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Old 03-19-2013   #1
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valve cover gasket leaking?

First off, I apologize if this is a repeat topic. New here and not sure how sticklers you guys are on "search first, ask questions later".


My wife has a bone stock 2003 Civic Lx (139k miles)..



Recently while changing the plugs I noticed oil all across the top of the engine on the passenger side (still plenty of oil in the engine). I'm assuming this is the result of a valve cover gasket leak. I figured it would be easy enough and cheap enough for me to replace the gasket at home, but a have a couple questions. I did not see any oil in the plugs, so I'm guessing the plug seals are okay, but I was wondering if there is anything else like the plug seals that I should just go ahead and replace while I have it apart.

My mechanical abilities are fairly adept after working on a project weekend warrior WRX for the last five years, so the install should be a cinch (unless there's some trick I don't know about). It would be nice if someone knows the torque specs off the top of their head to list them for me, but I can always google that when the time comes.
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Old 03-19-2013   #2
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-19-2013   #3
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

That mess probably isn't from the valve cover gasket.

It's more likely to be from that round black plug, the one that fills the hole a distributor would sit in if it had one.

Click the image to open in full size.

Item #6.
MSRP is about $8 USD.


http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...28SOHC+VTEC%29
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Old 03-19-2013   #4
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Ahh.. haha. That would make sense why the oil is so localized right around there. I was going to clean it all off and then drive a little to see if I could identify exactly where it's coming from, but it looks like you've got the ticket there.

Much appreciated!
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Old 03-19-2013   #5
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

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Originally Posted by MainFrame View Post
I was going to clean it all off and then drive a little to see if I could identify exactly where it's coming from,
That would probably be best if you can't clearly identify the source.

Clean it spotless and dry using brake parts cleaner, then throw ordinary bath talc all over the area.
Drive it.
The powder will help show any leakage clearly and you can then follow the trail through the powder to the source.

Right Guard works too, it's a powder in a spray can. (And smells good LOL.)
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Old 03-19-2013   #6
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post
That would probably be best if you can't clearly identify the source.

Clean it spotless and dry using brake parts cleaner, then throw ordinary bath talc all over the area.
Drive it.
The powder will help show any leakage clearly and you can then follow the trail through the powder to the source.

Right Guard works too, it's a powder in a spray can. (And smells good LOL.)

I was just gonna use diluted Simple Green and a water hose in my driveway, I suppose I could finish up with brake parts cleaner (or engine degreaser, I have both).. never thought about putting talc on it, that's a good idea.
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Old 03-20-2013   #7
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

i would just replace the cap and gasket together
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Old 03-20-2013   #8
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

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i would just replace the cap and gasket together
Extra work IMO. The cap takes all of 30 seconds on an LX. Same on my EX after I got the stinking EGR valve outta the way... The cap just prys out and and new one snaps in no big deal...
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Old 03-20-2013   #9
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Damn, thats alot of oil.

Hopefully you get that sorted out.
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Old 03-21-2013   #10
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndeerebones View Post
Extra work IMO. The cap takes all of 30 seconds on an LX. Same on my EX after I got the stinking EGR valve outta the way... The cap just prys out and and new one snaps in no big deal...

yes but we dont know for sure the cap is the problem....

it still COULD be the gasket
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Old 03-21-2013   #11
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Pop it out and look at it, probably the oring around is toast like mine was. An oring would've fixed it....
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Old 03-26-2013   #12
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

I just got around to cleaning it all off this evening. While cleaning I noticed the plastic cap is just loose in there, so I'm assuming that's the issue. I'm going to take it around the block tomorrow and check for leaks, then probably just head to the dealership and pick up a new cap and oring.


Funny thing is, there was oil everywhere.. all down both sides of the engine, all over the transmission.. yet oil levels are fine. We bought the car used about six months ago and it's hardly been driven since then. There was a coolant leak around the thermostat at the time of purchase, but no oil on the engine. Oddly enough, the coolant leak seems to have solved itself. At least I don't smell it anymore (one more thing I'll be checking out tomorrow).
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Old 03-26-2013   #13
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Well I got anxious and drove it around the block tonight, just up to operating temperature. When I checked there was no oil on the engine, but I ran my finger along the underside of that cap and bingo, covered in oil. I popped the cap out and I wouldn't say the oring is fried, but it's pretty hard and brittle.


So I'm off to the dealership in the morning for a new cap and oring.
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Old 03-26-2013   #14
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Quote:
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So I'm off to the dealership in the morning for a new cap and oring.
Phone first.
Don't waste a trip.

I'd even tell them the part number I'm looking for.
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Old 03-26-2013   #15
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Part # 12513-P72-003
The O ring in question is part of the assembly, all one piece.
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Old 03-26-2013   #16
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Re: valve cover gasket leaking?

Yeah, I always call first.. I'm used to the retarded Subaru dealers that stopped keeping anything in stock about six years ago.
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