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Old 01-13-2011, 05:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default valve cover gasket and front cover gasket replacement

2004 V6 Mazda 6 with 86k miles, is it normal for the valve cover and front cover gasket to start leaking? The dealer and an independent shop quote 10 hrs of labor for the front cover gasket, so it's definitely not a cheap fix. I'm taking the car to the independent shop tomorrow, he wants to see if it's really the valve and front cover gaskets are leaking. Just wondering if other Mazda 6 owners have run into this too. Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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um - 10 hours of labor for a valve cover gasket? are you sure you don't mean a head gasket?
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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um - 10 hours of labor for a valve cover gasket? are you sure you don't mean a head gasket?
No, I think they mean the timing chain cover gasket on the "front" of the engine. Alldata.diy shows 3.5 hours to change both valve cover gaskets and 10.8 to change the timing chain(s) cover gasket. You actually have to drop the engine out to do it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tkemme View Post
No, I think they mean the timing chain cover gasket on the "front" of the engine. Alldata.diy shows 3.5 hours to change both valve cover gaskets and 10.8 to change the timing chain(s) cover gasket. You actually have to drop the engine out to do it.
You got it. Is replacing the timing/front cover gasket part of normal maintenance in general for any car? 10+ hrs and dropping the engine seems a bit much, but if it needs to be done so be it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a lot more miles than you....... and never replaced any of those gaskets. I would consider going to a heavier weight oil or dinosaur oil before I spent the 900 bucks on labor to change the gasket.

Some people have great success with those stop leak agents that you pour on the CC that you can get at autozone.... for 8-10 bucks it might be worth a shot.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gnahc79 View Post
You got it. Is replacing the timing/front cover gasket part of normal maintenance in general for any car? 10+ hrs and dropping the engine seems a bit much, but if it needs to be done so be it.
In my experience the answer is NO that is not normal. What did your independent mechanic say was leaking?
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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10 hours is an ok qoute for both valve covers and a timing cover gasket. depending on where you go to have it done unless u do it yourself will dictate how much it will cost.

and the engine DOES NOT have to come out to remove the timing chain cover.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tkemme View Post
In my experience the answer is NO that is not normal. What did your independent mechanic say was leaking?
The independent shop took a look and said timing cover is a very unlikely culprit. He said that there is a small amount of oil leaking from the oil pan gasket, should be replaced within the next 5-6 months or so. There's some oil buildup on the side of the oil pan near the exhaust, and a small amount of oil slightly higher. He thinks the oil that is up higher is most likely from air coming in and blowing it up a little higher, which would be why the dealer tech would say the timing cover gasket is leaking. I'm certain I am not repeating all of what he said 100% here .
VC gasket, barely any leak. There's some dirt buildup near the VC gasket but nothing close to requiring replacement.

No charge for the inspection too, my first time there. I'm definitely bring my car there for the oil pan gasket fix and any future major repairs.
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