oil on top of engine

hello, I have an engine oil leak on my 2003 protege5 manual. The oil leak is actually on top of the engine and I am wondering what the cause is/ how I can fix this. has anyone experienced this issue and if so what part do I need to replace.
 
also the bolts holding down the engine over were loose. all of them I could loosen by hand. does this mean I need to replace the engine valve cover gasket?
 
V
2001 Mazda SP20 323
Gidday, might be best to replace the valve cover gasket and the washers on top, sounds like the bolts weren't tightened properly and have worked loose?

Replace the gasket, tighten the bolts down, go for a drive then check the bolts again to make sure they're staying put
 

i12drivemyMP5

___ 323F ___
Contributor
If bolts were loose then tighten them all, wipe off residual oil and see if it still leaks before throwing coin at new parts. Look in your plug holes and make sure to wipe that out if any in there. After driving it a few days or week, check and see if still problem. If so, then go get vc gasket set.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
Be careful not to overtighten the valve cover bolts. They're really easy to strip. Use a torque wrench if you have one.
They only tighten to 6-7 foot-pounds.
(The manual shows it in inch-pounds)




I had one of my grommets leak on the top of my valve cover and oil ran down into the spark plug hole.

I ended up stacking a second grommet on the bolt that I scored from my parts car and that stopped the leak.

The grommets are a separate purchase and don't come with the valve cover gasket.
They're pretty expensive too.

 
L
Dallas, TX
V
2003 Protege5
Let me guess, you have 100K+ miles on your engine? Same thing happened to mine and to others on this forum. Engine vibration works them loose at around 100k miles. I first tried just tightening my bolts, then eventually replaced my valve cover gasket and grommets with a Fel-Pro kit that contained both gasket and grommets. I can't say I was wild about the quality of the Fel-Pro kit. I still have a tiny bit of leakage and the grommets started peeling around their edges pretty quickly. Maybe Beck/Arnley would be better. I went out and bought a new torque wrench for this job as my medium and large ones would not have been sensitive enough, so either use a light touch or use a torque wrench on the small end of the spectrum (inch-pounds, not foot-pounds).

Anway, as I12 said above, try just tightening the bolts and wiping everything down before you buy a new kit. And do be careful because you're dealing with aluminum, not steel.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
It looks like you can buy replacement bolts that are a bit cheaper and they come with the grommets.




As mentioned above, find out what exactly is leaking.
If it's just a bolt/grommet that's leaking, it's really easy to swap in a new one.

Edit: Those are the "isolators/spacers" that include the grommet. The bolts themselves are supposed to be reused.
 
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pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
Mine was leaking from the top bolt/grommet.
At least I knew it wasn't the valve cover gasket.
 
im probably going to replace the gasket but Im not sure what a grommet is. Can someone clarify what exactly that is? and thanks for all the responses!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
The grommet is the round black rubber "o-ring" thing that's on the top of the spacer.
It's metal on one side and rubber on the other.

You can buy the spacer that includes the grommet like the last picture I posted.

There are two different lengths of spacers.


I wouldn't bother replacing the valve cover gasket if it isn't leaking.

If it's just the spacer/grommet that's leaking, it's really easy to replace.
Just unbolt it and screw in a new one.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
Snug all the valve cover bolts up.

Using a screwdriver handle with an adapter and socket will help prevent over-torquing if you don't have a small torque wrench.






Clean the valve cover really good then drive it a bit and see where the leak is coming from.

If it gets wet with oil on the very top of the valve cover then it's a grommet that's leaking.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
These are leaking grommets...






If you already cleaned and tightened them up and the oil came back, then they need to be replaced.
 
ok, if the gasket was broken then there would be oil coming out of the side of the engine where the cover touches right?
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
V
2002 mazda protege 5
Yes.
Oil can creep uphill a bit but the oil on top of the cover near the spark plug could only have come from the grommet.
 
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