Timing Chain Cover Oil Leak - Toyota Matrix

wdn

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1,641
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NH
I had my timing chain tensioner, oil pan, water pump and serpentine belt tensioner & serpentine belt all replaced at various times under warranty on my 2006 Corolla. At 80,000 miles and on my dime, the crank seal went and was replaced and another new serpentine went on. The one replaced under warranty had been fouled with oil so that was a dealer recommend. I recommended a big discount for changing a belt with 30,000 miles on it and they sold me the new belt for 40% off.
 
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5,461
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I had my timing chain tensioner, oil pan, water pump and serpentine belt tensioner & serpentine belt all replaced at various times under warranty on my 2006 Corolla. At 80,000 miles and on my dime, the crank seal went and was replaced and another new serpentine went on. The one replaced under warranty had been fouled with oil so that was a dealer recommend. I recommended a big discount for changing a belt with 30,000 miles on it and they sold me the new belt for 40% off.
Wow 40% off isn’t bad at all.
 

sandy777

Thread starter
Messages
13
That has been an issue for other older Toyota models . I think it was related to the sealant or poor sealing from the factory . A removal of the cover and resealing solved the issue . The new sealant was black , factory was white . Your issue may be different . May want to use a dye . Clean area thoroughly before checking . Good luck .
looks like my sealant is white... looking at the photo, a vertical bead of squished-out sealant is visible
 
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5,461
Location
Roanoke Virginia
looks like my sealant is white... looking at the photo, a vertical bead of squished-out sealant is visible
The factory stuff is white I believe. They use black now. That’s what I would use too as it is highly oil resistant. Just be sure you clean the old off really well if you take the whole cover off.
 

JTK

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13,293
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Buffalo, NY
That's a shame with that low of mileage, but she is 16yrs/old.

It's a hack job for sure, but as mentioned above, I'd shoot some brake cleaner or cleaner of your choice over the effected area that you can get at to clean the surface and slather some RTV sealant over the top of it to see if that helps. Like you say, no way I'd go through all that labor and expense just for that.

Like I've said for years. Timing belts really aren't all that bad when you consider how obnoxious these oil filled timing cover leaks are. That's a huge area to seal and it's going to fail at some point.
 
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1,011
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Wash, DC
I'd put something on the garage floor to catch the drips and drive on.
I changed the tensioner o-ring twice in 12 years on my 2006 Matrix.
Never buy an older Harley Davidson or British sports car.
 
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2,654
Location
Northeast
I believe the sealant used was Genuine Toyota Formed In Place Gasket ( F.I.P.G. ) sealer ( silicone ?) that's black . Part number is 00295-00103 . Under $20 a tube .
 

sandy777

Thread starter
Messages
13
additional possible solution:

7. put some sort of absorbent pad on the outside, one that can be changed periodically (perhaps held down by a stainless steel mesh of some kind?)

I know this sounds ridiculous, but what if it needs to be changed only once per year?... I can't imagine my drips add up to too much based on what I see on my garage floor, however, I don't know what drips on the road (and I don't like the idea of dripping there)
 
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1,731
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RI
If it were me, as a Hail Mary, cut off what’s sticking out from the outside. Clean the area with brake clean. Smear some strong oil resistant RTV over the area. Tighten the front cover bolts. Let it sit at least 24 hours without running it. See how it is after that.

Other wise, have to pull the cover and do the full job.
 

sandy777

Thread starter
Messages
13
I'm starting to think that putting on some RTV -- instead of Permatex Spay Sealant -- might be a better idea, simply because I suspect the spray sealant will end up creating a massive mess, since I can barely get back in there to mask things off, let alone hold the spray can... plus since it's near the top of the engine, all the excess will run down and coat everything below

Q: can anyone suggest the best RTV to use?

I saw a new special *flexible* version of Permatex Ultra Black Maximum Oil Resistance at the store... maybe that's a good idea since I am at the junction between 3 major parts of the engine

I suppose the most important criteria is which RTV will stick the best to the probably slightly oily surfaces, and also will hold up over time at high temperatures

I'm also thinking that I could apply the RTV using a small brush, instead of my finger, for best coverage/adhesion

it will be difficult no matter what, because the area in question is at back of the engine, not visible at all (except with a mirror), and the working space is very tight
 
Messages
5,461
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I'm starting to think that putting on some RTV -- instead of Permatex Spay Sealant -- might be a better idea, simply because I suspect the spray sealant will end up creating a massive mess, since I can barely get back in there to mask things off, let alone hold the spray can... plus since it's near the top of the engine, all the excess will run down and coat everything below

Q: can anyone suggest the best RTV to use?

I saw a new special *flexible* version of Permatex Ultra Black Maximum Oil Resistance at the store... maybe that's a good idea since I am at the junction between 3 major parts of the engine

I suppose the most important criteria is which RTV will stick the best to the probably slightly oily surfaces, and also will hold up over time at high temperatures

I'm also thinking that I could apply the RTV using a small brush, instead of my finger, for best coverage/adhesion

it will be difficult no matter what, because the area in question is at back of the engine, not visible at all (except with a mirror), and the working space is very tight
Permatex black maximum oil resistant is the one you want. I haven’t seen the new flex one but the regular tubes come with a nozzle to help dispense it.
 
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2,765
Location
Kentucky
Permatex black maximum oil resistant is the one you want. I haven’t seen the new flex one but the regular tubes come with a nozzle to help dispense it.
I agree with the above. Black is the sealer to use for areas with constant exposure to oil.

Permatex Ultra Black is probably going to be your best bet and is readily available at Walmart, Amazon and other popular retailers. I agree this is the way to go; since there's no oil pressure present at that location, a quick seal job from the outside should do the trick. Just make sure the area is as clean as you can get it. Just use the included applicator to dispense and use your finger or other tool to slather it on there.

I don't think you need any special flexible sealer. If those three major components are moving independently, you have much bigger problems! The regular Ultra black will handle any heat/metal expansion you will encounter in that area.
 
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sandy777

Thread starter
Messages
13
I'm thinking that adhesion of the RTV will be critical to success... if it doesn't stick well enough on both side of the leak point, I imagine that oil will just seep out underneath

I always thought that "gasket maker" RTV would harden into a custom gasket -- but one that could be removed in the future, ie., it would not actually stick permanently to the metal surfaces... maybe I'm wrong?

and I'm guessing that the Permatex Spray Sealant (mentioned in my OP) is likely designed to stick like crazy, "forever"

it's a dilemma: I'd like to use the spray sealant, but can see that application is going to be difficult and probably hugely messy, due to the the fact that the leaking area is on the backside of the engine where I can't even see it (without using a mirror) and have very I limited/cramped access

with RTV, at least I could probably spread some onto a paintbrush, and apply slowly and carefully without needing to mask anything off or worry about creating a huge mess
 
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Messages
2,765
Location
Kentucky
I'm thinking that adhesion of the RTV will be critical to success... if it doesn't stick well enough on both side of the leak point, I imagine that oil will just seep out underneath

I always thought that "gasket maker" RTV would harden into a custom gasket -- but one that could be removed in the future, ie., it would not actually stick permanently to the metal surfaces... maybe I'm wrong?

and I'm guessing that the Permatex Spray Sealant (mentioned in my OP) is likely designed to stick like crazy, "forever"

it's a dilemma: I'd like to use the spray sealant, but can see that application is going to be difficult and probably hugely messy, due to the the fact that the leaking area is on the backside of the engine where I can't even see it (without using a mirror) and have very I limited/cramped access

with RTV, at least I could probably spread some onto a paintbrush, and apply slowly and carefully without needing to mask anything off or worry about creating a huge mess
I probably makes no difference whether you apply it with a spray or via hand/tool using the squeeze tube. They are both sealants and both will adhere to the metal. Whether the squeeze tube is usually used for gaskets or not makes no difference. It won't come off (when applied to clean metal) unless you physically remove it. Have you ever tried removing cured RTV from a metal surface? It doesn't come off without a fight.

Pick one or the other and try it. If it doesn't work, you can always roll the dice and try the other product.
 

sandy777

Thread starter
Messages
13
just thought I'd take a moment to THANK everyone who has responded so far... the input has been amazing, and I really appreciate it!
 
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23,435
Location
CA
Why is there RTV on the timing chain tensioner? That tensioner is sealed with an o-ring only. Reseal the tensioner first and re-evaluate.

Also, that timing cover can be resealed without engine removal. It is a little tight, but doable.
 
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