Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car has an oil leak, and might need a new timing belt and new water pump

asked by on

My car has an oil leak, and I can't find where it's coming from. It looks like it's coming from the oil pan, but it could also be a leaky oil seal. I took the top of the timing cover off, but it looked clean. Also, the owner's manual says that I should replace the timing belt (based on mileage; the car has about 87,000 miles), but I am afraid of that doing that. The tech at the auto parts store said I should I replace the water pump as well but that seems very expensive. So, how do I find the source of this oil leak? And once I do, I will change the oil; is it okay to switch to synthetic oil if the car has always used regular oil? Lastly, do I really need to replace the timing belt and water pump?

Yes, it is definitely recommended that you replace the timing belt at the service interval or it may break at an inconvenient time. Since the water pump is driven by the timing belt, it’s often recommended changing the water pump as well to reduce the cost of labor replacing it later.

You can switch to synthetic oil but once you make the switch it is not recommended switching back to conventional oil. You may want to seek out advice of a mechanic, who can recommend the repairs related to a timing belt replacement and oil recommendation.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • My car has an oil leak, and might need a new timing belt and new water pump

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Water hose burst

Hello. If the engine is not cranking at all, then it may be the battery. I typically load test the battery first before going any further. Many times when you get an engine that won't start after a serious coolant...

Q: Why is my brake pedal going all the way down to the floor?

If you are having to refill the brake fluid from it getting low and the brakes go to the floor means you have a leak in the brake system somewhere. You may have a broken brake line, leaking wheel cylinder...

Q: My car will not start and the message says "theft". 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

Hello. It sounds like you have an issue with the anti theft system malfunctioning. This commonly occurs on this vehicle. Most of the time this is caused by a failure in the key sensor in the ignition key cylinder. It...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.