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Discussion Starter #1
I've developed some oil dripping, which seems to be (most likely, anyway) coming from the driver-side valve cover gasket. How hard is it to remove the valve cover to replace the gasket? It doesn't look like there is much space to work in, and that the hardest part of the job is just to get at the cover....

Is this one of those things that's a lot easier for a shop to do, with the car on a lift?

I'd appreciate any advice from anyone who's done this already, or, if you had it done, what the cost was.

My OB is a 2010 3.6R Limited, with a bit over 220,000 miles.
 

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My guess is its a knuckle buster......pretty sure the coil packs need to come off first, but the plugs might be able to be left installed. Apparently the plugs are easier to change with the covers off, which leaves me to believe you can snooker the covers off and back on, without removing the plugs. - If you need plugs, it's the perfect time to do them apparently. Swap the PCV valve at the same time, a bad PCV valve can cause excess pressure and blow out the gaskets.

I'm at 65k and thinking about swapping the plugs....yeah, I know everybody says you can go 90-100k, but the manual calls for them at around 60k. Looking at the plugs, the size of my hands, and how one or two youtube videos of others with pretty small hands (including two woman) replacing them, it's going to be a real knuckle buster. - I now know why one shop quoted by nearly $500 to swap the plugs, not sure what the dealer would get, although I'm sure it's more.
 

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Im @ 178k on my 10 3.6R, currently have a baby leak on the driver rear valve cover area. All the writeups/videos seem to be 2.5

From what ive read its just time consuming, not really "hard" if your mechanically inclined
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As a follow-up to my original post, about oil drips....

I have been having some other on-and-off symptoms:

- occasional CEL's, with the codes being P030x (x is the cylinder number). This code indicates a misfire in cylinder x. They occur either on one whole bank (1, 3, and 5, or, 2, 4, and 6), or sometimes all six cylinders. Sometimes there is a barely-perceptible "stumble" of the engine when these happen, but often there is no indication of an actual misfire....

- just recently, when inching along in slow traffic, I'll let off the gas, and the idle will momentarily drop to 500 rpm, or even a tad lower. It almost always recovers, but on two occasions the engine has died (and then started right up). If I'm in Park, and blip the throttle, the rpm after the blip also dips too low, before recovering.

Mostly for the last problem, I decided to replace my PCV valve. It "rattled", but still seemed gummed up, and was never closing fully. My suspicion is that it wasn't opening fully, either. (Actually, in a PCV valve, the full-flow condition is basically the middle position of the moving part, with low-to-moderate vacuum. High vacuum, at idle, or foot off the pedal, pulls the moving part the farthest, but this is actually a low-to-medium flow position.)

The new PCV valve has solved the low-idle problem. The P030x DTC's were intermittent enough that it will take some time to tell if it also cures that problem. But, a gummed-up PCV valve CAN result in a too-lean condition under some circumstances, that MIGHT trigger those codes...

Finally, a PCV valve that doesn't open fully (or, more accurately, open to its "full-flow" condition) can result in excess pressure build-up in the crankcase, contributing to oil leaks and drips. So I am holding my breath to see if my slight oil leak stops.... (Unless some permanent harm has been done to the gasket or seal....)

I hadn't thought to check this before replacing the PCV valve, but one thing you can do to check for various kinds of PCV issues is to remove the oil dipstick, and see if you have pressure in the crankcase. If the pressure is bad enough, you can definitely feel it by putting your thumb over the dipstick tube. In really bad cases, the pressure might push the dipstick up out of the tube.... You might also have to rev the engine to see if you get positive pressure while revving. Those symtoms would all argue for replacing the PCV valve.
 
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