Mech. in NY estimated $900+ for valve cover gasket replcmnt-North Carolina co$t? on 1998 Toyota Camry

Both sides Valve cover gasket leaks 1 drop@time but never have to add oil & gets 500mi/tank long-distance. Can't sit w/engine running in cold weather anymore due to stink & smoke. Will need to replace at some point soon - repairpal.com says under $400 in North Carolina? Why difference? Why does New York mechanic say he'll basically have to take engine apart to get to this gasket=high cost? Thanks.

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3 answers
There's a difference in different states for labor cost.
Gotta love the south!!!
Find another mechanic. Any oil leak is serious. Check your oil level every day.