I have a 2006 Infiniti G35 base sedan. The dealer noticed oil on the engine and said that I needed to replace both valve covers and gaskets – $1434. My question: Why is it necessary to replace the valve covers and not just the gaskets? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Stop going to the dealer for service on your ten year old vehicle. And find an honest independent shop.
The engine doesn’t need new valve covers. And highly doubt it needs new valve cover gaskets.
If there is oil leaking out onto the engine from the valve covers the gaskets are leaking. This should be easily inspected and verified.
If the valve cover gaskets are indeed leaking it makes sense to replace the entire valve cover. If there is oil leaking externally chances are there is oil leaking internally as well, from the spark plug tube seals. The tube seals are not serviced separately, they are integral to the valve cover.
Even if the spark plug tube seals aren’t leaking, removing the cover and resealing it with a gasket may result in a leak at the tube seals when you are done.
Stay away from that dealer. Tester is correct. $1434 for valve covers and gaskets is robbery…pure and simple.
ask dealer for labor and parts breakdown. Maybe fuel rail and intake has to come off. Valve cover gaskets usually involve cam seals. Hard to do on some cars. Maybe a shop that charges $700 should raise its prices?
@asemaster mentions above for this car that replacing the valve covers along w/the gasket is the only way to replace the seals for the spark plug holes. If that’s the case then replacing both the valve covers and gaskets is probably necessary. For comparison, there’s no need to replace the valve cover on my Corolla. I only have to pony up the $17.75 for the gasket, and excepting small money for the labor if I pay to have it done, that’s it. But maybe that’s just the way Infinities are configured.
OP, have you checked what Consumer’s Reports said for the “cost to own” number on this car? When there are features like this that turn simple repairs into $1500 jobs, that will usually show up on the “cost to own” figure of merit. Yours isn’t the only car with this kind of problem High end cars often cost that much just to replace a headlight on the fritz.
I concur w/the advice above about using a well recommended inde shop that specializes in this make for jobs like this, if you can find one. It usually doesn’t make economic sense to use a dealer shop for a 9 year old car.
Edit: One last thought. If somebody has been monkeying with the bolts that hold the valve covers on, for example to try to stop a leak, that also could be a reason why the valve covers need to be replaced. There are pretty specific torque numbers for those bolts, and over-torqueing can damage the valve covers.
This might be fairly common, they’re out of stock at Rockauto.