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Should I repair my valve cover leak


Topic starter

2009 Highlander, base model, 165K with no problems. My local mechanic was doing an oil change and told me 'you have a front valve cover gasket leaking oil'. He texted me this and upon pickup I told him I never noticed any drops of oil underneath car (where I park) or burning oil smell. He said it probably isn't leaking excessively, but there is oil on the outside of block. He was quick and told me have a good night, lol. 

So I've been thinking about it, what should I do? He didn't make it seems like it needs to be done ASAP or even next time. Should I call him back and ask to get back on the books for this replacement? 


3 Answers

it's up to you. You can do it now, or do it later when it's worse.

Do you know if this is DIY repair or mechanic only job?

well, double check a service manual of course, but usually valve covers are pretty straightforward. They're right on top of the engine so it should be easily doable in one day.


Me personally, I would keep an eye on it. See how bad it gets. If it even gets bad.


Do you like and trust this mechanic? Would it be difficult for you to get a 2nd opinion from a different shop?  I think you did good not caving to their additional work.  A valve cover gasket doesn't seem expensive until they hit you with a couple hours of labor. Unfortunately, it's common for shops to "pad" the bill with more parts and labor that may or may not be necessary. Not long ago, I went to a dealer shop for noisy serpentine pulley bearings because my usual independent shop isn't open on Saturday.  While I waited, they texted me saying they discovered another problem. They wanted to replace my water pump which is costly on a front drive engine. I didn't see any puddles of antifreeze on the floor of my garage and declined their recommendation and saved a lot of money.

I'm probably going to just keep an eye on it for now, if I see oil drops/stains I will investigate and get it replaced. So i'm glad I have the heads up and will be quick to asses the valve cover gasket if I do see oil leakage anytime soon.