It was a marathon repair session this evening. New valve cover gaskets, 4 new Bosch O2 sensors (used a generic and soldered them onto the old harness/connector), new air filter (might as well), new serpentine belt & tensioner (Conti) and both rear ABS sensors replaced (Hella). Cleared all the DTCs and took it for a 15mile drive and it is running great and DTC free (so far...the emissions cycle still has another 50+ miles to go).
The valve cover gasket set was WAY overdue to be replaced. For the last 20k+ miles, there has been some oil loss that has been burning off on the exhaust manifolds. I had already replaced all the PCV piping last summer, and I recently installed a pop-off-valve-equipped oil cap, too. And, when I replaced the transmission last year I replaced the rear camshaft plugs. So, it was time to tackle the valve cover gaskets.
The left (US driver, 4-5-6) gasket set was in VERY POOR condition. After 133k miles (I've owned the car since 39k miles, and I don't believe the valve cover gaskets were replaced prior to my ownership), the gaskets there were very brittle when removed. There was a lot of oil in the #5 and #6 sparkplug holes in the head. I used a shop vac to get a lot of the oil out, and then sopped up the rest with cheap Q-tips. The old gasket was very brittle and fell/tore apart as I removed it. The gasket on the right (US passenger, 1-2-3) side was not in that similarly bad shape, but it was also aged and leaky. There was some oil in the #3 sparkplug hole, but nowhere near as bad on the left/driver head. Some pictures...
On a positive note: after my post-repair test drive tonight, I did not smell the burnt oil that had been common after any recent drive (due to the leaky valve cover gaskets). Time will tell, but so far, so good. Oh, and here's an image that explains the tightening sequence and torque ( 84 inch-lbs) to use for the valve cover.
Here's a better picture of that torn serpentine belt. It had just over 60k miles on it.