Flooding engine and no start after replacing valve cover gaskets?
I'm going to start by saying, I am a mechanic and this is my personal vehicle at the shop. I replaced the valve cover gaskets. I've put it back together twice (everything is hooked up correctly). It is in proper timing, I have fuel pressure, I have spark (replaced spark plugs twice and wires), everything is dielectric, I have injector pulse. I've checked the fuses. Its trying to turn over but its flooding. I've checked AllData and Identafix, no answers. Where should I go from here?
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My first question would be, what was the original trouble code that directed the mechanic to replace the sensors ? You seldom need more than one O2 sensor at a time. Its possible the exhaust manifold is leaking and that might cause a problem that would turn on the warning light. Or it could be something else. A valve cover gasket will leak oil if it fails. No check engine light.
HE needs to stop trying to start the engine if it keeps jumping time. Replace the tensioner or make sure the older one is installed correctly by the book. If he keeps trying to start the engine and jumping time and the cam shaft has a valve open in the head a piston can com up and hit the valve and then the valve will be bent. And you will be screwed and a head rebuild will be in your future. I have been a Certified Mechanic for over 25 years and if this guy is truly certified he should not be having this problem. Make sure he is and has the shop manual for your car. If not purchase a chiltons manual for your car specifically. May cost you $20.00 it will have the info he needs and throw it at him. A lot of times it is best to replace the tensioner when doing a timing chain repair. You already have the engine timing cover and other parts off the front of the engine. If there is any play in the bearings of the tensioner replace it.
Is the valve cover leakage coming from a crack on cover or valve gasket (between the cover and engine)? If it is coming between the valve cover and engine, then you will need a new gasket. They range between 20-50 bucks depending on vehicle. If you can not afford one, for a quick fix, but needs to be corrected as soon as can afford. Your able to make your own quick fix gasket using high heat gasket silicone. It would have to cool off completely before adding silicone making your own bead around the contour of bottom of valve cover then sit for a few hours before starting it. If you can afford a new gasket; remove the old one. It might take a scraper. Take some sand paper and clean the where the gasket was really good. Wipe clean then add some high heat gasket silicone. then place the gasket on the silicone. Add a bead of high heat gasket silicone to the engine where the valve cover would go, that helps keep it in place when screwing the screws back on. If you leakage is coming from a cracked valve cover, i would advise replacing it. I am sure you could find a used cheap one at a local junk yard.
If you smell fuel in the exhaust the vehicle is flooding or there is no spark. If it is a carb engine, make sure that the choke is in and hold you foot flat on the pedal while trying to start, this will clear any flooding.
It is more than likely your valve cover gasket. I am assuming you have the 3.1 engine in your venture and Chevrolet was notorious about having faulty valve cover gaskets. However, the replacement gasket is metal and will not crack apart like the one that came out in your engine. You will have to have a dealership or a mechanic fix the problem for you. I had the same problem as you are having and it was the valve cover gasket. It should cost around $600 to fix.
It would probably be beneficial to go ahead and replace the head gasket as well since they will have the engine apart anyway. It is better to go ahead and do it when you are replacing the valve cover gasket than to wait and if something were to happen and the head gasket go out. Then you will have to pay to have another valve cover gasket put on as well. Hope this helps.
I have a 2000 Passat V6. They told me that same thing. To replace the gaskets is easy. You just remove the covers and the air filter box and unscrew the 6 bolts holding the valve cover on it and there you go. You want to clean around the gasket service and add a little bit of sealant to the edges. Replace the old gaskets and put everything back together, be careful not to overtighten the bolts, can flatten out the gasket and cause oil leak again. On the right side of the engine, you have to remove the coolant box to get to it. Same procedure....
Oil leak can be attributed to several factors. 1. Gasket failure. 2. Uncontrolled Crank case pressure Failure.
RECOMENDATION: Tighten both the valve cover and oil pan bolts. Replace the Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve and vacuum line.,
INFO: PCV This is a valve causes a negative vacuum on the engine while its running, As to say if it had a leak in a valve cover it should not be leaking while its running, only when the engine it turned off.
Hope this tip guides you in the correct direction to solve this problem.
The valve covers installed on the 3.0L engine incorporate integral
(built in) gaskets which should last the life of the vehicle.
Replacement gaskets are available if required.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. Disconnect the ignition
wires from the spark plugs, but leave them attached to their wire looms.
Remove the ignition wire separators from the rocker arm cover
attaching bolt studs with the wires attached, then lay the wires out of
If the left hand cover is being removed, remove the throttle body
assembly, the PCV valve and fuel injector harness stand-offs. If the
right hand cover is being removed, remove the engine harness
connectors, fuel injector harness stand-offs and air cleaner closure
hose from the oil fill adapter.
Using caution, slide a sharp thin blade knife between the
cylinder head gasket surface and the valve cover gasket at the four RTV
junctions. CUT ONLY THE RTV SEALER AND AVOID CUTTING THE INTEGRAL
Remove the integral gasket from the valve cover gasket channel.
Note bolt/stud fasteners locations before removing gasket for correct
installation. Clean gasket channel and remove any traces of RTV sealant.
Align fastener holes, lay new gasket onto channel and install by
hand. Install gasket to each fastener, seat fastener against cover and
at the same time roll gasket around fastener collar. If installed
correctly all fasteners will be secured by gasket and not fall out.
Install valve cover to the engine, lightly oil all bolts and stud
threads. Apply a bead of RTV sealant at the cylinder head to intake
manifold rail step (two places per rail).
Place the valve cover on the cylinder head and install attaching bolts and studs. Tighten the attaching bolts to specifications.
Fig. Fig. 3: Rocker arm cover installation on 3.0L engines
Install all remaining components in reverse order of removal
procedure. Connect the ignition wires to the spark plugs and reconnect
the negative battery cable. Start the engine and run to normal
operating temperature, then check for oil and vacuum leaks.
my first suggestion is to go to a car wash and power wash the the engine all the way from top to bottom. remember to let it dry before you start it this will keep the altenator from shorting out. next check the engine throughly for the oil leak around the gaskets. you must note that silicone should never be used with gaskets on the valve covers. if your only 3/4 of a quart low this would indicated that your valve seals are most likely seeping the oil into the cylinders.( this is typical over time the seals become hard and leak, they should be soft and thus prevent leakage of oil. please rate this and post the results. I'm a mechanic and i will give you the best advice cuz that's my job aside from this site.