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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The engine bay of my brother's 2005 4cyl Altima feels really hot. Temp gauge is in middle of range, so not technically overheating. But something doesn't seem right.

My brother bought the car a few months ago. After noticing an oil leak, we quickly identified the valve cover as the source. Replaced the cover, gasket, and PCV valve last night with apparently success. However, I made a few observations while doing the replacement.

THE ENGINE BAY SEEMS REALLY HOT! I realize that's a subjective statement, but it doesn't seem normal compared to other cars I've worked on.

The seals on the old valve cover were really hard and brittle. Bending the main gasket slightly caused it to crack and break in half. The spark plugs tube seals had large tears on 3 out of 4 cylinders. The Nissan logo on the cosmetic engine cover was all blistered up like it had seen high heat. Cover was too hot to hold. The ignition coils were too hot to touch, as were all fasteners, even for the cosmetic cover.

One of the ignition coils had been replaced by previous owner, others look original. The one that had been replaced actually pulled apart when trying to remove it. We got it back together but it was a little disconcerting.

I'm just wondering if I'm being paranoid here or if there's something else going on. I'd hate to destroy the new valve cover if we didn't address the root cause. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
 

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For most cars, the normal operating engine temperature is in a range of 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, though most dashboard temperature gauges don't show an exact temperature. Instead, there are typically markings for cold and hot on the edges of the gauge and a normal range in the middle. However if you're a bit paranoid about the temperature issue, you can purchase one of these infrared temperature gauges:

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Infrared-Thermometer-Helect-Non-Contact-Temperature/dp/B071NBJJ2Q/ref=asc_df_B071NBJJ2Q/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=216635790640&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8912188032507711267&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003836&hvtargid=pla-349733104962&psc=1[/ame]
 
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