Valve cover seeping

2014 4-cyl Toyota Camry
55,600 miles
All book maintenance kept up to date by mileage or time, whichever comes first.
Oil always changed every 5,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first due to severe use driving.

Oil dipstick checked every two weeks; no sign of any oil loss. When oil was changed several months ago no sign of valve seeping.

Yesterday during inspection so I can renew the license tags the mechanic found the right corner valve slightly seeping oil. Recommendation was to keep an eye on it but not needing repair yet as it is such small seepage just starting.

Question: So aside from watching for any leakage showing on the garage floor, watching for any apparent oil mess I can see from looking under the hood, and keeping close eye on the oil dipstick, anything I need to look for???

Remember, I am not a DIYer nor am I physically able to look under the car, take anything apart, etc. I’m an older, arthritic lady who keeps an eye on fluid levels, fills the washer fluid as needed, keeps tires aired, and changes air filters in both cabin and engine as needed. Unable to tackle anything beyond those limitations.


With a leaking valve cover, you may begin to smell a burning oil smell.


I’d just make sure the hold down bolts are tight.

That’s what happened on my Lexus (Toyota) V6. Smell was bad enough I had the valve cover gaskets replaced. But that may not happen here, it depends where the oil ends up.

Smell for burning oil from the leak, watch for oil drips (drips OK, puddle is not!) and check the oil level regularly.

And don’t worry about it because you know that are monitoring it.

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Thank you everyone.

Put a piece of cardboard under the engine if you park in a garage or carport. That can tell you how much is leaking and also keep the floor clean.

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Oil seeping out from under a valve cover is certainly not unusual, nor is it a sign of something gravely dangerous happening. If you have a service mechanic who you feel is trustworthy you can ask to have the valve cover bolts snugged up, but really the most important thing is doing what you’re doing - checking the oil regularly, looking things over, doing routine maintenance. This should not make you feel your car is deteriorating rapidly.

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