Oil leak from area near front spark plugs - valve cover gasket? warranty?
I have been noticing that my Santa Fe 2001 has been losing about half a quart to a quart between oil changes. I only use Mobil 1 synthetic. So I looked around today and found the drain pan slightly moist. I wiped it down thoroughly and will take a look at it in a couple days to see if its wet again.
The more concerning thing though is that I noticed oil right next to the seals of the valve cover in front. To clarify, after removing the engine cover, right next to the front spark plugs, right by the bolts that hold the front valve cover in place, there was a decent amount of black oul sludge right by the place where the cover clamps down. I checked the rear valves in the same area and did not find sludge.
So a couple questions -
1) How serious an issue do I have?
2) I am thinking this is a valve cover gasket issue. Am I correct? How hard is this to fix?
3) My warranty is almost up - 97K miles. Would this issue be covered under warranty? I have been doing my own maintainance for a while, so I'm not sure if Hyundai will try to pass it off as my issue, or even whether this is considered a regular maintainance issue vs. warranty work.
The car is otherwise running ok... acceleration seems to be a little less than normal the last 10K miles or so, but not overly so.