Among the most important parts of any engine is the oil that is contained within it. There are a variety of moving parts that depend on the oil for lubrication. The valve cover goes on top of the engine and is designed to keep the oil from leaking out. Underneath the valve cover, there is a gasket that helps to add additional sealing. These valve cover gaskets can be made of either cork or rubber. Without a functional valve cover gasket, it will be very hard for you to keep your engine oil where it belongs. 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. Picking the right gasket for your valve cover is not easy due to the wide variety of options out there. The rubber gaskets usually work better due to the fact that they will actually mold themselves to the cover over time. Since this part of your engine does not get checked during routine maintenance, you will usually only interact with it when there are repair issues. Addressing the repair issues with the valve cover gasket on your car in a hurry can reduce the amount of damage that is done.

Due to the work that is involved in replacing the valve cover gasket, it is probably a good idea to find a professional to handle it. They will have no problem getting the valve cover off and the gasket replaced in a timely fashion. This means that you will not have to worry about making matters worse due to your lack of experience with these types of repairs.

The following are some of the things that you may notice when it comes time to change the valve cover gaskets on a car:

  • There is oil leaking
  • A lot of debris around the oil cover
  • Noticeable aroma of burning oil
  • Oil in the spark plug housing

Once the signs of this repair issue are found, you will have to act quickly to avoid losing too much oil in your engine. Waiting to replace your valve cover gasket can lead to additional damage being done to your engine.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Valve Cover Gasket Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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