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Hi,

I bought an 05 MR2 a few days ago. I plan on having the underside checked on a ramp etc to check properly for rust to try to fix up a bit. The rear subframe appears to be a in a good condition.

I noticed that after I drive the car, there's this dripping noise and I can't seem to find where it's coming from. I tried to look underneath for any spillages and there doesn't seem to be any.

I thought perhaps it could be something related to the timing chain tensioner. I did my best to take a picture of it, so apologies if you can't really make it out.

How much rust would you expect is okay on a car this old and I'm guessing the oil level seems to be okay from this picture?

I intend to get the car serviced real soon.

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The chain tensioner leak and need to be replaced. Bolts of the exhaust header are rusts. Replace them in case of. I can read 2 differents things on the dipstick's picture. Low oil level and at the same time the top dipstick mark is full of oil. As you are in UK, if you have bought your MR2 Roadster away from the ocean, the rust level "should" be low.
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Welcome to the club!



My exhaust clicks and ticks after I turn off the car too, it's just the metal cooling down. If you have a stock engine, I remember those clicking also probably from the heat shields/exhaust. If it is raining out I can hear the rain sizzle when hitting my headers but I removed my heat shield.



That is also a fairly rusty belt tensioner arm piece. You can buy those pieces independently but it's likely best just to get a new tensioner if that is the original. Depends on if it is surface rust or deeper, but there are bearings inside there.
 

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You have rusty bolts but just seeing that its impossible to say if its expected or a concern. I'd work more about the frame rails, suspension components, etc in terms of rust. Don't look for a dripping noise, just inspect thoroughly for a fluid leak. Even if it falls on the hot exhaust it will either smoke up, cause staining on the piping, or both. It could be oil, could, be coolant, could just be your hearing A/C condensation. Keep a close eye on all your fluids & be mindful of if you ran the HVAC system at all.

Your oil level looks overfilled, which in my mind gives even more importance to looking for an oil leak since that's the biggest reason ppl would overfill a car they are selling. Keep in mind, if any fluid is leaking enough that you can hear it after driving it would need to be a significant amount. As far as the tensioner, replacing it is annoying but not unexpected with a car this age.
 

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Cyclehead is spot on. In evening check dip stick is seated and reads parallel to ground. When you check, do not rotate. One strait pull out.
None of the rust in the picture concern me. Use a brass brush on unpainted areas and buff out what you can on painted stuff. If in a salty environment, rinse everywhere you can (suspension, underbody, engine bay) with some frequency. And treat any body rust with a neutralizing spray. Don’t direct spray wash injectors, electrical items or coils. If you are really concerned you can use DeoxIt in electrical connectors to preserve the conducting.
 
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