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Q: Oil leaking out and I keep replacing gaskets

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The valve cover in my 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe has a bad habit of leaking oil everywhere. I have replaced the gasket twice and the whole valve cover once as well. Now it is leaking again and it is affecting the alternator as well. I need to get this to stop. Why does this keep happening? This car is not old, it only has 77,000 miles on it!

The valve cover gasket is a rubber type seal that keeps oil from coming out of the engine. When the mechanic replaces the seal, they must clean the head surface thoroughly, wipe it down with brake cleaner, and dry the surface. They then apply a small bead of silicone at the joint between the head and front timing chain cover and LOCTITE 5900 at cam end caps. Finally, they make sure to torque all the bolts. After, they inspect the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system for needed service and replace the PCV valve that controls the crankcase pressure. If the pressure is excessive the pressure will push oil out of the oil seals such as those on the valve covers. If the PCV system is ok, they will check for excessive piston ring leakage. A mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can replace your valve cover gasket, and make sure it is properly installed so it doesn’t leak.

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