Q: Do I need to replace the timing chain tensioner cover gasket?

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My mechanic said that there is a small leak in the gasket and that I should replace the timing chain tensioner gasket. He wants to charge $400. How important is it to change and within what time frame? I only drive a few thousand miles a year.

My car has 199000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This would depend on the severity of the oil leak. If the oil leak is fast, I would recommend having this issue resolved as soon as possible to prevent any damage to your engine. The labor charges likely high due to the fact that the timing cover requires many parts to be removed in order to remove it. The timing cover is usually located directly behind all of your belt driven accessories. If the leak is not very fast it is possible to drive this vehicle for a long period of time without having to do any repairs. I would just keep an eye on your oil level to determine how quickly you are losing it and then decide on the repair from there.

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