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What does a Valve Cover do in an Engine?

Published by: Nathan
Date of Publish:

In a perfect world, nothing would cause an engine to leak, and it would last longer without becoming dirty.  It might be challenging to locate an oil leak if you think you might have one, especially in an older car with a dirty engine block and heads.

As you drive, wind blowing through the engine bay may cause oil to spill at the lower end of the engine and be blasted rearward. However, one mechanic's tip is to first clean the unclean area with brake cleaner before applying athlete's foot powder to the region where you think the leak might be coming from. The leak should be visible against the white powder in about a day.

You will need to replace it because there will be observable symptoms that have an impact on how the car operates.  This essay will discuss every topic related to Engine Valve Cover. You will get all information related to Engine Valve Cover.  

What is an Engine Valve Cover?

A component that covers the valve train is an Engine Valve Cover. Its primary function is to prevent engine oil leakage from the engine's upper portion. Modern valve covers can be produced from stamped metal, cast metal.

The oil lubricates the valve train and is kept in the valve cover. Fat splashes up against the valve cover before draining back through the engine head ducts. The oil enters the oil pan by flowing downhill. Oil wouldn't be re-circulated back into the engine block without a valve cover so it would splatter all over the top of the engine.

What is the Location of Engine Valve Cover

The engine's valve cover is located at the top. A sturdy body shields the valves and other engine components. A gasket that forms a tight seal exists between the valve cover and the engine.

This component is replaced more frequently because the gasket typically fails before the valve cover. However, the valve cover must be taken off to access the valve cover gasket.

Signs of a Loose or Cracked Valve Cover

Despite the most significant efforts of manufacturers, gaskets that stop engine oil from entering the motor can eventually break down. Rubber seals become worn down over time because acidic engine oil steadily eats away at them. When they break down, the oil is then free to circulate and harm other engine components.

A vehicle won't be stranded on the roadside due to a damaged valve cover gasket. You cannot, however, afford to ignore it for too long. The problem will harm the Engine Valve Cover after a few dozen kilometers, increasing your maintenance expenses.

It is relatively simple to recognize a bad valve cover gasket. Here are some warning indicators that your situation necessitates a service for Engine Valve Cover:

· Engine Oil is Low

Your dashboard's "low oil" engine light may come on as a result of engine oil leaking from a damaged valve cover gasket. Low engine oil levels can increase friction within the engine, which raises engine temperature and eventually causes failure and even fires. Before looking into other potential causes, if you see the low oil indicator, you should first know how the gasket is doing.

· The Burning Smell of Oil

One of the typical symbols of a faulty engine valve cover is this. Your engine valve cover will leak pressurized oil once it becomes damaged or pierced.

The oil will spill over the cylinder heads, exhaust pipes, or fuel intakes if this occurs while the engine is radiating or moving.

· The Engine Valve Cover is Dirty

You will see oil beginning to gather around the valve cover when the valve cover gasket is leaking. Since it sits on top of the valve cover in modern vehicles, you might need to remove the plastic engine cover to examine this. The engine cover should be simple to remove. However, in certain vehicles, you might need to remove a few nuts and bolts holding the engine cover.

· Misfiring of the Engine

The valve cover could directly cover the engine's spark plugs. The liquid may seep through the apertures if oil is dripping onto the spark plugs. Oil will dirty the spark plugs and stop them from operating correctly.

· Dashboard Warning Lights

Dashboard warning lights may be the first sign of something wrong if you haven't frequently been replacing your engine oil.

Your Oil Alert, The Check Engine Light, may come on due to problems brought on by a cracked gasket and valve cover, or it may glow to show that there is insufficient oil pressure in your system.

In any event, these warning lights indicate a severe issue. Therefore, you should refrain from driving until it has been fixed.

How serious is a Valve Cover Gasket Leak?

Yes, to answer briefly. Running your car for an extended period without examination and maintenance if your engine loses oil can result in irreparable harm.

The top of the engine will probably be covered with oil if the gasket is worn out since it will leak engine oil. Additionally, it may subject your engine to dust, debris, and other contaminants that could harm it permanently. To avoid catastrophic engine damage, you must get a replacement right away. Ask your mechanic to check the valve cover whenever the valve cover gasket has to be changed.

Why should the Valve Cover be replaced?

This is essential to prevent severe engine wear since oil leaks out when a valve cover is damaged or loose. Lack of oil causes excessive friction between the quickly moving components, which should be thoroughly lubricated. That causes the ingredients to deteriorate and eventually fail.

Can I Drive with Bad Engine Valve Cover?

You may. I guess, sort of. If there appears to be a small oil leak, you should be alright, and you can continue driving. However, it's a good idea to replace the gasket if you notice oil and grime all over your engine compartment and your car is starting to misfire. As previously said, a leaking valve cover gasket might cause an engine to fail, and you don't want that to happen.

Checking your oil levels regularly is another way to determine if you have a significant leak.

How to replace Faulty Engine Valve Cover?

To learn how to replace Engine Valve Cover gasket, adhere to these procedures.

  1. Put your automobile in position by parking it on a level surface first.
  2. Give your car's engine some time to cool.
  3. Locate the valve cover and remove it.
  4. Eliminate the old valve cover gasket and replace it.
  5. Apply silicone to make it adhere by (only the area required).
  6. After fixing it, you can move the valve cover back and tighten bolts as necessary.

Things to Consider after repairing

The essential things to keep in mind when replacing your leaking Engine Valve Cover are listed below.

· Some Gaskets are Simple to replace

The gaskets used to seal your engine frequently outlast the mechanical components of the machine. The valve cover gasket is among the many gaskets that are pretty easy to replace.

· Leak Check

When a vehicle is old enough to experience a valve cover oil leak, additional leaks are frequently almost unavoidable.

How Much Time Does It Take to Replace an Engine Valve Cover?

The answer to this question depends on several factors.

As previously mentioned, several contemporary automobiles feature intelligence manifolds above the rocker cover. This could imply that the job includes removing the intelligence manifold and replacing any necessary gaskets.

How much does a Valve Cover typically Cost?

Depending on the make and model of the car, a valve gasket repair typically costs between $110 and $340.

The pieces only cost a few dollars, between $10 and $40. The majority of the cost ranges from $100 to $300 and is labor.


Due to variations in the accessibility of the valve cover gasket, labor expenses can vary dramatically. Most manufacturers produce valve cover gaskets that can be installed without further disassembling the engine. Some, like turbo piping, need to be removed from other parts to be serviced, which raises the overall cost.

Comparing costs in your area can help you save money because pricing varies by location and shop.

Importance of Engine Valve Cover

Even though a minor oil leak might not seem like a big deal, it can result in potentially dangerous and expensive repairs. Checking for oil around the valve cover should be part of a preventative maintenance strategy to prolong the life of an engine. Early detection of oil leaks allows a mechanic to make the necessary repairs and prevent more severe engine problems. Any oil leak should be treated carefully and inspected right away.


Therefore, we advise you to get your automobile inspected as soon as possible if oil on the ground, smell burning or need to put more oil than usual. The low engine oil light should not be ignored in the hopes that it would go away. If done early enough, replacing the valve cover is a quick fix that will keep your automobile operating smoothly.

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