I took it to isn't a full scale auto shop. They primarily do, spark plugs, AC/heater, exhaust, and other light engine work. The issue was, they don't have the tools to pull the engine out, nor the part in stock to replace it. So I guess I was out of luck there. Sadly, I don't have many other options when it comes to car shops nearby. 

Malc above did say that it could be the wrong oil. I did go from, I believe conventional oil to full synthetic. This was the first oil change I did in my ownership, I've had the car roughly 3 months. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK I understand now, we do have a USA sister site but you’re welcome to hang out with us Brits 😀

You also have Rockauto.com for all your parts requirements, the link below shows the gaskets mentioned previously, parts from Lexus dealers are a lot cheaper in the USA too than the UK.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/lexus,1997,ls400,4.0l+v8,1187524,engine,valve+cover+gasket,10710

There is a very good tutorial site for maintenance lexls.com

 http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/valvecover.html

The synthetic oil may have resulted in the leak or they may have used a thinner oil, might be an idea in the future to buy the correct Toyota oil and filter then get a shop to replace.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I suppose it's possible the oil could be the issue but you say the levels are OK. Regardless, I use genuine Toyota 10W40 semi-synthetic in my '96 LS. Toyota/Lexus default to the fully synthetics now because that's what the use on the newer vehicles. 

Have you checked the oil filter is seated correctly?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2021 at 4:23 AM, steve2006 said:

OK I understand now, we do have a USA sister site but you’re welcome to hang out with us Brits 😀

You also have Rockauto.com for all your parts requirements, the link below shows the gaskets mentioned previously, parts from Lexus dealers are a lot cheaper in the USA too than the UK.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/lexus,1997,ls400,4.0l+v8,1187524,engine,valve+cover+gasket,10710

There is a very good tutorial site for maintenance lexls.com

 http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/engine/valvecover.html

The synthetic oil may have resulted in the leak or they may have used a thinner oil, might be an idea in the future to buy the correct Toyota oil and filter then get a shop to replace.

 

Here are some photos, sorry for the late reply. Work booked me for a while.

Underneath, I checked if my oil plug was not on properly, it seemed fine. It wasn't soaked in oil or anything like that. The rear part of the oil pan was slick, but not like soaked. The front however, it was soaked. I've been putting in SAE 5W-30 synthetic oil to keep my levels, well usable. As I still have to commute to work (a 10 minute drive at most).

I should also add, when my car is initially on, I don't see oil leaking. But as it warms up, then the leak is a bit more, prominent. Sorry if the way I am describing this is very, vague. I kinda need to fix this issue, but I don't have the spare money to get it done at a shop. 

IMG_20210712_120113.jpg

IMG_20210712_120110.jpg

IMG_20210712_120118.jpg

IMG_20210712_120140.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, ErikLS400 said:

Here are some photos, sorry for the late reply. Work booked me for a while.

Underneath, I checked if my oil plug was not on properly, it seemed fine. It wasn't soaked in oil or anything like that. The rear part of the oil pan was slick, but not like soaked. The front however, it was soaked. I've been putting in SAE 5W-30 synthetic oil to keep my levels, well usable. As I still have to commute to work (a 10 minute drive at most).

I should also add, when my car is initially on, I don't see oil leaking. But as it warms up, then the leak is a bit more, prominent. Sorry if the way I am describing this is very, vague. I kinda need to fix this issue, but I don't have the spare money to get it done at a shop. 

IMG_20210712_120113.jpg

IMG_20210712_120110.jpg

IMG_20210712_120118.jpg

IMG_20210712_120140.jpg

That looks like a valve cover leak, not at all uncommon on the LS, if so it's not too bad to fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Erik,

As I previously suggested the photographs confirm the oil leak is coming from the valve cover(s) gaskets which have failed.

If you have some basic tools I also provided a link on how to DIY the job yourself.

The parts you need are available from Rockauto.com

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/lexus,1996,ls400,4.0l+v8,1187513,engine,valve+cover+gasket,10710

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I would buy the bottom one as it includes other parts which you might as well change at the same time, the spark plug seals prevent oil from leaking also and are easy to replace while the covers are off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, I haven't done any work to my car yet. And now this hose thing, literally came off while I was driving.

I do not know what this hose does, the front bit had oil all over it tho. It is located near the front right passenger, slightly behind the front right wheel. It was next to the right side exhaust within proximity of the cat.

Also, my check engine light has returned after I put some oil in my car so it won't run dry.

IMG_20210718_220149.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not so easy to tell but that looks like an O2 sensor that's sheered off. Would also explain the check engine light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone who helped me. But there is more issues than the car is actually worth. I have a dying power steering pump, 2 broken O2 sensors, bad manifolds, and the valve cover gaskets. A shop said it'd be $3500 to fix it all. But, that's $500 more than I paid for the car.

It really sucks because I really did enjoy the LS400 life when it was not entirely broken lol. Oh well, looks like I'm going to look for a cheap beater car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were you Erik I'd join the US forum and probably Club Lexus and ask about trusted specialists in your area.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...




Forums


News


Membership