Mazda miata 2003 valve cover replacement


. . . Just found out my Mazda Miata (2003/49k miles) has a valve cover leak and needs a valve cover gasket replacement.

I’m scared what other (expensive) things to fix they may find once they take off the cover!?

Some folks have even said - “Hh you can go for miles on that without any damage) needing an new valve cover gasket - Don’t worry to much about it right now - all cars have that!”

Mechanically uneducated me appreciates any advise from mechanically inclined!



It all depends on the severity of the oil leak. If the leak is just dripping a little on the ground and you are not adding a lot of oil between changes, you can probably let it go. If the leak is large where it is pooling on the engine, getting onto the exhaust manifold and smoking, or the oil consumption is high, get it changed soon. Changing the gasket is not a very time consuming (costly) repair. You might consider having the valve clearances checked and adjusted while the mechanic is in there if you have not had that done yet.

Good luck on this.

If it’s just an oil leak it does NOT indicate other problems under the cover. I like engines that don’t leak, so I’d fix it.

Try tightening the bolts or nuts holding the valve cover down. Maybe that will stop the leak. Just don’t over-tighten them.

Many cars have leaking valve cover gaskets. I would replace the gasket, since this is not an expensive repair. I have replaced many over the years on my cars. If the car has been well-maintained, your mechanic will not likely find anything nasty under the covers. He will also be able to clean out the inside of the valve cover at this time.