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Re: how to replace valve cover gasket on a 2002 stratus ...
I don't know that vehicle very well... but there are usually bolts/screws that hold them in place. 4 to 6 of them per cover. sometimes the spark plug holes have giant nuts that hold the cover in place.
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A vertical cover...I had to ponder that a bit. Still not sure. The valve cover sits flat on top of the cylinder head, with a gasket between them. The cylinder head is where your spark plugs are threaded in. The valve cover rests on top of the cylinder head. It's about 14-18 inches long and about 4 inches high, kind of rounded over so the valves and valve train will fit underneath. A gasket leaking motor oil is very common there, as a lot of oil is directed there and then splashed around to lubricate the valve train. The oil is supposed to drain through engine passages on down to the oil sump- the bottom of engine where oil is kept in the oil pan.
So if you have an oil leak, and it turns out it is the valve cover that is leaking, it's an easy fix-one of the easiest gasket replacements there is.
you've got two switches; one on the front of the motor which feeds the computer with coolant temp. and the computer decides when to turn on the fan, and you've got one on the left rear of the motor right on the rear corner of the head next to the valve cover; that one tells you the temperature on the dashboard. the front one unscrews with a 3/4 wrench, and the rear one is 1/2".
Yes most definatly. Here are the steps, and if you find this info helpful, a vote with the thumbs up would be greatly appreciated for the free advice. These are also known as valve covers.
Disconnect the breather hose, which, depending on the engine in your vehicle, may be attached to the valve cover. Remove the retainer bolts for the valve covers. Depending on which engine you have, you might have as few as two bolts or as many as eight.
Lift the valve cover off the engine. If it does not want to come off easily, gently tap it with the rubber hammer. Clean the gasket-mating surfaces using the scraper and a shop rag.
Coat the gasket-mating surface of the valve cover with a thin layer of RTV silicone. Install the gasket onto the cover, then press it into the silicone. Install the valve cover.
Tighten the bolts to 5 foot-lbs. of torque for the 1.2-liter engine, and 4 foot-lbs. of torque for the 1.6-, 1.8-, .22-, 2.5-, 2.7- and 3.3-liter engines. Reattach the breather hose.
Hello Chrslarter, If it's the rear CRANK, you are going to have to remove the transmission. This is a fairly signifigant amount of work, and there are a few other things you will want to do while you are in there (fly wheel check, etc.) If it's the front, you will probably have to loosen a motor mount and go in from the side. Replace the timing belt and tensor while you are in there, check the water pump too. Check to ensure your oil filter is properly installed.
If you literally have oil blowing from your crankshaft (bottom of the engine) This is a serious problem that you need to address immediately, the odds of this catastrophic of a failure happening on a 6 year old car are fairly slim though. Lots of times a failed oil pan gasket or valve cover gasket leak will seep to a lower location and the oil will drip from there and get blown around by the fan.
Turn off the car, wipe down the engine and put some talcum powder
around the front and sides anywhere you see mating surfaces. Start the car and let it run a bit. Where
is the talcum getting contaminated first? that's your problem place.
If it is coming from the back of the engine at the top, it may just be the valve cover gasket. This is a fairly quick job
If it is coming from the bottom, it may be your oil pan gasket, this is a longer job, but fairly simple.
If you want to do it yourself, get the haynes manual
A reputable shop should be able to help out in short order and for not much cost. (2-3 hours labor for the simple items (valve cover, oil pan), 3-4 for the big stuff (timing/front seal, rear main seal)
TORQUE ON VALVE COVERS ARE NOT THAT MUCH. GO ONLINE FOR RESEARCH. IF YOU WANT A GENERAL ANSWER, TIGHTEN TO SEAT CAP OVER GASKET, THEN NO MORE THAN ANOTHER QUARTER TURN ON EACH BOLT. DO NOT "CRANK" IT DOWN AS YOU WILL SPLAY THE GASKET AND CAUSE OIL LEAKS.
usually with oil leaks, you start at the top and work down. If you know the valve covers are leaking, you start there, and see what happens. They may not have been able to clean all the old oil off if this was your first oil change after the service. If it is a 2.4l, you do most likely have a leaking head gasket as they are prone to do that about every 60-70K.