I just had my 1993 Honda Accord’s timing belt & water pump replaced - thank you to all who replied to my question about this. While the car was in the shop, the dealer said that there was oil in the spark plug wells and that the cam tower seals needed replacing, and wouldn’t change the plugs (which are due for a change) since new plugs would be damaged by the oil in the wells. Due to cost (and previous experience of their finding additional repairs “needed”) I had them not do it, although they told me that it would be $80 more labor to do it later ($360 vs $280) since they already had the engine open, and that it would certainly require not just new plugs but also new wires when I got around to fixing it. So… Should I have gone ahead? Will the spark plugs and their wires deteriorate as the dealer said? Any other problems likely to result?
Is it possible for me to remove the engine cover (or whatever is necessary) in order to check the spark plug wells every so often to see if they’re filling with oil? How would I do that (I have hand tools such as wrenches, but no torque wrench, etc.)?
This is a simple repair. You need to just replace the valve cover gasket set.
The cover gasket set comes with the O-ring seals for the wells for the sparkplugs in the valve cover. So if you have a 10 mm socket and the means to drive it, just get a valve cover gasket set for your vehicle from a local parts store, and spend a Saturday fixing your car.
Pick up a manual ($20), some plugs (NGKs), wires, and a plug socket and torque wrench while you’re at it and do the rest of the work. You’ll discover that it’s easy and fun.
If you have a distributor system, get a cap and rotor too.
You can get a “beam type” torque wrench for about $25 at Sears, and the NGK website will give you the plug part number decoding breakdown and the proper torque values for the plugs…or you can ask the counter guy to look it up. Change the wires one at a time so you don’t get them crossed.
would this same fix apply to an 89 Honda Civi SI?
Tester and Mountainbike,
Thanks for your feedback. I’m intrigued by the idea that this is a simple repair, even though they were going to charge $280 with the engine open and an additional $80 to do it at a later date. How difficult is this repair, in terms of screwing it up, and what are the consequences of screwing it up? How long is this job likely to take a car repair novice like me, and how much is it likely to cost w/the socket wrench, torque wrench, and parts? In terms of manuals, are you talking Chilton, official Honda, or something else? Tell me more!
Pretty much. Do check a service manual first to see what all you have to remove to get the valve cover off-- on Hondas, it’s usually not much.
This will give you an idea of what’s involved in replacing the valve cover gaskets.