2002 Sienna dripping oil on ground

I have written a lot over past years about my 2002 Sienna. It has always been very low on oil consumption, even over 200,000 miles.

In Sept/Oct during my annual visit to the States it used a quart in 3200 miles, which is more than in the past.

Last week, for the first time ever, I saw oil under the car on the concrete. First thing I looked at was the drain plug. Solid, and no oil on it.

Then, the filter. Ditto. No oil on the bottom nor under it.

I looked further and there is oil around the edge of the metal part on top of the motor which is obviously the valve cover. So, I am assuming the valve cover gaskets are oozing based on where the oil is visible.

But, first, I will check to see if the screws on the cover are loose, just in case.

As time passes, I will look around in other places. I realize a quart in 3200 miles is not the end of the world, but if I can make it better, why not?

If I can, I will wait until my next trip to the States, next October to do repairs other than checking for loose bolts/screws.

I know you’ve said in the past that you have problems getting parts shipped to your home, however if you find yourself wanting to do the job when you come to the states, perhaps you could have the gaskets shipped to your son’s place. Here’s a link to a site that I’ve found very affordable and reliable.


heads up

If you can snug up those valve cover bolts, it’s probably not because they’ve loosened

It’s probably because the valve cover gaskets themselves have gone flat

So this is where I get concerned over these oil leaks. One is the fire hazard which I have not seen happen so probably very rare. But the bigger one is potential health hazard b/c the oil gets heated and then blown in the cabin through the vents.

On our Older Caravan, it was seeping oil from every gasket it had (this is at 14 yr and 175+ Kmiles), the cabin was starting to smell like engine oil and nothing would get rid of the smell. I finally got rid of the car as changing all gaskets were out of question.

Drive on and top/check oil every other fillup.

the rear silicone VC gasket leaked on our grand prix. fairly easy fix. i thought my caddy had the same issue. removing rear VC was not easy. gasket was perfect though. no deformation at all. but than a caddy motor has many leak points.