Question: What Is A Valve Cover

What does valve cover do?

A valve cover is a part that covers the valve train. Its purpose is to keep the engine oil from leaking out from the upper part of the engine. Modern valve covers can be made from molded plastic, stamped metal, or cast metal.

How much would it cost to replace a valve cover?

The average cost for valve cover gasket replacement is between $215 and $261. Labor costs are estimated between $161 and $203 while parts are priced between $54 and $57. This range does not include taxes and fees, and does not factor in your specific vehicle or unique location.

Is a valve cover leak bad?

When this occurs, the gasket can lose its integrity and leak, potentially causing cosmetic issues like leaking oil, or drivability problems and reduced engine performance. If not replaced by an ASE certified mechanic in time, a bad valve cover gasket can lead to complete engine failure.

Can you drive a car with a valve cover leak?

Is it safe to drive with a valve cover gasket problem? Yes, as long as the amount of oil leaking is small, and there is no leak onto hot engine parts such as the exhaust manifold, it is safe to drive your car until you have an opportunity to fix it.

Are valve covers necessary?

The valve cover, which is sometimes called a rocker cover, is an important component of the engine. The gap between the valve cover and the cylinder head is sealed by a valve cover gasket. The whole setup keeps oil inside the engine, which is important to the engine’s overall health and performance.

Do valve covers make a difference?

When it comes to engine parts, they don’t get much more basic than the valve covers. Valve covers are not under any stress so historically they’ve been made out of simple stamped steel. But like anything, the more serious the engine gets, the more design changes may be needed in the valve covers.

How long does it take to replace a valve cover?

In many cases, valve cover gasket replacement can be completed in 1-2 hours, leading to only modest labor charges. However, it can take as long as 4-5 hours to complete the same job on other more complex engines.

Is valve cover gasket expensive?

On average, the replacement cost of a valve cover gasket will be somewhere between $100 and $350. The parts cost will typically be between $30 and $50 while the labor costs will be anywhere from $70 to $300.

How often should you replace a valve cover gasket?

When running your vehicle, the valve cover will have to do its job and keep the oil from leaking out. Most of the gaskets on your car last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 miles.

How long can you drive with a valve cover leak?

Q: How long can you drive with an oil leak? It is always good to not run your car if it has an oil leak. However, a short distance drive within the city, less than 15 miles is not dangerous as driving with an oil leak until it lowers your oil level.

What causes a valve cover to leak?

Your valve cover gasket may be leaking for a variety of reasons. It could be shrunken, cracked or rotten, or your valve cover itself may be cracked or broken or one of the valve cover bolts may just be loose, allowing a little leak. Your car may have 1 or 2 valve covers depending on its configuration.

What happens if valve cover gasket is leaking?

The telltale sign of a valve cover gasket that has lost its seal is an oil-covered valve cover or a burning oil smell when the engine is running. As oil leaks from a valve cover, it can contact a hot exhaust manifold and burn. Smoke can then waft into the cabin. The action of the valves kicks around a lot of oil.

Can a valve cover be repaired?

This can be fixed by removing the valve cover and the bad gasket, cleaning up the oil that leaked out, and reinstalling the valve cover with a fresh new gasket. Another possibility is that the valve cover itself may have cracked and then leaked. The fix for this is a new valve cover, along with a new gasket.

Do you need to drain oil to replace valve cover gasket?

No, you do not drain the oil to change the valve cover gasket, but you may need to change the oil after because some old gasket may fall into the engine; the best option is to wait until you get ready to change the old, change the valve cover first, then replace the oil.

How important is it to replace valve cover gasket?

A valve cover gasket seals the gap between the valve cover and the cylinder head. In most modern cars, the valve cover gasket is made of rubber. Over time and under higher temperatures, the gasket shrinks and becomes brittle, which might cause oil leaks. It only needs to be replaced if it leaks.

Do valve covers affect performance?

As the name implies, a valve cover is just a cover; its function is to protect the innards from the outside elements. It has no direct impact on engine performance unless the original valve cover was damaged or cracked to begin with.