I bought my car used as a third-hand car, so I am not completely familiar with it's history and treatment. I was told that there is a oil pan gasket leak. I check my oil regularly (once every two weeks) and have never seen a problem with the oil level. How serious a problem is this? The quote for repair was $400 (they have to drop the transmission to access the oil pan). Is there another way to solve this problem? Are there any gasket sealants that I can add to my engine oil to seal the gasket leak?
I am a student and don't have much money. I need to take the car in for a timing belt replacement next month for $400. I won't be able to afford both repairs in sequential months. I thought I'd take care of all the problems in a stepwise manner, and assumed that the timing belt was the first thing that I need to address.
Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
Take some time and climb under the car. Look at the oil pan yourself and note any wet oily locations. Also, I might try leaving a clean piece of cardboard under the car to see what falls overnight. You can use the cardboard if it is unmoved to help you find any possible leaks. Sometimes, because the oil pan is the bottom of the car engine it gets blamed for other problems like spills during filling and drips from other locations on the engine. If you find that the oil pan is leaking a small amount, you might try lightly tightening them. Tighten them opposite of each other around the clock. Bottom line, there is no danger of sudden oil lose hurting the engine. Checking the oil regularly is important. Good luck and good job!