2015 Toyota Highlander - slow leak options

Bought new. I was told that I have a slow engine oil leak coming from the timing cover. I have 66557 miles on the car. Dealer quoted estimate around $5000 ( 20 hours labor + parts + taxes). I decided not to have it done right now because of the cost and my finances. Plus the dealer didn’t seem to think it was an emergency and that I can keep an eye on the oil levels and get more frequent oil changes. So that is what I am going to do for now. My dealer was actually surprised that this happened at this low mileage.
Did anyone else have this issue and not have it repaired right away?

How much oil is it leaking in miles per quart?
Just check your oil frequently, add oil as needed.
If you are doing your oil changes at 5000 miles or 6 months, which ever comes first, no need to do it more often.
Your car is out of warranty. Get a second or third estimate from an independent mechanic—not a chain store.


The only thing I can add is:
Out of warranty = stay away from the dealer for almost everything.


The dealer in this case was nice enough to tell Mary to watch the fluids and to not think it was a panic situation .


It is probably not urgent and may never need to be repaired based on the severity of the leak. This video does a great job explaining the issue and the needed repairs.


Yes! +1, on all points.

IMO, this is a TON of money for fixing a timing cover leak. So there is probably more to the estimate- do you have a breakdown of the costs you could post- labor and materials? This might help get the best advice as there is perhaps a timing belt/chain replacement included in the repair?

So here’s the breakdown from the Toyota Dealer: Timing Chain Cover is Leaking

Labor: 20.0 Hours $3,600 + Tax
Parts: $566.57 + Tax

That was it.

I’ve always gone to Toyota for all my services so I don’t know any trusted mechanics.

Thanks for the video. I’m going to check it out even though I don’t know anything about cars…

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I asked him if this was a common problem and he said no and was surprised and he was also surprised that it would take 20 hours…

Biggest question-how much oil are you using? Start checking it every fillup until you know how many miles it takes to need to add a quart. I bet the oil use is not high, meaning you don’t need to fix the leak, just keep an eye on your oil level.

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I just went yesterday so I’m going to start checking the oil and keeping track of the leak. I’m also going to ask around about any trusted mechanics since I don’t know of any.

Thank you for the suggestion!

Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers are a good source, but you might want to use a site such as Yelp to see what type of reviews the local mechanics get.


Good suggestions! Thanks…

I always take my Acura to the dealer to and am well satisfied with the cost and service. My Pontiac goes to a private shop though. So up to you for what you prefer.

If the leak is not bad though, wait until it’s time to replace the timing belt if it has one and that should take care of the problem.

Timing chain, not belt, on 2015

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Well then wait or go for it now. Easy choice.

The video I posted wasn’t the one I recalled that explained the problem and discuses if the repair was worth completing. This is the correct one.

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He must have been a new employee, each week I see 2 or 3 of those engines removed for a timing chain cover reseal. Labor guide shows 19.5 hours of labor plus wheel alignment.

Oil loss might be 3 to 4 ounces a year, timing chain covers don’t leak at a high rate.

This is something you have repaired when someone else is paying for the repair; Powertrain warranty or service contract. Too much money to pay to tidy up the bottom of the engine, the only person that will see your dirty engine is the mechanic.