1996 Lexus ES 300: Name the Stain
November 30, 2012
Every old car is bound to have some type of fluid leaking from it. Our 1996 Lexus ES 300 is no exception. There are two distinct leaks here, the light brown one on the left and the dark red one on the right. I should point out that this didn't happen overnight. This is about nine days of accumulation.
Can you guess the two fluids? For reference, the ES 300 was backed into its space. The driver's side of the car is on the right side of the photo.
The stain on the left is motor oil. We found out about this one some time ago. There is an oil leak in the rear cam seal, near the timing cover.
The stain on the right is power steering fluid. We found out about this recently, after the last oil change. The mechanic noticed that a hose leading from the power steering to the pump was leaking. The leak is near the exhaust manifold. This may explain the smell that occasionally wafts into the cabin.
It would cost us roughly $400 to fix the power-steering fluid problem, and probably another $250 for the oil leak. We're going to pass on these for now. But if the leaks get worse, we may have to take care of them.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 151, 855 miles