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Old 03-24-2021, 10:02 AM #1
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Can someone help me figure out whatís leaking?

Noticed this leak recently. Kind of reddish, and I know Toyota uses a few different red fluids. It’s basically right under my front axle. The skid plate below all that did seem to be pretty greasy and had attracted lots of road dirt. See picture below:


Last edited by hazertag; 03-24-2021 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:13 AM #2
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No photos attached. If its watery it could be red coolant but shouldn't be near axle so not likely. If its oily like ATF fluid. ATF fluid runs from the trans to radiator and then back. Those lines are on passenger side of the block. Unfortunately power steering lines and reservoir are right above those at the front passenger side of the block...also uses ATF fluid. Last thought could be ATF from bell housing to block connection. With out photos hard to say but that should give you an idea of places to start searching. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:21 AM #3
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One thing you can do: get a can of brake cleaner. Remove your skid plate if necessary, then spray the area where you see the fluid, plus a little bit above that. Spray a lot to get as much grease off as possible, then let it dry. It should LOOK dry when you're done. Then start the truck and observe the area you sprayed. When you start to see any liquid, it should point you in the direction of the leak.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:23 AM #4
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HTML Code:
 https://imgur.com/gallery/RADgf71
How about the above link?
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:27 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post
HTML Code:
 https://imgur.com/gallery/RADgf71
How about the above link?
The pic shows a wet spot on the ground and a wet skid plate, hard to tell more from that. I still say removing the skid plate will help.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:57 PM #6
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Keep the imgur album private and share photo here using the "img" tag link you can get within Imgur when you click on a photo in your own album. I will look like this (remove extra spaces):

[IMG ]https://i.imgur.com/mW12v9U.jpeg[/IMG ]

And show this:



That looks like a power steering leak at the rack, but remove that skid plate and check. You can drive around on the street with the rear skid plate removed, so clean the area, drive a bit and check where the leak is coming from.

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Old 03-24-2021, 01:06 PM #7
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Have you checked your fluid levels? That's a good clue too if it's been leaking a while.

I agree on a power steering rack leak as a possible cause as your boots are wet too.
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Old 03-24-2021, 02:57 PM #8
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And the top of his skid plate too.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:03 PM #9
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Mine was leaking from the low pressure power steering hose where it connects to the rack. Yes, it is difficult to even see it let alone change the hose.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:20 PM #10
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Awesome. Iíll hone in on power steering and go from there. Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:22 PM #11
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FWIW, I had a wet spot in about the same place relative to the car and it ended up being a coolant leak from the water pump. Ran around the lip on the oil pan (I think) and then ended up flowing around back then off the skid plate. If it leaves a red residue behind when it dries, that's what mine looked like. Check coolant level in the reserve tank and see if there is liquid or deposit under the water pump.
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:35 PM #12
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As someone who just replaced their whole power steering rack, Iíd say that itís likely power steering fluid. Both the high and low pressure lines are rubber/steel, and the rubber, tends to crack and start weeping. Especially if youíve had the trans run hot before. Lmk if you figure out where the leak is. Itís a tricky spot to work on unless you remove your front tire and some of the splash guards.

An easy way to check would be starting the truck and checking for bubbles in the power steering reservoir, almost always a sure sign of a leak somewhere.
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:28 PM #13
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The thing is with toyota OEM coolant, this thing is reddish and pretty greassy.

I've had a few leaks on mine, and it'S very hard to tell if it's PS, transmission or coolant in small quantity. Coolant gives the same oily feel as the rest, when taken from the ground.

I would first check your coolant level, if it's below level, be pretty sure it's a hose leaking. Could be MANY things, as hoses are getting older on this. Had a few hoses leak over the years, for no apparent reasons.

Next, look at your transmission fluid, and if it's that on the ground, you can often ''smell'' the bad smell of it. You don't want to go low on coolant nor on transmission level. PS level going too low, at the worse, you'll lose power steering and use power arms to turn, and have to change a pump, much better than replacing a trans or an engine.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:46 AM #14
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I experienced something similar on my last third gen and it ended up being the steering rack, right next to the boot on the drivers side.I think the rack would be a good place to start.
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