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Replace Valve Cover Gaskets?

I took my 2002 Toyota Camry in for an oil change today at the dealership. They recommend replacing the valve cover gaskets for $530. What bothered me is the Asst. Manager couldn’t seem to explain to me why or what was wrong with them. He said they were leaking, but I have seen no evidence of this in the garage and the car drives great. My husband now has furlough (unpaid) days each month and this is an unexpected cost of which I felt wasn’t explained well to me. What if we wait on it? What is the worst that could happen? I drive my kids to school, etc., in this car. I’m just wondering if I should get a 2nd opinion, let it ride, or just bite the bullet and get the repair.

Oil can be leaking without it actually being bad enough to drip onto the ground. You can wait to have this repair done at your financial convenience, just keep an eye on your oil level. The worst that could happen is that you could destroy your engine if the oil were to get too low.

Get a second opinion if you are not sure about the leak. They may not be leaking that badly and may be able to be put off for a little while, but a second opinion will help determine that.

Remember to periodically check your oil level.

The valve covers might not be leaking on the outside, but if the valve covers have what are called spark plug wells, the seals at the bottom of these wells could be leaking. This then fills the spark plug wells with oil, and this could cause a misfire.

You might take it to an independent garage and have them check the valve covers for leakage. And if it’s found that they are leaking, they might be able to beat that price.

But it’s not an emergency. Just keep an eye on the oil level.