Auto Service World
News   September 28, 2022   by Auto Service World Staff

Valve Cover Gasket Problems, Replacements, and Cost – Everything You Need To Know

Valve covers do the critical job of stopping oil from reaching the engine and shielding the cylinder head. But a defective valve cover gasket fails to perform these mandatory tasks, so your vehicle performance gets low instantly. Want to know everything about valve cover gasket problems, replacements, and cost?

A leaking valve cover is a prime issue in a gasket. The common signs of a leaked valve cover are filthy cover, oil burning smell, engine failure, engine knocking, and a lit check engine light. Sometimes you might also see white fumes from the engine. 

Noticing the reasons for the valve cover failure helps to find a fix quickly. Unlike an amateur, a mechanic can detect the symptoms and fix a worn-out valve cover gasket faster.



Signs Of A Problematic Valve Cover Gasket

A defective valve cover gasket exhibits numerous signs. However, people mix it up with other engine issues making the problem more critical. Some faulty valve cover gasket’s symptoms are unique, and some are common with other engine faults.

Filthy Valve Cover

A mechanic inspects the valve cover while changing the engine oil to see if it leaks. Debris accumulation under the car’s hood generally gathers around the gasket valve’s surface. You can identify the gathering from the cake-like structure of particles.

Noticeable Oil Leak

A filthy and greasy valve cover is responsible for potential oil leaks. First, check under the car’s hood to see if the surface is dirty. It confirms a leakage that leads to a low oil level.

Burnt Oil Scent

A broken gasket cover can’t hold the pressurized oil in the cylinder. These oil droplets lead to different engine parts. You’ll notice a foul odor since leaked oil is burnt on these engine parts. 

Engine Failure

The gasket cover breaks due to high engine temperature while driving. Consequently, oil reaches the spark plugs and malfunctions engine operations. A defective and worn-out spark plug fails to produce an ideal spark leading to engine failure.

Engine Knocking

Engine knocking or stalling starts when valve cover gaskets fail to separate the valve cover and cylinder head. As a result, the engine takes some time to start due to fuel loss.

Check Engine Light ON

Check engine light ON is the most common sign of an engine-related issue. Next, contact an experienced mechanic to confirm if the valve cover gasket is the main problem.

Fumes From Engine

White fumes come out of the engine when engine oil leaks. A cracked gasket cover is one of the prime reasons for oil leakage leading to the production of white smoke.

Step By Step Guide To Replace A Defective Valve Cover Gasket

It’s super easy to replace a faulty valve cover gasket in the early stage. Unfortunately, things get out of hand when the cover has gone through a lot. 

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. This step-by-step guide from aspiringhandyman will help you to find the best and easiest solution to your cracked valve cover gasket.

Step 01: Tightening Loose Valve Cover Gasket

A shaking engine causes the valve cover to jiggle out of its place. It leads to oil leakage. Fix it with a wrench following the provided manual.

Step 02: Cooling Off The Engine

Cool off the engine if tightening loose ends doesn’t help. Detach the plumbing for better visualization, then pull out hoses, spark plug, and throttle lines accordingly.

Step 03: Detach Valve Cover

Pull out the bolts to detach the valve cover. Use a rubber mallet if it doesn’t come off. Use a piece of cloth to avoid bolts dropping inside the engine parts.

Step 04: Install New Gasket

Now, detach the old gasket using a small lever or your hand. Again, don’t use any metal while withdrawing the gasket. Otherwise, it’ll hamper the whole gasket unit.

Step 05: Apply Producer Advised Silicone Sealant

Remember, never apply silicone without knowing the car’s model and specifications. A brake cleaner does the perfect job of cleaning the valve cover surface. Put silicone till curing, then start your car’s engine.

Step 06: Reinstate The Valve Cover

Install the new valve cover after you’ve replaced the rusty gasket. Tighten the bolts properly to avoid leaks while installing the new valve cover.

Step 07: Inspect Leakages

Look for leakages once you’ve installed the new valve cover. Start over the whole replacement process if you find any leakage.

You can follow this simple step-by-step guide to install the new gasket cover. However, consult with a motorist as early as possible if you face engine and smoke issues.

Cost Of Replacing A Valve Cover Gasket

The replacement cost of a faulty valve cover gasket depends on the car’s make, model, and specifications. Plus, consider the labor charge and parts price. 

On average, it’ll cost you around $100 to $350 to replace the valve cover. You’ve to pay 30 to 50 bucks for parts and 70 to 300 dollars for labor fare. 

The total cost goes up if you’re using a branded car. For example, BMW gasket cover parts cost a fat sum between 100 to 200 bucks. Don’t forget to pay the mechanic between $95 to $600.

Brands like Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, and Honda use complex machinery, increasing the total fixing sum. The repair shop’s location and mechanic’s skill also affects the fixing price.


Defective valve gasket covers become a headache if it isn’t fixed early. White smoke from the engine not only harms the environment but your health too. The issue gets even worse when the engine is affected.

We hope that the analysis of valve cover gasket problems, replacements, and cost-everything you need to know has provided you with the solutions you need. The step-wise guide will accelerate the fixing speed even if you’re new in this field. Take an expert’s opinion if the valve cover gasket issues affect the engine’s performance.

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