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Old 09-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
Buellrunner
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Default Leaking valve cover gaskets

Just got my WRX back from the dealer for service.

They told me that my valve covers are leaking a bit and that I should replace the gaskets. Should I do this immediately or is it something that can wait a while?
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
2002Bugseye
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It depends how much they leak, keep an eye on oil level to figure how much you lose between oil changes.
The drivers side gasket can be done in about an hour, I haven't replaced a passenger side valve cover gasket yet.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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Cheers!
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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If it's not bad, you can run for months like this. If it's bad, it's a matter of how much oil you're losing and where it goes.

Passenger side will drip on the exhaust and SMELL. If it ends up on drive shaft boots, you can create a larger problem, as the oil will make them soften and split, resulting in a more costly repair. If it ends up on the timing belt and weakens it, that's obviously quite bad.

So see where it's leaking and where the oil is ending up. This will tell you how soon you MUST change it.

Last edited by Concillian; 09-25-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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I had a slight leak from my valve cover gaskets for about a year before I replaced them. Like bugseye said, it depends on how bad it is. You obviously must make sure your oil level is staying within range so check it every time you get gas.

I finally changed mine when I started to smell smoke after sitting at a light after getting off the freeway.

Another thing to note, have your backing plates inspected as well, because I was leaking from both my valve cover gaskets and backing plate gaskets. The backing plate leak will sometimes be mistaken as a valve cover leak.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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Are those the d-shaped deals? Does anyone have pictures of that? My covers are leaking as well.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tebriel
Are those the d-shaped deals? Does anyone have pictures of that? My covers are leaking as well.
draw a capital d on a peice of paper, then color it in black, this is what it looks like, also the rounded part has a groove in it so it sits flush. Your dealership will have/get them for you. Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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Im in the sane boat. Rock auto has all the gaskets you need and for way cheaper then a dealer. They have the backing plates too. I haven't changed mine yet but from what I read and the way it looks shouldn't be too bad
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #9
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Seems to be a common issue.....I need a new oil pan as well - mines getting pretty badly corroded. I was going to wait until After the winter to do everything at the same time as my 190km service. I figure it'll save me a few bucks then as they'll already be taking things apart to get to changing the plugs.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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I recently replaced my valve cover gaskets and half moon seals only the passenger side valve cover gasket was leaking at the time so i figured i do both. before replacing them i would leak up to about half quart a weak an realized that it isnt a good thing obviously. Took no more then a couple hours in the driveway with replacing both sides
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #11
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i'm trying to decide on whether or not to pay someone to do it. I'm short on time lately. How much did parts run you? This guy quoted $200 to do both sides.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #12
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Rock auto has the parts for roughly $40. As far as time I would say a couple.of hours
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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Can you get the d-ring seals from rockauto... hmm. is tempting to save the money.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:14 PM   #14
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Yupp they got them too
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #15
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yeah looks like around $42 for both sides. if this works: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=3603306
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:18 PM   #16
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Yupp that's it! there not hard to change just more of a PITA to get at
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:32 PM   #17
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yeah I bet, even the spark plugs are a pita to get to lol. I just have images of snapped off valve cover bolts stuck in my head...

I had several of those over the years working on saturns, and on that the head was actually sitting on top of the block :P
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tebriel View Post
I just have images of snapped off valve cover bolts stuck in my head...
They will snap if you torque them. I don't remember the torque spec, but it's light I'm thinking it's like 3.6 ft-lbs or something. Everything has a gasket on it and it's never under pressure, you don't need to torque stuff down hard. Just don't and it'll be all good.

Last edited by Concillian; 09-26-2012 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concillian

They will snap if you torque them. I don't remember the torque spec, but it's light I'm thinking it's like 3.6 ft-lbs or something. Everything has a gasket on it and it's never under pressure, you don't need to torque stuff down hard. Just don't and it'll be all good.
Should they be tightened like you would lug nuts? Like an x-pattern?
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfk1412 View Post
Should they be tightened like you would lug nuts? Like an x-pattern?
I honestly don't know, I'm not the service manual, but order shouldn't be a big deal given that they're all compressing rubber seals.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfk1412 View Post
Should they be tightened like you would lug nuts? Like an x-pattern?
Doesn't make a difference... All the bolts are 'shoulder' bolts, in other words when they bottom out it is not because things are tight, it is because the bolt ran out of threads that can go into the hole.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #22
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It wouldn't hurt at least.

Does anyone have a link to a DIY thread for replacing them?
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:39 PM   #23
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http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2-5-lite...ment-pics.html This is the best I've found in my searches.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #24
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #25
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I just replaced the passenger side, which was leaking. Is there any overwhelming reason why to do the driver's side as well?
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