I am planning a trip from the Midwest to California and back. I took my car in for a check up and discovered that there is an oil leak with the timing chain tensioner/timing cover gasket. The car will not be able to be fixed in time for when I need to leave if I’m going to drive. I’m debating driving it anyway and checking the oil regularly and filling it as needed. Bad idea?
Just depends on how bad the leak is, really. I don’t think the timing chain cover gasket is going to fail catastrophically and allow all of the oil to spray out all at once or anything. If it’s a seep/drip and you keep the oil level good, you’ll probably be ok. If it’s a steady observable leak where you can literally watch the oil drip/leak out, then it’s probably not a good idea.
If it is a slight leak on a timing chain, I would say you should be ok if you keep checking the oil level. if it was a timing belt then I would not do it.
I believe you have a chain. unless your vehicle is older than a 2002.
I think that could work At the shop, different make car, same problem. Advisor told him more expensive to fix than worth it for his car. But if you are to do it certainly keep an eye on oil level.
MOST of the time, I’d regard a timing chain cover leak about like I would see a valve cover gasket leak. Annoyance, needs to be repaired, but not threatening to void the engine of all of it’s oil suddenly. Unless there’s something oddball about a Mini Cooper engine, I have zero familiarity with them.
Oil here is NOT under pressure so the leak should be minor. Just keep checking oil at least daily.
Thank you all! I took it to a MINI specialist just to make sure. He did not do a thorough exam, but he did listen to it and he asked me some questions about the behavior of the car.
As several of you suggested, he thinks it will be safe to drive as long as I check the oil and fill as needed. He was so kind to show me how to do read the dipstick as like most things with MINI’s, even the dipstick reading is unique and sensitive.
Bon voyage! Carrying a quart of oil is a good idea on a long trip.
don’t forget a funnel and rag. Have a safe trip