Change oil after new valve cover gasket?

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2,090
Location
NC
Maybe a dumb question but I can’t find it discussed in any other threads..

I’m planning to replace the leaking valve cover gasket on my car. A new rubber gasket will be installed along with a couple dabs of RTV in two spots where the timing chain housing meets the engine (where there is a small gap) as per the manufacturers instructions on this engine.

Do I need to change the oil and filter after the job is complete, or is it okay to drive a couple thousand miles before I change the oil?

Thanks.
 
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683
Location
Daytona Beach
I'd say it depends on what you find when you remove the cover. If you find a bunch of stuff that you need to clean up with a scraper, you may want to change the oil fairly soon. If things are good under there and you don't have any gasket material to scrape off, etc. I'd say you're good for a while.
I've taken apart oil filters on new vehicles after about 700 miles, and the biggest pieces of junk caught were orange silicone RTV sealant.
 
What engine configuration? I'm kind of OCD opening my engine; for example, PRIOR to doing valve cover gaskets, I sprayed the top of engine down with Simple Green (in a hand pump quart garden sprayer) then rinsed it with the LOW PRESSURE spotless rinse at a car wash. Drove home and blew the top of engine off with compressed air; then a shop vac. Removed valve cover and used shop vac again. Wiped up and cleaned the gasket surface with clean white rags and Acetone (good solvent & quick evaporation). Scraped all traces of old gasket material off with razor in one hand and crevice tool on shop vacuum in other hand. I did NOT change my oil, but I acted like a surgeon being clean with the engine interior opened; rubber gloves and vacuum handy. A few thousand miles later I did UOA and had proof that my "meticulousness" had paid off.
You may take my advice as being worth what you've paid for it, my experience is my experience. Your car, your tinkering. Do what lets you sleep at night. If my post helps you decide, it was worth typing. ;)
 
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11,178
Location
USA
You don't have to change the oil after replacing a valve cover gasket, but you could put off the job until it's time to change the oil again :D

I thought you were supposed to wait a few hours after replacing the gasket before adding any moire oil or changing the oil :unsure:
 
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1,924
Location
GA
just hit that 5k OCI mark or whatever yours that you're feel comfortable with, and change the valve cover gasket; once you've finished the gasket then do that OC
 
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1,903
Location
Caldwell Idaho
It depends on if the area was cleaned before the valve cover was removed. As well as how long the engine was opened up. I see trash mechanics leave opened up engines for a couple days.
 
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2,712
Location
Kansas City
Might be time for a tire shop oil change special. Work into the conversation your there because your low on funds after a repair. Thank them for having a great price, get the oil changed, run it 3K and keep smiling.
 
Last edited:

GMFan

Thread starter
Messages
2,090
Location
NC
It’s a Mazda 2.5L 4cyl (similar to a Ford Duratec in the Ford Fusions) with 150k on it. Based on what I’ve seen through the fill hole the head is spotless. I think I’ll just clean up around the engine as much as possible and then put a clean shop towel to cover the internals as I do my work and carefully scrape any gasket material away from the internals and just change the oil when it’s due.

Thanks everyone!
 
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