Leaky valve seals



  • Getting a lovely puff off white/blue smoke on startup for around 30 secs then all fine so i suspect leaky seals. not losing any coolant and oil is fine, but seems i'm slowly burning a bit. I also have a new exhaust system on from down pipe back. My question is do any of you know a ball park figure as to how much it will cost to have these replaced and how long it will take. Don't really want to attempt this one myself as never done it before. Won't be going to a main dealer but will get quotes from local guys just need to know what kind of damage i'll be looking at. Car is a 97 1.6 16v dohc. Cheers for any help



  • Valve stem seals are just labour intensive, While its apart are you going to get the cam belt + water pump done as they are pretty much involved in the job.
    Cam belt £20-40
    Water pump £25 - 45
    Head Gasket set £50-90
    Valve stem seals £15-40
    Labour is going to be 8-10 hrs for a single person to do the job

    Best to find a mobile mechanic for this job, it doesn't involve a huge pile of equipment to do it and their overheads are lower because they do not have buildings to pay for, I would guess if you bought the parts yourself then £200 labour would be about right for that and you would have most common items to break replaced at the same time, then its just oil and filters to change and your car has also had a major service done, then if you can afford to get the oil and filters have him do the lot as its easier to do all that while its apart.

    I would say save up £350, buy all the items for a major service and pay someone to do it at your house you will then have a car thats ready for another 40,000 miles.

    Also take photos of it apart, that shows any buyer if you do sell it that you have all the work done and buyers trust you with that with a photo and as the engines in bits its easy for you to pimp it a bit like paint the rocker cover in VHT paint and put coloured sheaves on the water pipes 8)



  • Hi,

    Just a thought, is it definately blue smoke? as once when I put a new exhaust on one of my MX3's it started smoking just on start up, in the end it turned out to be the angle of the backbox it was just filling with condensation and when it was raining it actually would start filling with water ( it was a huge backbox though ) I ended up swapping it and it solved the problem.

    I noticed if I took it on a long drive and put my waterproof cover on it, it would not smoke, but if just used on small trips or left the cover off it would then smoke the next day.



  • Ended up getting stem seals done and new timing belt whilst head was off. Engine was de-coked and valves re-ground etc cost me £700 and the bloody car smokes worse than ever. Chronic for 10 -15 secs on start up then ok. Took it back and the garage said oil is getting into cylinder 3 which shows low compression for a while so must be bad oil control rings. I have gone through a full load of oil in a week and am thoroughly fed up with car so thinking of breaking it unless you know of someone with expertise who would like it as a project? Not got the experience to strip car down and do it myself and am loathe to spend any more money on it. :(



  • sorry to hear that 700 is alot! an engine swap would of been easier and you could of gone for the 323 turbo engine



  • Sorry to hear fella but one question why was not a compression test done first to rule out pison/oil ring issues…



  • @b994973ab3=Rainmaker:

    Sorry to hear fella but one question why was not a compression test done first to rule out pison/oil ring issues…

    Oil rings will not show on compression tests.

    Oil rings (Not compression rings) are far more likely to have failed than stem seals on these engines.


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