I have an oil leak from a cracked valve cover gasket that i want to replace myself. I bought the gasket nearly 6 months ago and i am apprehensive at doing it myself without sort of feed back as to what i should pay attention / be careful about. My ride is a 2002 Mazda Protege5

What i know:

  • Label the spark plug wires to make sure i put them back in the same order.
  • Cover the exposed valves with something to prevent debris from falling.

What i want to know:

  • Do i need to apply something to the gasket to make a better seal?

Besides this what else do i need know?

  • 1
    Are there instructions with the new gasket?
    – endolith
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


Gasket sealant is always good, but not necessary. Sealants are different, so ask the guy at your local auto parts store for sealant for the valve cover gasket.

The difficulty levels vary with this, however. For example, I have an older Nissan Hardbody truck with leaking valve cover gaskets. The new gaskets are cheap enough, but removing the valve covers requires removing the entire throttle body first (because it sits over the valve covers, making them impossible to remove).

Give you local Mazda dealership a call to see what they charge to replace the valve cover gaskets. If they charge little, you'll know it's a simple process. If they quote you something like $650 (what I was quoted), you might want to live with a little leak. ;)

  • Luckly for my mazda the theres nothing sitting on top of the valve cover, the only thing is spark plug wires that run through the top of the cover to the engine block below, so i need to unplug the wires to get the cover off.
    – russjman
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 18:16

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