Timing chain cover gasket leak


Asked by GuruZ1YX3 Nov 08, 2017 at 03:09 AM about the 2007 Toyota Camry XLE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Second try at this.....
       My 21 y/o daughter took her 2007 Toyota
Camry to the dealer to enroll it in the excessive oil
consumption recall test.   She was later told by the
dealer service department that she had an oil leak
at the timing chain cover gasket and this would
need to be fixed before the test can be
administered - at a cost of $1900.
    Would or  shouldn't there be a drip and an oil
stain on my driveway if  this leak was present.
There is no oil stain on my driveway.
     Or at $1,900 , was/is this an attempt to
dissuade her from pursuing the recall test?

19 Answers


Their up-selling you.

2 people found this helpful.

But would there be an oil spot on my driveway?? I want to counter their claim that there is an oil leak.

1 people found this helpful.

Yes if there is a leak that is enough to cause a low engine oil level you will see it under the cars undercarriage and likely on the driveway too.


You need to look under there at that area and leading to rear of the car. If its leaking it will be oily, wet. A small oil seep will not be wet, but may have debris catching on it and be thick and maybe a little wet but some what dry and this is not enough to cause any harm, and may not ever show up on a driveway. So to leak enough to see the level drop on dip stick it will be very wet underneath.

2 people found this helpful.

Ok- none of that is present. Nothing to support their claim of an oil leak. So would they b lying to us to dissuade us from pursuing this recall?- they would have to give us a new engine or rebuild. I would like to think the best of people but,....? Thx.

1 people found this helpful.

The oil consumption test (real test) is too test the oils present in the exhaust gases, so it just needs to run, its not a test that watches the oil level drop but yet what they do or trick you with. If that was the case they would not have any fail or to enroll. Plus the dealer is testing most time with a higher weight oil instead of the full synthetic 0 weight the manual recommends, So they are cheating the test anyways, and yet watching the oil level instead of testing exhaust and also filling the crankcase too full so their test when done your at the correct level, yea-hoo. no fail and you just paid $1900 for nothing. But I have said it before and will repeat myself these new oil recommendation of less than 5w-20 is too thin to use and is the cause of oil consumption, many will argue with me on this, but I have 35 years of mechanics under my belt and many a testing done to know what I am saying, If your engine is fine, otherwise running good, step up the oil weight your consumption will disappear if your loosing oil from it slipping by the piston rings & oil seal into the combustion chamber which is oil consumption. Again many will argue this point but even you need 20w-50 oil and high mileage formula to stop oil consumption is perfectly fine on your engine and will not hurt anything in-fact help it as the constant oil consumption on the piston ring set will ruin them far faster and actually cause you to need to rebuild your engine sooner than later, as this blow-by ruins the rings/seal set, not to mention that this also ruins your cat & O2 sensors and coats then entire exhaust system in unburned oil and extra expense down the road.


Yes, they are lying. If you are noticing the oil level drop and no oil is present on the undercarriage or drips everywhere you park for longer than ten minutes, then yes they are trying to force you to pay for your rebuild if they allow it to be failed in the first place, which I think not. Otherwise if there is any tiny leaks not dripping from the area this equates to around a ounce every 3500 miles so you will not see it on the dip stick, after years of leaking from that tiny leak on hot days at first you may get some drips from it, but if you are adding oil between recommended oil changes then in your case (no leaks) its consumption and they are fighting this problem, but like I said above the oils recommended is barely thicker than hot corn syrup.

2 people found this helpful.

I will be up-front I would only if the oil lever was very low on my dipstick and the only oil on the shelf was a 0w-anything oil would I ever use a 0w oil. I do not care if the owners manual says to use it, and its a tiny 4cyl engine. In fact I use 20w-50 castrol oil in my 4cyl engines, the smallest engine being a 1.3l, none of mine loose oil or have any engine problems either. I want them to last, not burn up faster because the money gobblers want to turn a good engine into disposable engine for their own profit. I have worked in this field and on the testing side of this field, trust me, unless your on the north or south pole with 20+ degrees below 0, then 5w to 20w first number and 10 to 50 last number on oil bottle is fine to use, the first sign you need to step it up to the next number is oil consumption. I see most often the average to use is 10w-30 works great in 99% of most and then onto 10w-40 and if still burning oil 20w-50. Of course to the other gurus reading this later, bring on the music, any of your 0w engines at 400-600k miles yet no re-builds, my 20w-50 engines are.

3 people found this helpful.

Ok. Thx a bunch for your input on this matter. Will go butt heads & try to persuade the service rep. to perform the excessive oil consumption test..


The mis-information age is where we are and I am old enough to have seen it come. From Honda's Civics in the 1980's getting 67 miles per gallon and doing it with less pollution to getting 27-34 miles per gallon now with more pollution. Less miles per gallon equals more pollution even if that old Honda put out a tenth more pollution per gallon (anyone see this) From the 1965 Ford truck straight 6 engines getting 40+ mpg pulling 7000 pound trailers to now today only getting 19-23 miles per gallon pulling nothing, 12mpg if your lucky with only 3500 pound trailer, guess what you can not coast it either down hill like you could the older non-cumputer cars/truck to get better MPG the computer will not let you. If we forget where we were or came from, its easy for us to be trained to accept less than we deserve. Tiny tolerances need thin oil so thick oil is bad, wrong. Thin oil wears out your engines faster period. Thick oil has enough back bone to keep enough film on those parts/bearings. The truth is all engine have to have tiny tolerance yes even older engines to even run good and some of the older engines (not all were great but most were the difference is they all were allowed on the road then now they are not) had even smaller tolerances, Take the old early Packard engines. They still run today up to 100+ years later, get better gas mileage per engine size and will pass inspections at todays rules and pull thousands of pounds more all while still using the original bearings which is a whole another subject of bad cheap metal and the use of plastics inside engines (Of all the gall) today. I have used gauges on older and newer engines they all have tiny tolerances when built otherwise they do not run or last very long which again the engine are not lasting very long today, go figure they are suppose to be better because the insults thrown at us tell us we are wrong, the metal is better, Lies lies lies, the older people/old timers are trained wrong thin oil is better all while we old folks were trained to diagnose mechanical problems instead of using a computer to point the way. We old folks are not tricked by the new age lies we are technicians and today's shop workers are parts changers cause they do not know how to test or care to know as their is more money in stupid. How does an engine get oil pressure, thats right from the tiny tolerances, if there is no tiny tolerances then no oil pressure. The oils we have today can fit between all the tolerance in these engines easy, thicker stays on those parts better/longer does not slip past valve seals and Piston ring sets as does the thin oil which is the cause of oil consumption which leads to rebuilds sooner. The Computers on-board our cars are reducing our mileage keeping pollution levels high not low. We burn more fuel, waste more resources, spend more for it. Green people: where are you? Oh, in a jet by yourself going to a 20000 square foot Home built for two people, all while the countries forest are being burned away polluting more in a day then all the worlds cars pollute per year because your making money off it. Those are the real facts. The dealers are up-sellers, the shop in back is their bread & butter. Service is not for you any more, Service is, their term to remove you from your money. Servicing your wallet. Same as enriched bread. Its not enriched, the vitamins and minerals are taken out. Your gut feelings are true the dealership is trying to steal $1900 from you and steal even more by not honouring the re-call. Now 99% of this post here is not for you but for those who buy into the mis-information insulting our own common sense. Its a gift to you. Do not give a inch to the dealers tricks and lies. Stay calm keep your head, know what you say, its not in question, but their performance and acting skills are. See threw them and be firm. No they do not need to put a new gasket on to test. Or forget the waste of time unless you want a new engine they may install incorrectly and leave you with worse and just use thicker oil friend.

3 people found this helpful.

I took my a 2011 Toyota Corolla Matrix with only 55k miles to dealer to resolve Airbag related recall. Dealer said they would also check for any other issues. When I picked up the car dealer pointed out my timing cover seal leaking. I told him I never had oil on garage floor where car is always parked. He said was a slow leak. I declined to have it repaired at the time. When I drove the car home I parked outside in order give the floor a close inspection for oil leakage. Nothing found on floor. Next morning Backed the car out and, you guessed it, there was signs of oil seepage on the garage floor. I think it would be an amazing coincident that this seepage just happened to start on the same day I had the Airbag recall performed. No, I think technicians may have loosened some bolts enough to cause some leakage to create a little business for themselves. Has anyone else experienced anything like this happening?

3 people found this helpful.

I took my 2013 Toyota Corolla with only 45k miles to dealer to resolve Airbag related recall. Mechanic noted oil seepage starting on Timing Chain Cover. Sound familiar so far? See previous answer. Had mechanic show leak to me. It is about 4" in length. No oil on garage floor yet. Walking out of service area manager said "This leak is common problem on old Toyota". Service manager wanted $2000 for repair down from first quote of $2800. Took car to second dealer and had their mechanic torque bolts on cover to factory spec and clean off seeped oil. Charged $159.20. Mechanic said to return in 2000 miles to have cover seal checked. Said not to worry, because leak very small now and he doesn't expect problem. In 2000 miles will report seal condition.

2 people found this helpful.

Very interesting James. Thanks for your reply and glad for your success. I also have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe that is same car as the Matrix built side-by-side back in the day. No leaks yet in the Vibe after 120K miles. I think I'll see if GM dealer will torque mine down in the Corolla.


GuruCSN73, Should have added above that the second mechanic said that he tightened all bolts on cover but none were loose before he tightened them. Will be interesting to see how much seepage there is after 2000 miles, starting with clean cover. I did not get a picture before oil cleaned off cover. Will get a picture after 2000 miles when mechanic checks it. Maybe you could get picture at GM dealer when your car is off the ground. I have put a piece of cardboard under cover in garage and will watch it.


Thinking about this some more. Called Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. They were very interested and have opened a case on my experience. Will post when case is closed.

1 people found this helpful.

Jim, It's possible that the Toyota dealership that checked your bolts doesn't want to get further involved and so just reported that none were loose rather than "ratting" on another Toyota dealership. GM dealership couldn't get me in today so shooting for next week. Years ago I had a '71 Ford Torino wagon fail to start while in Sears parking lot. Sears Auto pushed the car into their shop and reported that my starter was burned up. Told me to get a new one from their parts dept - which I did and, when I gave it to repairman, told him I wanted to keep my old burned up starter. They protested and said it was good for nothing. But I kept it anyway. Then, within several days after Sears warranty expired, my "new" starter failed in my garage and it did have mechanical issues. So, since I didn't see any issues with the one Sears removed, I installed it back in my car and it started just fine. I'm now pretty sure the prior failure in Sears lot was due to a loose connector. When I took the out-of-warranty starter back to Sears anyway, they took a look and told me I didn't get that starter at Sears and theirs have special markings. When I threatened to take my case to the local TV Station Ombudsman, Sears did refund what I paid for the starter. My theory is that repairman kept my new starter for himself and installed a used one they had laying around. After putting another hundred thousand miles on that original starter, I traded the car - still starting - for a newer model.


Back to my Toyota leaking Timing Cover issue, I have some sort-of good news. I took car to a GM dealer today and asked them for a second opinion and suggested that they try torquing the timing cover bolts if found loose. They put an X Toyota technician on the job. His findings were that timing cover is not leaking at all but both my crank case seal and oil pressure sending unit are leaking. They ordered the parts and will install later this week. Estimate to replace those items would be around $500.00 but that sure beats $2500.00 and not even fix the problem. Will report back when repair is completed.


Correction on the parts needed to resolve oil leaks GM dealer changed oil and added a dye that would show up at leaks. Leaking parts replaced were Oil Pressure Switch 835300e010 and Crankshaft Position Sensor 90919a5004.

1 people found this helpful.

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