Introduction If you own a Holden Commodore 1996 - 2001 fitted with the V6 Ecotec engine, and find the engine smoking and/or burnt oil smells being drawn into the passenger compartment after an extended period of driving, you may have faulty rocker cover gaskets.
These gaskets only have a finite life. The high heat causes them to melt, making the seal ineffective, allowing engine oil to leak out and flow onto the exhaust headers, creating the burning oil smell. In this state, your vehicle will also start to lose engine oil, requiring top-ups.
This article details how you can replace the seals yourself, rather than taking your car to a mechanic and paying for a relatively simple job.
Requirements: About one hour
10mm,8mm socket and driver set
Rocker cover gaskets to suit (one if only one side is leaking, two if both)
|1. Ensure the engine is not boiling hot. Do not attempt this procedure immediately after driving!|
|2. Remove the plastic cover from the top of the engine by unfastening the four nuts with a 3/8 inch socket.
|3. Loosen the clamp for the air intake pipe, and disconnect the pipe from the manifold inlet.|
|4. Unfasten the bolt used to secure the engine oil dipstick tube - this allows you to move the dipstick tube out of the way.|
|5. Unfasten the throttle cable bracket assembly.|
|6. Unscrew the six bolts around the perimeter of each of the rocker cover, and remove the covers.|
|7. These photos show the extent of the disintegration of the gasket - you can see how the heat has caused the rounded edge to be flattened, reducing the effectiveness of the seal. The lower part of the rocker cover seal is very close to the exhaust headers, and some parts of the gasket have been burnt brown.|
|8. Remove the old gasket from the rocker cover.|
|9. The upper part of the rocker housing where the gasket touches the edge shows a nice clean area where the gasket is providing a good contact seal. Conversely, the lower part shows engine oil over the contact area, and this is where the oil has been seeping.|
|10. Open the package for your new gaskets and place them onto the rocker cover.|
|11. Reassemble the covers on the engine in reverse order that you took them off.|
|12. After you have cleaned up and made sure there are no loose parts or tools, start the engine and see if there are any leaks.|
|13. If your gasket(s) have been leaking for some time, you should check your engine oil levels and top up as required.|