: Minor value cover (head cover) leaks???Concern???

02-28-06, 12:41 PM
I have a '98 Eldo ETC with 102K on it and recently I replaced the spark plug wires. While I was doing this I noticed what appears to be very minor signs of some leaking or seepage around the value covers??? I am not sure if this is considered normal for a N* with 100K or if this is the start of something and a sign to replace something. Obviously I would expect this on an older/lesser engine, but the N*?
I don't ever remember noticing it before so that is why it has alerted me.
When I say minor, I mean it basically looks like some grease build up around some of the bolts, (but it is not just grease) and you can tell there is some signs of it due to the darker color black where it is "wet" or moist from the leakage.

I know what a dealer would say... and charge to look at it. But is this something normal, or should I look into some gasket replacement?

02-28-06, 01:11 PM

I have a 96' Eldo, with the same seepage leak on both valve covers. My leak is worse on the rear cover. I am no Northstar expert, but I would not think leaking valve covers on a 7 Year old car is out of the ordinary. Replace the gaskets. They are cheap, get GM gaskets.

02-28-06, 02:08 PM
If it is "very minor" I would consider it normal and not worry about it. Maybe just snug down the bolts a bit.

02-28-06, 02:47 PM
tactical, mine is worse on the rear cover also... there must be a pattern with these vehicles.

I am a bit leary to try and do the gasket work myself, it is so tight in there to get to all the bolts unless you have the right tools.

Does anyone have some direction on gasket replacement(maybe it is easier than it appears??) or is the popular vote to pay a mechanic for the work? I have a trusted mechanic, so i wouldn't be paying a dealer.

02-28-06, 04:40 PM
In my opinion, I'd go for it yourself. All you need to do is remove the ignition coils/module aka the "brick"... maybe 4 10mm bolts, move it out of the way, and pull the plug wires. Make sure you label them if they aren't labeled already. Then just remove the bolts around the valve cover, pop it off, replace the gaskets, and reinstall. You should use a torque wrench to reinstall the cover, to prevent future leaks. I can get that number if you need it,

The front is about the same amount of work, maybe a bit more because you have to rent a pulley puller for the water pump pulley... If you've never touched an engine before it might take you a few hours. You do need a good basic set of tools, 3/8" ratchet, metric sockets (10mm should be the only one you need), maybe an extension or "universal" extension. One word of caution is to make sure nothing falls on/into the head with the cover removed. Dirt there can be a bad thing.