Valve Cover Gasket Replacement on 2003-2007 Honda Accord

This is the procedure for replacing the valve cover gasket on the 4cyl model of the 2003-2007 Honda Accord. I needed to take on this repair because of the multiple leaks I was having from valve cover nut seals and along the rear of the valve cover itself.

NB: When you have multiple leaks from different parts of the engine, do rule out a clogged PCV valve! A clogged PCV valve will raise the pressure in the crankcase and predispose to multiple leaks. I had replaced my PCV valve earlier in this post:

Replacement of PCV valve of the 2003 – 2007 Accord

Materials: Needle-nose pliers, 10mm wrench, torque wrench, flat screw driver, electronic cleaner (optional), high temperature silicone gasket maker (very important! I got the OEM stuff, heard its very good), and new valve cover gasket (I’m using the FEL-PRO brand because its good and came with free valve cover nutĀ  and spark plug tube seals).

Tools valve cover gasket change

Some tools for the job. Ignore the straw and feeler gauges, they’re for another DIY. Can you guess?

Steps:

1. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

2. Remove the 2 10mm intake manifold cover (black plastic with i-VTEC inscription) nuts.

2003 Accord Engine

Intake cover nuts removed!

3. Remove the 4 10mm bolts holding the ignition coils and plastic covering (this the other black plastic above the intake cover plastic).

Intake cover and ignition covers removed on 2003 Accord engine

Intake cover and ignition covers off

4. This step is optional, but advised. You will notice the grime revealed when the intake covers were removed. Clean this down with electronic parts cleaner (electronic parts cleaner is recommended because it does not degrade plastic or rubber and dries out fast). This would reduce the chances of getting dirt into the crankcase when the valve cover is opened.

valve cover without intake covers 2003 Accord

Valve cover cleaned…somewhat

5. Remove the ignition coils. Technique for this is to pry up the ignition coil, detach the electrical connector, then complete removal of the part. Note the coils for the specific cylinders! (Never mind the latex gloves I was wearing here, soon found out it degrades with prolonged contact with oil!)

Removal of ignition coils on 2003 Accord

Removal of ignition coils

6. Remove the power steering line mounting bolt.

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7. Remove the engine oil dipstick.

8. Remove the 6 10mm valve cover nuts.

9. Pry off the valve cover nut seals using the tip of a flat-head screw driver. Do this for all 6.

Removing valve cover 2003 Accord

Prying off valve cover nut seals

10. Remove the 2 mounting bolts for the fuel lines…

Removing fuel lines mounting bolts on valve cover 2003 Accord

Mounting bolts for fuel lines

11. Remove the PCV breather hose. Use the pliers remove the clamp then, break the seal of the hose on the breather tube.

Removing PCV breather hose 2003 Accord

Removing PCV breather hose

12. With all connectors, bolts etc off, use a rubber mallet to tap the front-left and rear-right sides of the valve cover to break the seal (if you don’t have a rubber mallet, place a block of flat wood or multiple folds of shop rags against the valve cover and tap gently with a usual mallet). Do this repeatedly and be patient. No need to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger on this, if not you’ll crack your valve cover!

13. Move the railing bearing the ignition coil connectors to the rear of the valve cover.

Moving the ignition coil connector railing 2003 Accord

Moving the ignition coil connector railing to the rear

Last image of engine with valve cover about to come off

Removing valve cover 2003 Accord

All connectors, bolts off. Valve cover about to come off!

14. Remove valve cover and set aside.

Removed valve cover 2003 Accord

Valve cover removed

15. Remove the old valve cover gasket and discard. Clean the groove with a rag sprayed with thinners or carb cleaner. This will remove any debris and clean off oil. Do this same cleaning for the mating surface on the cylinder head. Take time to do this as it will help ensure a close seal.

16. Insert the new valve cover gasket into its groove on the valve cover…

2003 Accord Valve cover gasket

Inserting new valve cover gasket

If your spark plug tube seals are leaky, replace. Mine were not.

17. Apply the high temp sealant to the 2 junctions of the timing chain cover with the cylinder head on the mating surface. Do same for the right end at the beginning of each arch (number 5 rocker shaft mating area)

18. After a minute of applying the above sealant, refit the valve cover and the new valve cover nut seals. Torque valve cover nuts to 12Nm in the order indicated on the image below. Following the correct order will prevent leaks and do this incrementally per nut.

Valve cover nut tightening sequence 2003 Accord

Valve cover nut tightening sequence

19. Follow reverse steps. Torque intake manifold cover bolts to 12Nm

20. After completing this procedure, you should not start the engine for the next 3 hours. This is to allow the sealant applied to cure properly.

Hope you found this useful!

One comment

  • Update:

    Following this replacement with the aftermarket gasket; FELPRO, a slight seepage from the matting area of the left side of the crankcase began after about a month.
    I took it apart again just to retrace my steps and make sure it wasn’t my technique that caused the seepage. It still came back after a month or so.
    I then purchased and installed the OEM Honda gasket and voila it’s more than 3months and it’s all nice and dry.

    I therefore reckon that FELPRO may not be the best gasket to use if you plan to do this on this Accord. May be better to just get the OEM stuff.

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