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Hi,

I have a 2007 Off-Road, AT, and I've recently noticed a fluid leaking from it in my garage.

It's clearly coming from the front of the vehicle. I'm pretty sure it's not oil, because it has no odor and it seems to be of a higher viscosity than motor oil. It appears to be a darker brown than my oil also.

My guess is it's the transfer case or somewhere in that 'region', because this Xterra has been in 4wd more in the past year than it has in the 6 years before it.

I have limited time to put into this as a DIY versus take it to the dealer, local shop, etc.

Can someone please help me save some time and narrow down what this mystery fluid is?


Thanks!
 

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The transfer case would be more from the middle of the vehicle, could possibly be the front diff, but unlikely because of your comment regarding viscosity. I would crawl under with a flashlight and look around, for a source - how much has dripped down?

Did you change the oil recently? sometimes the old (darker brown) oil spills onto the tray under the oil filter and will drip after a change for some time....
 

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  1. As others suggested, pictures are best.
  2. Blot the oil with a white paper towel so you know the true color of the fluid.
  3. As others said the TC would be more toward the driver side door and the middle if it's the rear seal. Not too mention our DS spins at all times so you would notice the fluid sprayed all over the place.
  4. Diff breather tube on the front dr side can come off and ooze at times.
  5. Front diff seals can go bad and it can be hard to see where the leak is coming from because the leak is usually between the gasket and the cv shaft rather than the gasket and the diff. So the fluid comes out on the lip of the seal and drips down directly on the ground rather than getting flung around from the spinning cv and seeing a trail on the aluminum diff if the leak was between the diff housing and the cv seal.
  6. Are you by passed? Did one of your hoses pop off?
I have replaced almost every seal in the drivetrain, so let me know when you find the culprit if you need any help.
 

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Just throwing out guesses but burnt up power steering fluid is a possibility.

You did say higher viscosity? Meaning thicker than oil right?
 

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Its possible one of the motor mounts has reached its end, the factory ones are oil filled and when they fail they can leak that oil and considering your X is an 07 its possible. If not I want to say either diff fluid or PS fluid. Diff fluid stinks though so you can tell if its that right away.
 
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