Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

Valve Cover Gasket Leak Repair

Valve Cover Gasket Leak Repair

A common repair that comes due on every engine is a valve cover gasket leak repair. All internal combustion engine have high friction components that can actuate thousands of times per minute. These components are part of what is called the valve train. The valve train is splash lubricated with engine oil. The valve covers keep foreign contaminants from getting into the oil and keep the oil from splashing everywhere in the engine bay. In time usually 60 to 120 thousand miles the valve cover gaskets will start to leak and require replacement.

Symptoms of a Valve Cover Gasket Leak

When you start your car and turn on the air conditioner in the summer or the heat in the winter your cabin will start to smell like burning oil. That is because when valve covers leak they usually leak oil on to the exhaust which burns the oil making the smell. On Certain engine types like Over Head Cam Engines a valve cover gasket leak can leak oil into the spark plug wells. This will cause the engine to misfire. You can tell you have an engine misfire because you’ll have a flashing check engine light and the engine with vibrate excessively.

Valve Train With Valve Cover Removed
Valve Train With Valve Cover Removed

Valve Cover Repair Cost$

Valve Cover replacement can be inexpensive or costly depending on the engine. Four cylinder engines have one valve cover and with some exceptions are generally inexpensive in materials and labor taking anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to replace. V6 and V8 engines are a bit more involved as they have two valve covers and depending on the engine there can be a lot of components that require disassembly. This makes the cost for replacing valve covers on 6 and 8 cylinder engine moderate to pricey.

If engine oil leaked into the spark plug wells then there is the added cost of replacing spark plugs and wires.

Valve cover gasket replacement is a very common repair that every engine eventually needs. No matter the quality of the manufacturer eventually valve covers will leak. Larger and more powerful engines generally run hotter due to turbos, superchargers, and other methods that are used to get more power out of engines. All this extra power generates heat which will make the valve covers leak sooner and on these types of complex engines valve cover replacement requires more labor hours. This is something to consider when purchasing a high horsepower car.

If you smell burning oil when starting your car or have more general questions about cars or auto repair feel free to Contact Us @ Tolima’s Auto Center.

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