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Chevrolet Repair/Should I get this fixed?

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Question
I have a 1994 S10 pickup. It is in real good shape, only a bit of rust, and runs good. It passed a buyers check when I got it last year. The only problem is it has developed an an oil leak-a couple small spots on the ground every night.
Mechanic says one valve cover gasket is leaking, and so is the head gasket-but not as bad. He said it would be cheaper to only do the valve cover gasket, which accounts for most of the leakage, but since he has to remove the head gasket to do that, he might as well do both. What should I do? I would like to keep the truck for a few more years. Are the leaks really no problem except for the driveway mess, or would it be better for the life of the truck to get them fixed? It will cost a few bucks but I can handle it. Thanks!

Answer
Coincidentally , I own the same  truck.Almost 400,000 miles on the original engine and trans . They aren't bad.
 It is rare ,very rare, that the head gasket would leak this kind of particular leak. There are several different types of leaks or combos thereof ,the one you speak of is not one of them.
That is good news because head gasket replacement is much more labor intensive than valve(rocker arm)cover. In fact ,valve covers  have to come off in order to address the head gaskets.You got the two jobs reversed.Definitely valve cover gaskets should be done.Forget about head gaskets ,that's no issue, I'de bet my hat on it.If I lose my hat,and I never loose,:) then if leak is bad enough,yes new head gasket are in order.You would not be making a mistake by changing valve cover gaskets and reassembling. On this engine,it will not cost you much time to go back in there and do the head gaskets later. I am telling you you probably wont need to.This valve cover gasket replacement should  run you ,parts and labor, around $200.00.a little more if oil and filter are also renewed, and most reputable shops will do this also, which isn't a bad idea. ;No more than $250.00.
         Good Luck!  

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Daniel Ostrowski

Expertise

Any questions pertaining to Alignment, brakes, emissions systems, major engine repair foreign and domestic, performance and the not so common questions such as the chemistry related to emissions, What scavenging is, piston offset, purpose of harmonic balancer etc.

Experience

troubleshooting mechanicle failures. Differential repair, electrical systems, disc and drum brakes {all}.Major repair all aspects of a vehicle except paint and upholstery.

Education/Credentials
Protech 4 way [thrust angle alignment]certificate.bear smog license program certificate. Protech brake certificate.

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