General DiscussionMaintenance Log

Valve cover leaking, this one is fun

Miles: ….. held off for a while, currently 106k

The valve cover has been leaking for a bit, just now getting around to fixing it. The leak has been pretty slow but now it’s got to be more of a problem.

The cover doesn’t have a gasket and instead uses a specific sealant. The sealant is commonly mistaken as oil leaking when it’s just the excess seeping out, so be mindful of that. The backside of my engine was coated with oil and dirt from years of this going on.

This is not a simple job of just taking off the cover and replacing a gasket. Everything bolted to the top of the valve cover needs to come off such as coils, plugs, PCV as well as the HPFP and lines going across it. As if this wasn’t enough the timing cover needs to come off which since you have it off might as well do the chain tensioner. More gaskets for the timing need to be replaced and typically it’s good practice not to reuse the lower timing cover as it’s hard to get off and typically bends its shape as it’s made of metal. You don’t want to put this all back together only to have to take it off again because it’s now leaking, so just do yourself the favor and replace it.

So now you see why I put off fixing this, but it’s now time so here we go. I am not tackling this one myself and instead am getting a very reputable shop to do it. I was happy when they gave me the quote with the parts for the tensioner and timing cover were on it because that means they know about these issues. Here are the parts from the quote:

  • 06L 103 483A – Timing Cover Gasket
  • 06K 109 210AJ – Timing Cover-Lower
  • 06K 109 467Q – Timing Chain Tensioner
  • 461.682 Gasket – Maker EL-Liq 74 50ML
  • 06K 103 269F – Timing Cover-Upper
  • 06H 103 121J – Brake Vacuum Pump Gasket

These parts may get new revisions in the future so always check, you want the latest part number for these.

Labor on this one is harsh, three times the cost of the parts actually in my quote. You don’t want to price hunt labor for this job, you need someone reputable for this job who knows what they are doing. A VAG specialist shop is highly recommended.