Oil leaking big time from valve covers. '99 A6Q 2.8 L

Well, I've already given the go ahead to the shop, so I'm not sure why I'm asking now. I trust these guys - they are independent.
It's just that I'm not really sure I get what's happening.
I've got a pretty significant oil leak down the back of the engine.
(76k miles btw) The shop says that my cam shaft oil seals are shot, some where around the cam chain, and that the valve cover gaskets can't keep up with the pooling of oil, so it's leaking down the side. They say they see about one of these a week.
Does this sound remotely familiar to any of you?
They are talking new seals, new gaskets, and a new breather hose. While they are in there, I've agreed to have the spark plugs replaced - they're almost due anyway.
Thanks,
Grover
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It sounds like they know what they are doing. The cam seals are a common failure causing oil leaking. Valve cover gaskets should be replaced too.
Another thing that occurs is that the seal on the oil filler cap starts to leak. Should replace that now too.
As long as they have it in, has your timing belt been replaced? If not, this would be a good time to do it and replace the water pump with the breakage prone plastic impeller with one with the cast aluminum impeller. Water pump failure is a common cause of timing belt breakage and you do not want to have that experience. 30 valves don't take well to that.
Tony '91 100q 5spd '98 A4 2.8q (Son's)
Curtis Cleaveland wrote:

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in article 3fcd6fc7$0$41295$ snipped-for-privacy@newsreader.visi.com, TonyJ at snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMvisi.com wrote on 12/2/03 9:12 PM:

Actually, I just had that done by the same shop at 74.5 K miles, water pump and all. They showed me the pump, said that mine actually didn't look/sound/feel too bad, but still agreed that replacing it was the best bet.
Thanks for the reminder on the oil filler cap seal. I recently changed the oil myself and noticed it was becoming distorted.
Best,
Curt
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Valve cover gaskets very rarely leak. And unless you neglect oil services, cam seals don't leak, either. There is a small teflon coated steel gasket that resides between the cam chain adjuster and the head. Oil is fed through it to vary the intake valve timing. They leak on every 20V/30V/40V engine out there. It is a very common issue. There are two on the V6, Passenger rear and drivers fornt. Do both. JPF
On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 04:47:05 GMT, Curtis Cleaveland

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in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com, JPF at snipped-for-privacy@zzzzzzzzzzzz.net wrote on 12/3/03 5:51 AM:

Turns out that's what is going on. Their top guy finally explained it. Never having seen the heads on this engine, I was totally confused earlier.
So this steel gasket is exposed to the exterior of the engine?
Is it a waste to replace the valve cover gaskets, or once pulled best replaced?
I'm heading over to the shop, not to argue anything, but to see if I can get a glimpse of how it all fits together.
Thanks JPF. It's good to know this is common, even if it still costs the same.
Grover
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Replace the gaskets. They don't last forever, but they last as long as the tensioner gasket stays dry. The newer gaskets seem to last longer than the originals. It's not really exterior. The adjuster bolts to the head, the cover goes over top of the whole shebang. The oil comes out between the tensioner and head.
On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 20:26:16 GMT, Grover

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Got it. That makes sense, and fits what they called "pooling".
I'll leave them in peace, except that I could use my cell phone.
It's funny: with a dentist, being right there you can be shown what's going on before the tools come out.
Thanks again.
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