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Old 03-04-2019, 11:03 AM #1
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Power Steering Pump Leak Common?

I was changing the oil on our 2010 this weekend and I noticed a lot of build up on the front, passenger side of the block as well as below on the front skid plate and rear one below the engine. I thought it was an oil leak at first but the dipstick did not show any loss of oil and there is fluid slung on the lower area of the passenger cylinder head. My guess is a shaft seal leak on the PS pump. Has anyone had this happen on their 5th gen?

I've found some low mile used pumps but it looks buried in the accessory setup. I can change the pump in 20 minutes on my 4.7L Dakota but this looks like a frustrating job. The PS reservoir was only down about 1/8" and was barely below the "hot min" line and was recently driven. I don't know if the expense and time (read frustration) is worth it for such a minor leak. I don't see any drips to completely diagnose this issue either. Thoughts?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:51 AM #2
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I do not recall seeing Power Steering Pump Leak reports on 5th gen 4runers… so if you truly have it you may be the first one…

First thing I would do is clean all the “buildup” and figure out if it is power steering leak…

Not to bring the bad news… but it may be oil leaking from timing cover -I am not going to call it common, but I have seeing reports of that issue especially on the early 5th gens (mainly 2010-2012) - here is the link to one of the discussions: Timing cover leak = first trip to dealer

How many miles are on your truck? From what I know, timing cover leak would appear with fairly low mileage (under 30-40K)…
Keep us posted.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:33 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progress4m View Post
I do not recall seeing Power Steering Pump Leak reports on 5th gen 4runers… so if you truly have it you may be the first one…

First thing I would do is clean all the “buildup” and figure out if it is power steering leak…

Not to bring the bad news… but it may be oil leaking from timing cover -I am not going to call it common, but I have seeing reports of that issue especially on the early 5th gens (mainly 2010-2012) - here is the link to one of the discussions: Timing cover leak = first trip to dealer

How many miles are on your truck? From what I know, timing cover leak would appear with fairly low mileage (under 30-40K)…
Keep us posted.
Ugh, now I don't mind changing the pump, hah. I certainly hope it's not the timing cover but it is possible if it's leaking and being slung by the pump. I don't even think there are any oil spots on the driveway it is such a minor leak. I may just keep driving it if it's the timing cover. I will inspect again in a few hundred miles to see which component is leaking.

We have 90k miles on it and I've been religiously changing the oil every 8500 miles, heck first one was at 1250.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:02 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwikKotaTx View Post
Ugh, now I don't mind changing the pump, hah. I certainly hope it's not the timing cover but it is possible if it's leaking and being slung by the pump. I don't even think there are any oil spots on the driveway it is such a minor leak. I may just keep driving it if it's the timing cover. I will inspect again in a few hundred miles to see which component is leaking.

We have 90k miles on it and I've been religiously changing the oil every 8500 miles, heck first one was at 1250.
I understand: clean it up and see.

You have mentioned a “build up” and now you added “no oil spots on the driveway”: sounds like a slow leak and that is why timing cover leak came to my mind… if it is timing cover, I would recommend contacting dealer, as they aware of this problem and may know about TSB for it… if you are lucky and you have a good dealer they may assist you with repair (partially paying for it) even with 90K and 9/10 years old truck… I know it is a long shot, but maybe worth trying if you planning to keep the truck for a long time.

If not, as you said, you can probably drive it as it is.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:17 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progress4m View Post
I understand: clean it up and see.

You have mentioned a “build up” and now you added “no oil spots on the driveway”: sounds like a slow leak and that is why timing cover leak came to my mind… if it is timing cover, I would recommend contacting dealer, as they aware of this problem and may know about TSB for it… if you are lucky and you have a good dealer they may assist you with repair (partially paying for it) even with 90K and 9/10 years old truck… I know it is a long shot, but maybe worth trying if you planning to keep the truck for a long time.

If not, as you said, you can probably drive it as it is.

Good luck!
That would definitely be a long shot. We bought the truck out of town as they had a better deal back when the new gen was hard to find. The local dealer always made a stink about it when I took it in for service. I told them I would have bought locally if available. I do all of my own work (just replaced the clutch on my Dakota, awful job) so I only used them for the 2 free oil changes and to program the windows to go down with key fob. I don't have the patience for the timing cover repair for something so minor though. I mainly buy chain driven vehicles to avoid having to worry about timing belts at 100k.

I will double check the driveway when I get home but I think I would have noticed. Most likely the skid plates catch all of the drips/runs. Ironically, the jacking point near the center rear of the oil filter skid plate has rusted out. Go figure. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:29 PM #6
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No issue with PS leaks on ours
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Old 03-10-2020, 11:13 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwikKotaTx View Post
I was changing the oil on our 2010 this weekend and I noticed a lot of build up on the front, passenger side of the block as well as below on the front skid plate and rear one below the engine. I thought it was an oil leak at first but the dipstick did not show any loss of oil and there is fluid slung on the lower area of the passenger cylinder head. My guess is a shaft seal leak on the PS pump. Has anyone had this happen on their 5th gen?

I've found some low mile used pumps but it looks buried in the accessory setup. I can change the pump in 20 minutes on my 4.7L Dakota but this looks like a frustrating job. The PS reservoir was only down about 1/8" and was barely below the "hot min" line and was recently driven. I don't know if the expense and time (read frustration) is worth it for such a minor leak. I don't see any drips to completely diagnose this issue either. Thoughts?
One year later -- Did you find out what was causing the buildup? I have a similar leak under the hood and I'm trying to pinpoint where it's coming from.

Also have a whine that really sounds like a power steering pump to me but no noticing any missing fluid.
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Old 03-10-2020, 11:15 PM #8
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Your ten year old vehicle has a leak? Say it ain't so!
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Old 05-08-2020, 03:31 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R2014 View Post
Your ten year old vehicle has a leak? Say it ain't so!
2 things. A, it's a 4Runner. B, it's a major repair to fix.

The oil leak has yet to leave a stain in the driveway but there is a layer of it all over the passenger side of the block and skid plate. The lower portion of the head is more of a dusty oil cake. It does not seem to effect the level and it comes back when I clean it, which is really only annually when I change the oil. It's not the PS pump as initially thought.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:42 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwikKotaTx View Post
2 things. A, it's a 4Runner. B, it's a major repair to fix.



The oil leak has yet to leave a stain in the driveway but there is a layer of it all over the passenger side of the block and skid plate. The lower portion of the head is more of a dusty oil cake. It does not seem to effect the level and it comes back when I clean it, which is really only annually when I change the oil. It's not the PS pump as initially thought.
So, while browsing the "What did you do to/in your 5th Gen today" I came across a post from @EddieV4runnin that intrigued me. He too thought at first he had a PS pump leak but is fairly certain it was actually the passenger-side VVT-i line. My leak seemed to be emanating from the lower connection to this line as well, so I figured why not go ahead and swap it out!

Just completed it two nights ago and so far it's clean under there. Did it fix it? Don't know yet.... but it may be worth looking into in your case. Unfortunately, it's a biotch to see up in that area from above, below, or from the wheel well. Here's the parts list for the job anyway. Good luck to you!
15772-31010 Pipe, Oil
90401-16043 Bolt, Union X2
90430-16016 Gasket, lower end of the line
90430-16012 Gasket, to Valve cover X2
Bolts may not be needed, but I replaced them anyway.
Banjo bolts are 48 Ft Lbs
Power steering pump bolts are 32 Ft Lbs
You need to disconnect the PS pump and let it hang to access the lower bolt and remove the air filter to get easier access to the top bolt. Whole job took me 2.5 hrs from beginning to end.
Here's a few pics. Does yours look like this?
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Old 06-13-2020, 10:52 PM #11
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I created an account just to thank you! I too found oil leaking around the PS pump but not from the valve cover. After reading your post and taking a closer look, I noticed crusty oil all over the bottom end of that oil line exactly as described!
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