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My 1996 Toyota Camry has motor oil all over the engine

My 1996 Toyota Camry has motor oil all over the engine on the oil filter side. Is this a common problem, and where is it coming from?

Check that the engine-oil dipstick is seated in its tube correctly. If it's not, this could be a great place for oil to escape and become plastered all over the engine. It's the small yellow, plastic loop just below the oil filter. While you're there, check that the oil filter itself hasn't come loose. Try to tighten it by turning it by hand clockwise. If it moves at all with hand pressure, it's loose.

The most likely culprit, however, is the rocker cover gasket. If this seal breaks, oil can be free to migrate out of the engine, right down the side of the cylinder head and crankcase, making the mess you've described. To check, clean the engine with degreaser and water until all the oil is gone. Then take the car for a decent drive, open the bonnet and the source of the leak may be very obvious.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.


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