Sun. Jun 16th, 2024
valve cover gasket

Do you notice smoke clouds every time you start your car? Does an odd smell of burnt oil fill up your cabin? If you’re experiencing any or both of these signs, chances are you already have a leaky valve cover gasket

What Is a Valve Cover Gasket?

Valve cover gaskets are often made of cork, rubber, or plastic. They are critical components of the engine that ensure oil doesn’t escape from the engine block.

Unlike the head gasket, responsible for sealing off from the engine block the cylinder head hardware, the cover gasket is in charge of sealing off both the engine body and valve cover.

valve cover gasket ensures oil doesn’t escape from the engine block

With a bad valve cover gasket, the oil can leak into the spark plug wells and eventually soak the spark plugs. This can result in your engine misfiring, which is the failure of a cylinder to ignite during the engine’s cycle.

What causes the engine oil to leak out in the first place?

The engine’s valve train quickly opens and closes when the car runs. This produces a significant mechanical action that requires a hot oil shower to lubricate essential combustion parts.

Valve cover gaskets are located between the valve cover and the engine to seal the oil within. But just like other engine components, the cover gasket may crack or dry out, making it lose its ability to seal off the engine oil.

Leaky valve cover gaskets allow tiny particles and debris to settle between the cylinder and pistons, which may lead to wear and tear. Low levels of engine oil can also cause the metal components to grind against one another, shortening the engine’s lifespan.

Obvious Signs of Leaky Valve Cover Gaskets 

The valve cover gasket is an engine component that prevents engine oil leaks. As expected, oil will start leaking once the gasket malfunctions.

Engine oil is the acidic lubricant that slowly eats away at the rubber gasket. Once this happens, the cover gasket will be damaged, and the engine oil will start to leak. This oil leak will then spread to other components, resulting in severe engine damage.

To save yourself from pricy repairs, below are some telltale signs of a leaking valve cover that you should watch.


Hopefully, the video will be helpful to anyone who has a leaking valve cover gasket in their car.

Burning Smell

Oil leaks can drip on other scorching parts of the engine, such as the cylinder or fuel intake head. The burning oil will produce a strong smell or create excessive smoke in the exhaust while the engine runs.

Low Engine Oil

If your dashboard’s Low Oil light is illuminated, you need to check for a leaky valve cover before you check for other potential causes. 

A faulty valve cover gasket will let the engine oil leak out and escape from the engine. A low engine oil level can cause friction with the different parts of the engine. In turn, this will quickly increase the engine temperature, which can lead to engine failure or, worse, even fires.

Rough-Running Engine

Engine oil can also leak into the spark plug, leading to a misfire or serious engine damage.

Strange sounds might also be noticed when hitting the throttle. In even worse cases, the spark plug might ignite the engine oil, causing your car to catch fire.

Replace a faulty valve cover gasket as soon as you can to prevent more severe issues down the road.

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