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Adjust valves and cover gasket

hello and thank you for all your replies.

car: 2002 honda accord automatic 4 cyclinder with 104,000 miles.

How do you know when to change your valve cover gasket? How long should it take to adjust valves and place a new valve cover gasket and what is a fair price range for this service? should this be done before or after tune up?

thank you

You change your valve cover gasket only if it starts leaking, it isn’t a regular maintenance item. As for the valves, they only need to be adjusted if they are making noise. If they do need to be adjusted, do them at the same time as the tune up, and at 105k miles, the timing belt and water pump. I’m not sure what the flat rate time on doing these valves is. Call around and get prices from a few shops in your area and you’ll get an idea. For the tune up, valve cover gasket, valve adjustment and timing belt/water pump you will be over $1000 anywhere for sure.

thank you for your reply!!! much appreciated.

I have done the timing belt/drivebelt/ and waterpump. Money is limited so am trying to do what budget allows me to do…so has been by item by item or related items. I have a friend that will change plugs, wires, distributor, rotor and pcv. I was wondering should I get the valves adjusted before that (I dont think friend is comfortable with doing adjustment for me?) also, how do you know if cover gasket is leaking? (is it by seeing a little grease on top of the vessel that the spark plug wires are attached to?) and finally, if changing the valve cover gasket and adjusting valves, should I change the spark plug seals or leave alone?

thanks again and sorry for my car ignorance!

A valve adjustment is fairly important and requires a fair amount of mechanical skill and maybe some special tools…If the spark plugs fit in wells in the valve cover, then those wells will have seals at the bottom to keep engine oil out of the spark plug tubes…The needed gaskets and seals will come in what’s called a “valve cover set”…

Many mechanics (and the factory) feel as long as the valves are quiet, they are okay…But I have seen valves get “tight” too, and this can lead to major problems…A “loose” valve will make a ticking noise but that will not hurt anything…A “tight” valve will be quiet but if the clearance drops to zero serious problems (burned valves) can occur…

I beg to differ, If there is no adjustment period mentioned in the manual but the valve adjustment is possible (beyond what is required for engine assembly) you want to make sure a valve is not too tight (and thus silent) as well as too loose (thus being noisy). Valves that are too tight are much more dangerous that too loose as a valve too tight will burn its face and seat (that could hurt:)

Valve covers that are leaking made need to simply be tighted or perhaps a new gasket is called for. Do not use any type of silcone RTV product when installing any gasket that is in a place where the RTV can flake off and get into the oil.

Caddyman, we were answering at the same time.

The valve lash is something that should be inspected about every 30k miles and while the word “tune up” is a bit of a misnomer, when I worked for Honda inspection of the valve lash was actually part of that tune up.

The price can vary based on the shop and locale but we used to get an hour labor for the lash inspection only.