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To rebuild 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid Engine or Buy New

I went for my usual oil change only to be told I have an oil leak in five places. The mechanics spent an hour trying to find where the leaks were coming from. Finally they said I’d just have to baby the car until the piston shoots through the engine and I break down on the side of the road. Then I should have my car towed to them so they can find where the leaks are coming from.

I’d like to not let it get to that point. Should I rebuild the engine or buy a new engine since they can’t find the leaks? How much does it cost to rebuild a Camry hybrid engine or buy a new Camry hybrid engine? I’m not a mechanic but I would think if the oil is leaking in five places they should be able to find the one of the five places at least. Any suggestions anybody?

Find another mechanic. This is total crock.

First off…if you do have a leak…that doesn’t mean it’s going to destroy your engine. Second…any decent mechanic should be able to find the leaks.

Id’ RUN from this guy.

Talk to everyone you know and see who they use to fix their cars. After a while, you will have a short list of multiple good references. Contact them and see if they are willing to look at the engine. You can also try a Toyota dealer.

This mechanic is using scare tactics on you. check your dip stick everytime you gas up and if you are not seeing the oil level drop, then you are not leaking enough oil to worry about.


Do NOT rebuild the engine at this time, if you do have a serious leak, i.e. having to add a quart of oil every 500 miles or less, then get a competent mechanic to look at it. a competent mechanic won’t have any problem finding the leak.

If you do have a leak, chances are it will be something easy to find and cheap to fix, like an oil pressure sending unit or valve cover gasket. Worse case would be a front oil seal.

Has the oil level or oil pressure ever gotten really low? Has it ever seriously overheated?

If not, if everything’s been pretty much been a-ok with the car so far, and you just drive the car in normal conditions, I agree with others, I think you need to get a second opinion. Either a dealership, or an independent shop that works only on Toyotas, or Toyotas and Hondas. Ask your friends and co-workers who have a Toyota for a mechanic recommendation.

Something is missing from the OP story. My guess is the motor was run dry of oil, why else would a mechanic say the pistons are likely to “shoot through the engine”? How can a mechanic that can’t find the oil leaks say there are 5 leaks? If there are 5 leaks he found them, but likely can’t fix them easily. Fixing the leaks now won’t undo the internal engine damage (evidenced by loud knocking noises most likely) suffered if the engine was run without enough oil. Sounds like the OP didn’t check oil level between oil changes and now has a compromised engine.

If this is the case the best option is to buy a used motor from a salvage yard, there must be some wreaked Camry Hybrids out there somewhere.

Where did you get this diagnosis? Was it at a quick-lube place, by any chance?

These guys were not mechanics. They were BS artists.

The typical places where ICE engines leak are

  1. around valvecover gaskets
  2. around the oil pan gasket
  3. through the front main seal
  4. through the rear main seal
  5. occasionally around a distributor O-ring (distributor based systems only)
  6. sometimes areound a stripped plug or an improperly installed filter.

There are UV sensitive dyes that can be added to the oil to be used to find the source of these leaks.

Oil leakage does not destroy engines. Only low oil does. As long as the level of the oil in the pan remains above the oil pump pickup tube (above the “add” line on the dipstick), than the pump will draw the oil up and pump it under pressure through the channels that it uses to lubricate the operating parts. That system, the lubrication system, does not know or care if some is leaking to the outside world.

And, lastly, you are correct. Anyone who looks under your acr and tells you it’s leaking in five places but cannot show you where is full of bull scat.

Run away. Fast.
Now monitor your oil level and keep it above the “fill” line. If you find that there’s too much disappearing, like more than one quart per 1000 miles, post back.