2013 Toyota Matrix - Oil seap

I have a slow seap of oil from head gasket at only 100 thousand kilometers. Wondering if anyone else has this problem. I purchased a used model 7 years ago at time it had 58000 kilometers. Had regular checkups and oil changes. Also have issue with right front hubcap. Was advised to have another engine installed to solve head gasket issue. Car is now 11 years old is it worth fixing?

1.8L or 2.4L ???

For those of you out there like me, 100K = 62137 miles, and 58K = 36039 miles… lol

1 Like

hmmm … That’s unusual device. What is the shop’s reason for installing a new engine vs just replacing the head gasket? The problem w/installing another engine is you may be introducing problems you currently don’t have, esp true if your car has been regularly serviced and gently driven. For comparison purposes, my 30 + year old Corolla w/1.6 L engine, 200K + miles, the only oil leaks have been from the valve cover gasket. Are you certain your oil leak isn’t there?

Like Geoge said, engine replacement is not the normal cure, if it is a head gasket. I’d want a second opinion, much more common to have a valve cover gasket leak, which is not expensive to replace. Either way, if it is just a ‘seep’, and not causing you to add significant oil between oil changes, I’d just live with it.


Who told you to replace the engine and what was their reason? Normally the gasket would be replaced unless there is a crack in the engine block that clauses the leak at the block/head interface.

Thanks for the feedback. Took the car to 2 mechanics and neither one mentioned the valve cover gasket. So after your response I have set up appointment with Toyota service dept. They also mentioned the valve cover gasket. I am retired and my car is in very good condition so think it worthwhile to get proper estimate.

Thanks for the feedback. Please keep us informed of your progress. Best of luck.

Used engines are not a good idea. I seriously doubt the head gasket is leaking, when they leak, they generally leak coolant, not oil.

I think you have a mechanic that doesn’t know the difference between a valve cover gasket and a head gasket. Your car is at the age when valve cover leaks often show up, and you would never replace an engine for valve cover leak.

Cost should be around $40 for the gasket set and an hour labor, so about $150. But just how bad is the leak? $150 buys a lot of oil. If you are only losing a quart between oil changes, I’d leave it alone.

If you are losing a quart every 500 miles or less, I’d look at the front oil seal. If that is leaking, get it fixed as they can loose oil for a while, and then catastrophically fail, dumping all the oil out of the engine in a few seconds. Again about a $150 fix.

1 Like

I’ve replaced a few late-model Toyota head gaskets for oil leaks.

With an hour of labor is hovering around the $200 mark, your estimate is off by about a hundred bucks. :grinning:

Interesting. Where were they leaking? From the inside to the outside? Or internal oil leaks?

I believe this port is the oil pressure feed for the cylinder head/camshaft.

If there is any speculation the head bolt threads have pulled out of the block or the engine has suffered a severe overheating event, the owner should be made aware of the possibility of engine replacement will be needed.

External oil leak. Similar to the picture Nevada posted above. Decades ago the Chrysler 2.0 engines in the Neon, etc., were also known to leak oil. If I recall there was a revised gasket for that one.

All the more oil that the cost of the gasket replacement would buy.

I’d pay a penny to save a dollar, but I wouldn’t pay a dollar to save a penny.

Would a head gasket leak enough oil to justify the cost of replacement?
If it leaks coolant, yeah replace, but a little oil?

My 1984 Chevy Cavalier 2.0L had a small head gasket leak to the outside. Oil or coolant - I don’t remember for sure, but I think oil. I carefully torqued the head bolts and the leak stopped.

1 Like

I once did $1800 worth of work to a 14 year old Kia Sportage because the condo association where the customer lived was strict about no oil leaks in the parking garage.

I had a customer with a 20 year old Suburban. He came back from a 300 mile trip and found a drop of oil the size of a dime on the floor. He insisted we replace the rear main seal.

It’s not up to me to decide. You keep paying, we keep fixing.