Timing Chain Cover Oil Leak - Toyota Matrix

Messages
1,250
Location
canada
hello:

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix, which has a slow leak coming from the timing chain cover

leaking at the rear side, at the 3-way junction where the head, block, and timing chain cover meet up... this also happens to be where the timing chain tensioner is located (a known leak point, but this has already been fixed and is not leaking)

the leak is modest, getting approx. 2-3 drops per week on garage floor... oil level does NOT drop noticeably between oil changes (and I just went 10,000 miles, oops)

VEHICLE
Model: 2005 Matrix, base model, 2WD (similar to Corolla)
Engine: 1.8L 1ZZ-FE R
Mileage: 51,000 miles / 85,000 km

NOTES:
  • currently using 5W-30 Pennzoil Synthetic Platinum (not HM version, not Ultra)
  • used conventional oil up until 35,000 miles / 59,000 kms
  • timing chain cover is sealed at the factory using RTV, not a gasket
  • moderate winter climate (Vancouver Island, Canada)... rarely much below 32F / 0C
  • this engine is known to have oil passageway clogging issues, hence my switching to synthetic oil (after I purchased the car)
  • the leak area is located higher up so does not sit "underwater" at rest... also, the timing cover chamber is hollow and not under full liquid oil pressure

clearly, the gasket has failed, and thus some oil is able to escape

sure, the proper fix is to renew the gasket seal(s), but this is a MAJOR job requiring engine removal, and I can't justify spending $2,000 to fix... plus won't risk disturbing a perfectly good but 15-year-old engine, possibly introducing new problems

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

1. switch to a different oil... eg. non-synthetic, non-synthetic HM, synthetic HM ???
2. add some sort of "stop leak" product to the oil
3. replace PCV valve (to ensure excess pressure is not occurring inside timing cover chamber due to sticky valve)
4. ensure oil level is not too high and between dots on dipstick (to ensure excess pressure is not occurring inside timing cover chamber)
5. tighten cover bolts in that area
6. apply some sort of sealer ON THE OUTSIDE of the leaky area... for example, "Permatex Spray Sealant Leak Repair #82099" (product info)

regarding #6: having a "magic spray" solution sounds very nice, but apparently surface prep is critical for success (complete degreasing), but this is a fairly hard to access area, so cleaning and application could be very difficult... also, the spray is very watery, so the permanent overspray mess might be brutal

PHOTO GALLERY HERE

I would really appreciate hearing any comments on my possible solutions, tips, experiences, or suggestions

thank you!
I had a leak on a ford 2.5 duratec like that,
when the engine was hot i put a product called liquid steel on the warm parts it spread smooth and filled in the area well never leaked another drop.
 
Messages
112
Location
Great Lakes State, USA
hello:

I have a 2005 Toyota Matrix, which has a slow leak coming from the timing chain cover

leaking at the rear side, at the 3-way junction where the head, block, and timing chain cover meet up... this also happens to be where the timing chain tensioner is located (a known leak point, but this has already been fixed and is not leaking)

the leak is modest, getting approx. 2-3 drops per week on garage floor... oil level does NOT drop noticeably between oil changes (and I just went 10,000 miles, oops)

VEHICLE
Model: 2005 Matrix, base model, 2WD (similar to Corolla)
Engine: 1.8L 1ZZ-FE R
Mileage: 51,000 miles / 85,000 km

NOTES:
  • currently using 5W-30 Pennzoil Synthetic Platinum (not HM version, not Ultra)
  • used conventional oil up until 35,000 miles / 59,000 kms
  • timing chain cover is sealed at the factory using RTV, not a gasket
  • moderate winter climate (Vancouver Island, Canada)... rarely much below 32F / 0C
  • this engine is known to have oil passageway clogging issues, hence my switching to synthetic oil (after I purchased the car)
  • the leak area is located higher up so does not sit "underwater" at rest... also, the timing cover chamber is hollow and not under full liquid oil pressure

clearly, the gasket has failed, and thus some oil is able to escape

sure, the proper fix is to renew the gasket seal(s), but this is a MAJOR job requiring engine removal, and I can't justify spending $2,000 to fix... plus won't risk disturbing a perfectly good but 15-year-old engine, possibly introducing new problems

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

1. switch to a different oil... eg. non-synthetic, non-synthetic HM, synthetic HM ???
2. add some sort of "stop leak" product to the oil
3. replace PCV valve (to ensure excess pressure is not occurring inside timing cover chamber due to sticky valve)
4. ensure oil level is not too high and between dots on dipstick (to ensure excess pressure is not occurring inside timing cover chamber)
5. tighten cover bolts in that area
6. apply some sort of sealer ON THE OUTSIDE of the leaky area... for example, "Permatex Spray Sealant Leak Repair #82099" (product info)

regarding #6: having a "magic spray" solution sounds very nice, but apparently surface prep is critical for success (complete degreasing), but this is a fairly hard to access area, so cleaning and application could be very difficult... also, the spray is very watery, so the permanent overspray mess might be brutal

PHOTO GALLERY HERE

I would really appreciate hearing any comments on my possible solutions, tips, experiences, or suggestions

thank you!
Do it right & replace the seal. Don’t rely on a MO or additive to resolve your issue.
 
Messages
360
Location
Florida
I have an 03 Matrix 1zz engine that did the same thing. I just monitored the leaks and fixed them as they happened. 03 - 06 Corollas and Vibes did the same thing. The 1zz are also slight oil burners, but nothing that would make me get rid of it. It's a rattle box, but it's paid off and perfectly works. As long as the engine and trans are good, I wouldn't care about spending $500 per year on repairs. Better than $6000 per year on car payments.
 
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