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Ok, my valve cover's leaking and I know the gasket needs replaced. I just want to know a couple things before I do it, since I'm squeamish about doing things that there's the potential for messing something up (especially the engine)

1) What gasket should I buy? AutoZone has a Fel-Pro in stock, listed for the 89-92 Probe 2.2L Four, I'm assuming it's going to fit my engine as well. They want $12.95 for it. About how much is a Mazda OEM gasket? Is one better?

2) do i need any kind of lube or grease for the gasket?

3) removing the old gasket: easy removal or am I going to be scraping it off with a razor blade? (~160k miles)

4) of course I'm using oil as it leaks, but I previously had a feel for how much oil my car was using, by the time I'd do a 3k mile change, i'd be about 2/3 quart low. So I didn't keep many tabs between doing changes...well one night i was going quickly through a cloverleaf, and i saw my oil pressure light come on (i was about 500mi to oil change) So I stopped as soon as I could, and I was over 2 quarts low!! Is it possible this is just because it was winter and my engine was running cold, or what...Needless to say I've been keeping it full since then.

5) would it be a good idea to hit my HLA's with some marvel mystery oil while i'm under the valve cover? or am i better off just adding it to the oil? only once in a while do they ever make noise for me, and it goes away as soon as the engine gets good and warm...


it sounds reasonably simple, but i've botched simpler things. dont ask me about my nearly traumatic spark plug wire incident..

Oh and any other words of wisdom you have about this job just throw my way!!
 

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1) don't really know, but i know that the probe has the same engine so it'll work fine. Felpro is a fairly reputable gasket company as well.

2) you need to buy some silicone. The gasket requires four parts of the gasket applied to it. I believe black silicone is what is called for (RTV).

3) Should come off pretty easily; only parts that may need scraping is the silicone that was applied from the factory/previous owner.

4) You probably have an oil leak and/or burning oil. Although being colder outside during winter may constitute more oil burning when the engine is cold, but not that much. You should check your oil everytime you fuel up.

5) That tapping noise is normal when the engine is cold. When the engine is warm and tapping, thats when you should try the mystery oil.
 

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It's really easy to change the valve cover gasket. But if it has that many miles on it then you really should get the gasket set (comes with everything to re-gasket your cylinder head, I bought mine for $90). It's a lot harder then changing your valve cover gasket. I'm in the process of rebuilding my cylinder head and turning all my hoses into steel braided lines. Any hoo, have fun!!!
 
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