Have a 2001 mercury sable with a v-6 engine. Got an anti freeze leak near the timing chain cover. Mechanic says the timing chain needs replaced and new seal/gasket for it as well. I didn't realize the timing chain apparatus had antifreeze in it.
Get a second opinion. It would most likely be the water pump rather than anything else.
October, 5, 2012 AT 9:08 PM
I have some experience with this exact model and problem. It's really hard to see if it's the timing chain cover gasket or the water pump seal is leaking, especially since several bolts pass through the water pump, tc cover, and into the water jacket. My leak turned out to be the timing chain cover seal, via one of the waterpump bolts.
I had to get a camera down next to the pump to see this properly, video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p84ttgXCRX8
Hopefully this will save someone from replacing the water pump/seal seal only to have the problem return quickly. (Tip:, be sure to use sealant on the bolts as well, I missed this step in the repair manual the first time and had to re do it.)