I have a 2000 Dodge Neon it has 11,0112 miles on it. I had a local mechanic replace my headgasket. I helped him and bought a brand new mopar rubber headgasket. My question is should I have used the gasket sealant like my repair manual stated and should I have torque it down thoroughly?

Howard Williams, Bearden, Arkansas

Howard,

I am guessing that when you say you used a new Mopar rubber head gasket that you mean you used the new multi-layer steel head gasket where the top and bottom layers have a rubber like coating on them. If you did use the new Mopar gasket then yes it is recommended that you use the Mopar (or equivalent) spray gasket sealant to help seal the head gasket. You should always torque the cylinder head according to the factory specifications and in the sequence shown below. Also, the head bolts on the 2.0L are torque to yield so it is also necessary to check the threads on every bolt before you reinstall them to make sure they haven't stretched. If any of the threads show signs of stretching then they need to be replaced.

Torque sequence specifications: a.. First All to 34 N·m (25 ft. lbs.), a.. Second All to 68 N·m (50 ft. lbs.), a.. Third All to 68 N·m (50 ft. lbs.), a.. Fourth Turn an additional 1/4 Turn. Do not use a torque wrench for this step.

Matt

I made a mistake, I removed my valve cover and replaced the rubber gasket. My question should have said should i had used RTV sealant like my Haynes repair manual states? and should it be torqued down in a particular sequenced?

Howard Williams, Bearden, Arkansas

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Howard,

You did the correct thing by using the Mopar rubber valve cover gasket and no RTV. There isn't a specific torque sequence for the cover bolts just a torque spec of 105 in-lbs.

Matt

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