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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys...my 97 4cyl w 145k has been leaking some engine oil for a few months....my mechanic changed the valve cover gasket to no avail...it comes from the middle of the car towards passenger side....now he says he has to take the engine apart with timing belt area/gaskets/oil pump/seals, etc, around at least a $500 job (i recently had my timing belt changed with no gaskets touched)....
does this mean this is it for my car? I hear cars don't usually recover from this- its like a stroke for a car..
 

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Do you lose less or more than 1 quart a month? It might be cheaper for you to top off every month rather than pay $500+. :)
 

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93 BMW 525i
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395 Posts
Either way, its not the end of the car just because some seals are leaking (but nice try though). If you want to tell your wife/GF that the car can't be fixed and you need a new one, I won't tell.Anyway, yes, the front engine seals, specifically the oil pump seal, are the most common leak points on these cars (besides the valve cover/distrib o-ring). Unfortunately, yes, you have to do the timing belt job over again. If you're good at negotiating, you can try to suggest that if you had been explained better to you the first time that you would have replaced the front engine seals when the timing belt was done and ask that he drop the price a little. However, be warned, he's not obligated to do this, and you don't want to be insulting.I'll skip posting the links to threads detailing how to do it yourself, you can look them up if you'd like, but I don't want to waste your time because it doesn't seem like you'd be interested in that.If the car is old and you don't wanna spend the $$, I would AT LEAST try to change the oil with some heavier high mileage oil (hopefully if you're in a warm climate) and see if this reduces the oil loss to a manageable level. Good luck!
This stupid board is messing up my paragraph breaks, so you'll just have to read carefully, sorry.
 

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TN Pussy Man
Camry
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13,302 Posts
yup...sounds like a seal to me....and regardless, the timing belt will have to be removed. change all 3 seals while you're at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanx so much guys, the leak is usually baseball sized on my garage floor each night... i guess i'll have them change all the seals and belt....how about the water pump, should that be changed too? I would love to do the job myself, but just am not mechanically inclined unfortunately....
 

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97 Camry
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6 Posts
I had the same oil leak problem with my 97. I had the belt, seals, water pump, etc. all changed while they were in there. It was cheaper to do preventative maintenance all at once. I got the tip on this board. Oil leak went away. Since the repair, I've put +30K on it (190K total) and have had no problems. I'd go ahead and have the thermostat replaced and radiator fluid flushed.
 
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