2000 Infiniti Qx4 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Old 12-23-07, 02:38 PM
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2000 Infiniti Qx4 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Hello, I did multiple searches on this site for the above subject and did not find one single post on a qx4 valve cover gasket so thought I would ask. Although I did find a few leaking valve cover threads. Here is the history.

2000 Qx4 bought in 2003 with 52000 miles, now have owned it almost 5 years, have 134000 miles on it. All maintenance done regularly including latest, timing belt, water pump, belts, hoses, transmission fluid, rear end, etc., fuel filter, etc, all done at 105000 miles by dealer. Runs great and doesn't burn a lick of oil.

Anyway it has begun to cost me some money, had the dealer replace both cv joint boots, intake manifold gasket, A/C compressor, to name a few. All of this in the last 30000 miles or so since the 105000 service. Oil is also changed every 3000 miles since I have owned it with whatever dino the dealer is using at the time.

Now I go out and notice a drop of oil on the ground only when the vehicle has been driven and then parked. If it is parked and I get underneath and wipe the oil, it doesn't drip by the next morning, only when it is driven and then parked, it will produce 1 or 2 drops in a few hours and then that's it.

While underneath I saw the drip was dripping off right where the transmission meets the engine. I thought is might be the rear main. But I started looking above and saw the valve cover gasket was leaking and I believe it is running down and coming out at the point it drips on the ground.

This is the left side if you are standing outside facing the engine or the right side if you are sitting in the vehicle. It is the side that appears to be real easy to get off as oppossed to the other side which looks like it is buried under the intake, etc., looks like a lot of labor to get to it but that side is not leaking.

So the gasket is 13 bucks online and I am sure my dealer will want hundreds of dollars to change this. I have sort of gotten to the point that I am tired of forking over 3 or 4 hundreds bucks everytime I go to the dealer. Has anyone with limited mechanical experience like me ever attempted this change. Just wondering if it can be done easily. Now I would not attempt the other side, looks too involved but as long as it is not leaking I am not going to touch that side. The side I have leaking looks like there is only 8 bolts and the cover is coming off. Is this correct or is it not as easy as it looks.

Also this is the 3.3 that was used in the Pathfinders of this era as well as the Qx4.

Any information or comments are welcome. Also if anyone had this done at the dealer please let me know how much you paid. Or if you are an expert what would be fair in your opinion for the dealer to charge just to change this one side.

Thanks again
Old 12-23-07, 06:56 PM
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Normally for that gasket you would just replace it. However, there are oil additives to rejuvenate seals and gaskets. I can't say I've seen them work wonders but they are available at auto parts stores.

You could also try tightening the valve cover bolts. Only tighten them about 1/4 turn to avoid misshaping the cover flange. Then check the leak.

If you arrive at the point of replacing the gasket, I wouldn't be intimidated by the prospect of it. If you have average mechanical ability, it shouldn't be a problem. The main things to give attention are completely cleaning the valve cover and the head where the gasket seats and don't over tighten the flange bolts.

Anything attached to it or in the way would be visible from the outside.

Hope this helps,

Old 12-23-07, 06:58 PM
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Hello Sammy and Merry Christmas!

I feel your pain about dishing out all the money to the dealers.

I would recommend subscribing to http://www.alldatadiy.com. I have subscribed to this site for both my vehicles and it has saved me thousands of $$'s in repair costs. It will have detailed instructions on how to replace the head gasket. It is not extremely difficult job, but it will take some time.

Anyone with basic mechanical knowledge can do almost anything on cars with the proper tools. I believe a head gasket job will take your typical socket wrenches, screwdrivers, vise grips, razor blades, etc.

Take a look at that site I mentioned and you can see what is entailed in it.

If your vehicle is not overheating, or doesn't have oil in the coolant, then you could probably get away with not replacing it just yet, but if it gets to bad, it could be a costly repair.

Good luck!
Old 12-23-07, 08:21 PM
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Thanks guys for the advice. I will try a 1/4 turn on each bolt to see if that helps. I will also head over to that site and probably subscribe there as well.

Merry Christmas to all
Thanks again

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