Five Signs That Your Valve Cover Gasket Is Bad (Replacement cost)

The valve cover gasket is one of many gaskets that are used to protect fluids and keep parts functioning properly. This valve cover gasket seals the valve cover to protect the engine. 

If this component fails, it can lead to engine damage and oil leakage. Let’s begin with a quick look at the signs to look for:

A bad valve cover gasket can lead to external oil leaks, low engine oil levels and other symptoms. After acceleration, you may notice a burning or unpleasant odor. It can cause a burning smell or misfiring of the engine in some vehicles.

This is a detailed listing of some of the signs and symptoms that indicate a poor valve cover gasket.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Bad or leaky valve cover gasket symptoms
    1. 1. Oil Leaks
    2. 2. Low oil 
    3. 3. Burning Smell
    4. 4. Misfiring Engine
    5. 5. Dashboard Indicator Lights
  2. Vave Cover Gasket Function
  3. Valve Cover Gasket Position
  4. Repair of Valve Cover Gasket

Bad or leaky valve cover gasket symptoms

1. Oil Leaks

Car Oil Leak

It is alarming to see oil seeping from under your car. However, oil leaks are caused by many issues, so it’s not a tell-tale sign of a failed valve cover gasket alone.

However, oil can leak from the valve covers area and indicate that your gasket is failing. To check for oil seepage, inspect the surrounding area of the gasket.

Initial oil leakage is minimal. However, it will get worse over time. The oil can build up on the valve covers and cause dirt to accumulate. 

You risk costly engine repair if the oil continues to leak. This symptom can also cause premature engine failure by putting additional strain on belts or hoses. The oil will soften the rubber and make them more wearable. 

2. Low oil 

Check Oil Level (2)

It’s vital to check your engine’s oil levels regularly. When the oil gets too low, it’s often a sign of a problem, especially when it occurs frequently.

The engine operates as a sealed system, so oil shouldn’t be disappearing unless something is wrong. Check the valve cover to see if there are any signs of leakage. 

As you wait to have the valve cover gasket repaired, be sure to keep adding oil. The engine can stop working if it is not properly lubricated. 

3. Burning Smell

Car Smells Burning Rubber

Alarm should be raised if you smell burning oil. As the oil leaks out of the valve cover, it can easily drip onto your car’s hot engine and exhaust. The only thing you will have is the unmistakable smell of oil burning.

This odor becomes overpowering when you pop the hood, even if you can’t see the oil burning. Burning oil is an indication that your car may be on fire. You should immediately stop driving if you notice it. 

Reported: Why Your Car After Driving Smells Like Burning Rubber

4. Misfiring Engine

Car Misfire Spark Plugs

There are several reasons why your car's engine may not work properly. A defective spark plug, or a problem in the fuel system are two of the leading causes for engine misfires. However, you shouldn’t overlook the possibility of a bad valve cover gasket.

The cover covers the valve and is located above the spark plugs. When the gasket fails and allows oil to leak onto the car’s spark plugs, fluid can get into the openings. Oil builds up and causes spark plugs to stop working properly.

It causes the spark plug failure, which reduces the ignition of both the fuel and air mixture. You will end up with a misfiring engine, which can cause a bumpy ride. This can lead to engine fires if not treated immediately.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Engine Oil is on Spark Plugs

5. Dashboard Indicator Lights

Oil Level Low Light

People rely on their dashboard warnings to let them know when something is amiss. If you haven’t been checking the oil, this might be your first indication of a problem. 

An Oil Warning Light may indicate low engine pressure or insufficient lubrication. If there is an issue with the valve cover gasket, you might see the Check Engine Light. One of these indicator is warning you to address the problem immediately. 

Vave Cover Gasket Function

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

The engine’s valve cover is designed to protect the components of your car’s motor. The valve cover protects expensive machinery and keeps the engine's elements away from the outside.

The valve cover gasket seals the valve cover. Although it's a small piece of rubber that is placed between the valve cover & the engine, the gasket plays a crucial role. It is essential to prevent oil from leaking out and causing engine damage.

This gasket will crack and become brittle over time. The engine heat or old age can cause this. 

RELATED : 5 Signs that a Valve Cover Is Not Working

Valve Cover Gasket Position

Valve Cover Gasket Location

You will find the valve cover gasket between the motor cover and the motor. The valve cover will be found on the top of your motor. It’s the hard cover protecting the valves and engine components. 

This gasket seals the engine to the cover. This part is often worn out and needs to be replaced. The valve cover must be removed in order to change the gasket. 

Repair of Valve Cover Gasket

Depending on the type of vehicle, you can expect to pay between $90-$400 for a replacement valve cover gasket. The cost of new valve covers can range from $40 to $50. Most labor costs are covered by the manufacturer. The labor cost to replace the valve cover gasket could run from $50-$350. 

Thankfully, it’s often just the gasket that needs to be replaced and not the valve cover. It is possible to replace the valve cover if the gasket needs to be changed. Both parts can be removed simultaneously. Only the cover for your valve would incur an additional cost. 

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