Oil leak on passenger side of the engine in Toyota Camry 2002 4cyl.


Asked by Jul 22, 2015 at 10:44 AM about the 2002 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi everyone,

I have a 2002 Toyota Camry with 150k miles on it. Recently, I mentioned an engine oil
leak which is pretty bad. The engine lost 5QTR in a week. The first mechanic told me it
is valve cover gasket and I replaced it, but the oil leak did not stop, so it is not valve
cover gasket. The second mechanic told me it is the head gasket that is leaking, but I
don't trust his judgement as I have the oil leak even when the engine is off (I guess),
because I see good amount of oil in the garage. Do you guys have any clue that what it
might be that is leaking? All responses will be greatly appreciated.

6 Answers

Tom Demyan

Might be a cracked block, but you need to clean the area of the leak real well, add oil and see where it is leaking, or find a mechanic you can trust.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Well, first, congratulations, not everyone even makes it to 150,000 miles. So, you're really surprised by all this, really? OK, why don't you trust your mechanic? I would take the car for a second opinion, but, if the next person tells you something similar, it's probably true. Look, after 150,000 miles, it's entirely possible that these things are happening to your car and its a 2002. You should be satisfied with the service you've gotten from this automobile. If you wrote that you only had 100,000 miles on your car, I could see how you might feel differently. It's always less expensive to just repair the car and get more mileage from it to 200,000 or so, then trade or sell it. Even a major car repair like this is not the same as spending $400 per month every month for the next 60 months to buy a new car. So, repair your car, it's probably your best option. Besides, your car is not worth anything if it's not in working condition.


It may be your oil pump drive seal. That's a common leak on Camrys. If it's leaking from the timing belt cover area, that's most likely your issue. On rare occasions, like Tom suggested, the block will crack but that's usually due to a broken motor mount. Here's a video on the oil pump leak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT6D042Czww

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Engine needs to be power washed or otherwise cleaned so it can be determined where the oil is coming from. Could be coming from oil pan gasket, oil filter and adapter, oil pressure sender, oil pump, crank shaft seal, valve cover gasket, head gasket, cylinder head or block. Engine block, I would think, would be least likely, but possible.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If it's leaking from the oil pump seal, it will still leak because it's filling up the plastic timing cover with oil as well. It will continue to leak out of the timing cover until it has finally drained out. So, yes, it will still appear to leak once the car is off.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you very much guys for the thoughtful responses. I am very satisfied with the service this car provided to me and have no complaints. I am recently moved to a new place, so I don't know mechanics here very well. I will update you guys, when I figured out the problem for sure.

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