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How much should a new oil pump cost?

I have a 1997 diamate that I have owned since 1998. It’s not my daily driver but my oldest son drives it to college twice a week and weekend jaunts. It has 158k, excellent tires, new front struts, interior a little shabby and it runs great but has an oil leak. My mechanic says its coming from the oil pump seal/gasket and the oil pump and related seals/gaskets along with the ignition distributor seal needs to be replaced to fix the leak. Im leaking about 1 qt between 5k oil changes. Already had the valve cover gaskets and some grommets replaced a few thousand miles ago. I looked on the internet and see the price of a oil pump for the car is around $150.00. I understand the oil pump is located in the front of the engine and is a pain to get to and replace. I had my timing belt, related pulleys, idlers and water pump changed out at 98K (water pump was weeping). Planning on giving the car to my son once he gets a job. (hopefully next summer) What would be a reasonable price for the oil pump exchange service and should I even be considering putting any more $ into the car. Im not too sure on what to do based on not knowing how many miles I should be able to get out of the car? Im in the Dallas TX area.

Sensible approach would be to check the oil level every couple of weeks and add a quart of oil when needed . The car is thirteen years old and there is no sense in throwing money at it .
BTW why does the oil pump have to be replaced ?

Agreed, if the car’s only losing a quart over 5,000 miles I wouldn’t get in to a big repair such as this. Depending on the configuration of your car’s mechanicals, dropping the oil pan may require removal of the exhaust and other components which will make the job labor intensive. Just make sure you and your son keep regularly checking the oil (I check mine at the gas station at every other fillup). Many people post to this board complaining that their new cars use a quart over 3,000 miles! It sounds like you’re doing a good job keeping up with the car’s routine maintenance, which is so often not the case. You’ve owned the car since almost new, you’ve kept up with the maintenance, and the car should be solid as long as you’re willing to keep it up.

You should be checking the oil at least every 1000 miles anyway.

Don’t fix it, part of that 1qt/5000miles is being burned or leaking elsewhere. And fixing it might result in other problems.

I wouldn’t bother fixing the vehicle either. There are a lot of new vehicles on the road today that consume more than a quart in 5000 miles. Consider yourself lucky.

I cannot remember where the oil pressure sender is located on these cars but normally senders are located around the oil pump.
Since there appears to be multiple leaks in this area you might consider the possibility of a leaking sender (cheap) which is causing other things to be blamed for the leak, or leaks.

With age and miles the plastic on the sender may crack, especially with the onset of cold weather, and an oil mist will be discharged if the leak is very tiny and a steady drip if the leak is larger. This accumulates and can turn into a mess very quickly.

If the sender is located in that area I would clean it thoroughly and eyeball it while the engine is running to see if it becomes wet with engine oil. Just a suggestion and hope it helps. If this is the case a sender is cheap and easy.

Good point OK4450 on the sensor. If it is the oil sensor, I’ve seen small leaks suddenly open up to large-fast leaks in an instant.

If it’s the sensor, then definitely change it.
If it’s any other part of the oil pump leaking, then I’d go along with everyone’s recommendations to “just leave it”.

I wouldn’t worry about a quart of oil every 5K miles. The cost of the parts isn’t what would be so bad, but it would probably be very labor intense. I had to remove the oil pan on my daily driver back in the spring to clean the screen in the oil pump pick up tube, the only parts cost involved was a can of brake cleaner to spray into the screen to remove the sludge, but with everything that had to come off and be put back I spent nearly all day doing it which if I’d been paying someone to do it would have cost several hundred dollars. If the car is in extremely good condition and the leak gets too severe have it fixed then, but cross that bridge when you get to it. Many new cars use this much oil and more. Even if you fixed these leaks there’s a chance part of the oil is being used or is leaking other places. Check the sending unit though as has already been suggested and if it is leaking get it replaced as soon as possible. I’ve seen them crack to the point the engine would lose a quart of oil within a few miles. My daily driver is an '88 Ford Escort with 518K miles on it, it leaks/uses a quart of oil about every 800-1K miles, but the body and interior are in pretty rough condition and it’s not worth putting a fortune into so I just keep the oil topped off and keep driving it. It’s probably been going through a quart of oil at least every 1500 miles for the past 100K miles or more. I have several other cars that are in much better condition that I perform oil changes on at 3-5K mile intervals and when I change oil in them I strain the used oil to remove any debris, poor it back into the empty bottles and use it for topping off oil in the daily driver. This keeps fresh clean oil in my good cars and keeps the oil level safe in the one that’s nearly worn out and I’m not spending $4. on a quart of oil every other fuel fill up for an engine that’s just going to burn/leak it back out.

Like the other guys say that’s not a terrible amount of oil. What concerns me is if ANY of this oil get onto the T-belt… Then its game over for the T-belt…they HATE to be oil soaked and when they do get that way it breaks down the rubber…making it want to stretch and do all sorts of nasty stuff… Bad situation.

How much have you been quoted to do the Pump? Because it will prob cost something VERY similar to doing the T-belt job…bec that’s what is basically happening during this procedure…wouldn’t be a bad idea to sub in a new T-belt itself at that time… and the idlers/water pump etc… You can buy a kit on ebay for under 200 prob…and hand the mechanic the parts…he will be staring right at all of these while doing the pump…it would take him maybe 3 or 4 more bolts to install all of your new T-belt parts during that pump job…

Blackbird