Toyota Paseo needs repair - How far to go?

My ladyfriend has a '95 Paseo that leaks oil. It has leaked so fast that the oil light came on within 100 miles of having oil full. However it only leaves small drip spots when parked.

A mechanic has declared that the crankcase seal AND the rear main seal are leaking. He’s quoting approximately $600 per repair, for a total of $1200.

I told her that if it was me, I would have him only do the rear main seal.

Reason #1: The rear main is larger, and more oil could leak out of that in a given time.

Reason #2: I replaced her camshaft oil seal a few months ago, and at the time I inspected the crankcase seal and determined that only a small amount of oil, if any, was coming from it. (it was hard to tell for sure because oil had leaked from the cam seal down into all crevices)

Reason #3: The repairs are on opposite sides of the engine and therefore unrelated as far as labor goes. It saves nothing labor-wise to have them done at the same time.

Reason #4: If it still needs it, I can replace her crank seal later on. However, I know I don’t have the proper help or tools to do the rear main, because i don’t have a transmission jack.

Question for you folks is, how do you feel about my reasoning? Should she get both repairs done now? (note, of course, this would be a major financial hit right after the holidays!)

Thanks for your input!

4 quarts of oil lost in two hours is a major leak. The crank seal usually does not leak that copiously unless it has been pushed out of its bore. The crankcase gets a lot of oil slung at it from the oil leaving the main and rod bearings. If the oil truely is leaking under driving conditions, I would place the front of the car over a large piece of cardboard and run the engine in Neutral, wheels blocked at 3000 rpm. Look under the engine and see where the oil is dripping. If you cannot pinpoint the exact location or amount from the crankshaft seal or crankcase allow enough operation to elapse until you can quantify which site is leaking the mostoil onto the cardboard. Use that to decide which leak is most critical.

Also consider that there might be a problem with the crankcase ventilation system. If the PVC valve is plugged up or the fresh air line is clogged, high crankcase presssure may be forcing oil out at high load.

Also let us know how many miles are on this engine as the bearings may be slinging too much oil and the blowby may be overwhelming the crankcase ventilation system. Maybe, a replacement or rebuilt engine is in order.

Get back to us on what you find.

The car isn’t worth fixing. It’s a Tercel with a better looking body. You can probably find a better car for less than $1200.

I’d second checking the crankcase venting before doing any other work.