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Leaking New Valve Cover Gasket

15298 Views 37 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jimijam
I have an 07 Accord EX Sedan K24A8 MT 220K Miles. I replaced the Valve cover gasket about 2K Miles ago. The car had no oil leaks until I changed the Valve cover gasket. The only thing I didn't do properly was torque it down to spec. I tightened the bolts down by hand in no certain order. Would that be the issue or is the new valve cover gasket a faulty one? I got the valve cover gasket from O'rielly's with the spark plug gaskets. Also, the reason I changed it was because I took off the valve cover for repaint.

Also, It is leaking from the back, because when looking at it, you can see oil on top of the headers.
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You need to clean off old and smear on new hondabond where the chain case contacts the head, same on the right side, where the kink is. Best practice is to actually smear a light layer on the gasket itself, this seals everything. Also, you need to clean the mating surface on the head VERY WELL, if you didn't do that, that's the first problem.
Note that there are 4 spots where Hondabond needs to be placed; two in the front and 2 in the back.

Actually - see attached.
Felpro gasket is fine with Permatex black (oil resistant) RTV. A nice dab of RTV must be used in any sharp corners or 90 degree angles. When using RTV (and you should), barely finger tighten all bolts and wait at least half hour before torquing. This allows it to firm up a bit instead of squish out the sides. Torque with inch torque (small tq wrench)tightening incrementally going in criss cross pattern (bolts that are opposites). Note: You can even thin smear RTV all over the gasket surface but it might make cleanup a bit harder next time. Maybe if you brush a thin coat of oil on surfaces before mating, it might help that.
Thanks for these tips regarding the Hondabond on the 4 moon corners. I'm about to do this soon. I think I'll dab the 4 corners a bit as well as the gasket itself.

Any tips on removing the inner tube seals? Don't wanna use a pry bar and damage anything.
How about the valve cover washer grommets on top? Are the old ones difficult to remove as well?
You need to clean off old and smear on new hondabond where the chain case contacts the head, same on the right side, where the kink is. Best practice is to actually smear a light layer on the gasket itself, this seals everything. Also, you need to clean the mating surface on the head VERY WELL, if you didn't do that, that's the first problem.
Did you first hand remove the old sealant and then use brake cleaner? Or some special dis-solvent?

Great pics!
I first hand removed old hondabond/RTV using a razor blade at a proper angle, lightly scraped away old gasket material. If the gasket material/hondabond is very old, then it literally just falls off with your fingers peeling at it. After that, spray brake clean on a paper towel then start wiping the mating surface on the head, AWAY from the inside of the engine. Take care to NOT PUSH any dirt or sand into the engine. I do not spray directly onto the mating surface because it gets into the engine also. This part took the longest out of the entire job.

For the tube seals, you need to use a pry bar, there is no other safe way because a screwdriver works but you risk damaging the valve cover. And you need to pad the opposite of the pry bar with a piece of rubber hose or rag because the back side of the pry bar will rest against a piece of aluminum on the valve cover. Then you'll have to pry very hard for it go FLYING OUT of there. If it's not leaking, I would say don't replace. The new tube seals will be VERY TIGHT. You'll have to coat the inside of the tube seals and the outside of the spark plug tubes with silicone paste before you even attempt to slip the tube seals over the tubes. Prepare to use a piece of plastic, I used dental floss, to run around the tube seal to make sure it goes around the outside of the tube, they pinch very easily.
Thanks for the tips. Hope it works out well.

Can you elaborate a bit on the dental floss segment? I see the point about needing to lube the tube seals on the engine as well as the seals themselves.

I got the Honda OEM set, so I am thinking of just doing them all at once for a peace of mind.
Finally seeing some leak, so have to do this job this weekend.

Wanted to reconfirm and see if there is any other place I should use HondBond, aside from the 4 corners?

For the spark plug tube seals, any tips of getting them to sit into the valve cover properly? Tapping it in with PVC pipe? Don't want to rip them with too much force. Thanks.

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Don't replace the spark plug tube seals if the inside of the tubes is bone dry. They are a pain in the @$$ to get out. You have to pry very hard then they go flying off far away. If you do want to do it, lube the outside with silicon paste first, then tap in using a mallet on a socket size that matches closely the outer circumference of the tube seal.

Will do. I wanna replace it, since I already have it as part of the set. Might as well.

I do notice my Vtec Solenoid leaking, so I'll proally need to do that next. In fact, I don't think my valve cover is the culprit, but I ought to do it.

Is the oil pressure o ring a 22MM?

Thanks. This site has changed a lot. haha
FYI, all this guy shows replacement of all items. The only thing I don't agree with him doing is removing the high pressure end of the power steering hose, dripping ps fluid all over the serpentine belt area, while mounting the valve cover back. Do not remove the ps high pressure hose, just tie it out of the way with a bungee cord, or you'll need a new o-ring for that because it will leak ps fluid once you install the line back on with the old o-ring.

What o-ring? Is it number 20? Thanks.

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#20 o-ring sits in the p/s housing right? I didn't notice there being an o-ring in the housing aside from the ring that's already on the high pressure hose opening.

Finally finished the valve cover, did a test and see it leak near the timing chain side facing front headlight. I wonder why though.

I used Honda OEM gasket, Honda Bond, and let the car cure 1 full day. What I did notice was the valve cover gasket did not sit into the grooves of the valve cover a hundred percent. Is that how it is? I gave Honda my vin for the exact part.

Is there anything I can do to salvage the existing gasket? Or should I just redo with new part? I am just wondering what I did incorrectly, or what went wrong. Shet..
I'll take it out and try reuse it, but not sure if the cured Honda Bond on the gasket prevents reusing.
You need to clean that groove completely, if there is dirt/sand sitting in there, the gasket would not sit flush.

Do not reuse the old gasket, it's useless, it's degraded over time.

The o-ring for the power steering high pressure hose goes on the hose's fitting, not into the pump's housing.

The oring looks different from the flattish oring around the gold part on the high pressure hose. Seems like I‘ll need to prick it out? The new o ring is rounder.

I just did the valve cover with a NEW honda oem set. Not reusing the old set and I did clean the grooves really well. I suspect I may not have seated the gasket well. Found it leaking a few minutes in. Can i just take off and reseat? Or do I need to buy a new one again. I will take a look at it again.
You need to pick the o-ring off on the high pressure hose's fitting using a pick.

You can re-seat the valve cover but you have to apply seal again at the 4 kinked corners. I don't know how you bolted down the valve cover, but you need to bolt it down in 3 or 4 steps, from the middle outward.
I did follow the pattern. Might as well try salvage. I‘ll try reseat and reseal.

Then worry the p/s side afterwards. thanks
Hi, Is it possible to circle the area in the respective corners as to where the Honda Bond should be applied? Please, as it would be helpful. Thanks.

Front Left of Valve Cover

Back Left of Valve Cover

Front Right of Valve Cover


Back Right of Valve Cover


So is this the o-ring? If so, I am still curious as to why the o-ring replacement looks rounder than the one currently on the hose?

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Okay. Thanks for all the help, and older members just keeping things going. It means a lot.
I finally redid everything and no leaks thus far. Started it up for a bit, no leaks. Drove it a bit, and no leaks.
I'll proally drive it easy a bit, but not like I gotta gun the engine anyways.

Overall, I've learned that it's important to seat the gasket into the grooves and ensure that it stays put. To do so evenly put pressure to seat the gasket (like in the video), but of course on a clean cardboard and even surface. I did this 3-4 times and just made sure it was seated well. Flipped it over, dangled it a few times and it didn't fall. The reason being is when you try to put the valve cover back on, it'll take some time to wiggle around before it's aligned.

I would recommend changing all the grommet / spark plug tube seals / etc. in the kit. Might as well.

1) Do the spark plug seals as well. To get them out, I used THICKER cloth between prybar and seals to ensure NO metal to valve cover contact.
2) To get the new spark plug seals in, I lightly lubed the seals and sat them in position. Then used a rubber mallet and gently evenly hit them in with CLOTH in between contact. I would not use the old tubes as guides, it ruined the new ones for me.
3) Removing High Pressure Hose makes things way easier, but the o-ring needs to be replaced as mentioned in the above.
4) To get the NEW tube seals back on over, I gently lubed them / motor oil. Once I got it back over, I just hand tightened in sequence, each time ensuring the tube seals would slide over. You may need to help them in place after each location. Just make sure you don't torque down too fast or all the way with out at least going through ALL the sequence, as it should take a few times. But always make sure they are properly seated EVENLY before using torque.
5) I cured for 1 full day, before starting it.
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