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My '04 Camry is leaking something that kind of resembles old motor oil. It's fairly viscous and dark in color. I put the car on jacks, and was able to snap the following photo of the area where it's coming from.

Two drops of oil are visible on the bottom of the... thing See on Imgur

You can even see two more drops of oil(?) getting ready to fall. It seems to be a slow leak, whatever it is, but I want to get it taken care of.

Since I don't know the first thing about servicing a car, I'll have to take this into a shop to get handled, but before I do, I'd like to know:

  • What is this thing that's leaking?
  • What can I expect the repair to involve (process / cost)?
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I'm rather inexperienced at identifying leaks so this is an educated guess, but I'll give it a go anyways. Judging by the proximity of the exhaust, steering rack, and what looks like a rusty driveshaft, it seems like that's your transmission that's leaking. Since your car is starting to get a bit old, my guess is some seal on your transmission has degraded and become leaky, so that will need to be replaced.

If it's your driveshaft seals that are leaking, then the shop simply needs to drain the fluid, remove the driveshafts, replace the seals, and refill the fluid. If your transmission case gasket is leaking, then that will be a bit more involved, requiring removal of the transmission entirely and opening it up to remake/replace the gasket. However it seems like driveshaft seal leaks are the most common transmission leaks.

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