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2003 Kia Rio
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Hello, I have a 2003 Kia Rio 1.6L DOHC that ticks at start up and then progressively gets quieter as the engine warms up. I still have about 15K before my next timing belt is due to be changed, but lately I have been smelling burnt oil when I stop at stoplights and when I shut the engine off. I noticed oil pooling under on top of the engine near the spark plugs and running down the front of the motor.

Is there any connection between the ticking noise and I am guessing the valve cover gasket? I've kept the oil level on the stick and it currently has 5W-30.

Also, to change the assumingly bad VC gasket, will the mechanic have to take enough of the engine apart to change the timing belt while they are at it? How much should I expect to pay to fix this type of oil leak? Thanks for reading my post!
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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1,023 Posts
Hey nick, The valve cover gasket is a seperate job from the t belt. I did mine about a year ago. $16 for gasket and it took me about an hour and i am slow. I can't say about the ticking noise thoe. Just add another hour labor to the cost of the t belt labor Hope this helps. Reguard's Ronjohn
 

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2003 Kia Rio
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Hey there Nick, I have noticed the exact thing with my Rio of the same year. The ticking is bad when the engine is cold and even worse when the outside air temp is below freezing. As for the VC gasket, just as ronjohn said, it's a really simple to replace. That being said I still have some oil pool up in the spark plug wells.
 

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2012 Kia Soul+, Kia Sportage SX FWD
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472 Posts
You can run lighter oil when the temps are low. Use 5W20, or 0W20 synthetic and it will reduce the ticking. A bit of ticking is considered normal when cold and especially as an engine ages. Most late model cars recommend 5W20 so you won't hurt anything with lighter oil. My Dodge Hemi calls for 5W20. And my 2012 Kia Soul also.
That valve cover gasket is simple and you can do it yourself. The key is cleanliness, get all the old gasket chunks out, and do not overtorque the hold down bolts. They just need to be snug.
 
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