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Replace valve cover gaskets? 2003 AT coupe 190K

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Old 12-22-2017, 06:12 AM
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Replace valve cover gaskets? 2003 AT coupe 190K

So I'm limited in my knowledge of cars and have been spoiled by having an amazing mechanic. Unfortunately hes about 25 miles away and in Los Angeles that means like an hour and a half drive. This mechanic has been honest to a fault. His reviews on yelp are spectacular and hes almost legendary for infinitis in so cal.

A few blocks from where I live theres a guy who has been in business for a shorter period, but has the same stellar reviews. And he drives a g35. I just don't know what Im doing and hes recommended a bunch of stuff my previous mechanic never brought up.

The biggest deal is he is recommending(practically begging me to do it...like he berated me last time I was in) to have the valve cover gaskets replaced at a cost of $1200.

Is this something I really need to do? I've had the car since it was new in 2003 and it runs fine with no obvious problems. He seemed genuinely shocked that Ive never had this done. However I'm reading now about all these oil leak problems with the high milleage cars....
Old 12-22-2017, 09:12 AM
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So are the valve cover gaskets leaking? Are they leaking I side the spark plug wells or are they just leaking from the side of the valve cover gasket.

You do leave oil drops everywhere you park yes?

The "oil consumption" you typically have with these cars is burned up in the combustion chamber due to poor quality piston rings not oil leaking on the ground but valve covers can fail on ANY motor so...

However I would ABSOLUTELY NEVER pay $1200 for a valve cover gasket replacement, it's a $10 bottle of permatex ultra grey sealant and about 3 hours of work.... If you're leaking into the spark plug wells then you typically replace the entire valve cover which adds $350 o to the price tag.

If you're not leaking oil on the ground or I to the spark plug wells then there's no reason to replace anything.
Old 12-22-2017, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
So are the valve cover gaskets leaking? Are they leaking I side the spark plug wells or are they just leaking from the side of the valve cover gasket.

You do leave oil drops everywhere you park yes?

The "oil consumption" you typically have with these cars is burned up in the combustion chamber due to poor quality piston rings not oil leaking on the ground but valve covers can fail on ANY motor so...

However I would ABSOLUTELY NEVER pay $1200 for a valve cover gasket replacement, it's a $10 bottle of permatex ultra grey sealant and about 3 hours of work.... If you're leaking into the spark plug wells then you typically replace the entire valve cover which adds $350 o to the price tag.

If you're not leaking oil on the ground or I to the spark plug wells then there's no reason to replace anything.
Thank you for that. No it is not leaking at all. I think I'll run out to my old mechanic when I have a chance just to make sure.
Old 12-22-2017, 06:07 PM
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A mechanic you trust is always worth three hours of your life.
Old 12-22-2017, 08:17 PM
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If it's not leaking then definitely don't replace it, I'm one of the worst offenders for replacing items BEFORE they break under the guise of "preventative maintenance" and even I think it's rediculous that he would suggest changing a gasket that's not even leaking.

Added to the fact he wants to charge you more than double what the dealership would charge... I would never return to his shop.
Old 12-29-2017, 12:25 AM
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Just an update. Took the car to Carzone in Van Nuys CA, a shop I have been going to for over a decade.

I only had the rear brakes done today(at a cost of $166 ceramics vs the shop near me wanted $275!!!).

The oil is leaking into the spark plugs. I have noticed burning oil smell since my original post. Still no leaking on the ground. Carzone did not have the parts and will take care of this next week at roughly half what the place near me wanted.

It was most definitely worth the extra time to go to a place I trust.
Old 12-29-2017, 01:24 PM
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Ok leaking spark plug well seals usually requires replacement of the entire valve cover which is a fairly common.

Some folks have had luck removing the covers and just applying permatex ultra grey to the face of the worn seals. They can be replaced while keeping the valve covers but it requires using a drill and holesaw to remove material from the valve cover that is.holdimg the seals in but you will not likely find a shop willing to do either on those fixes.

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