Valve Cover Gaskets: What You Need to Know

Owning a vehicle means that at any moment, you can be subjected to a variety of problems that occur from time to time. When your engine begins to burn oil and gas at the same time, the tell-tale signs are hard to ignore. They can include smoke clouds that emanate when you first start up your vehicle, and the cabin might become inundated with the distinctive scent of the oil. There’s a good chance that your engine has a leaking valve cover gasket. Today, we’ll be addressing everything you need to know. 

sarasota mini service

What Exactly is a Valve Cover Gasket? 

The valve covers in your vehicle’s engine open and closes rapidly when your engine is running. The gasket, which is usually made from rubber or plastic, forms a tight seal between the engine and the valve. This prevents oil from leaving the engine’s body. When a gasket is broken or begins to come loose, it allows debris between the pistons and the cylinder, which causes wear and tear and can allow oil to leak as well. 

Replacing a Valve Cover Gasket 

There are six steps to replacing a valve cover gasket. And while it’s best that this is done by a professional, we’re providing this process so you can better understand what’s done when a gasket is replaced. 

1) Attempt to tighten the gasket. Sometimes the gasket is just loose, which causes leaking and engine vibrations. By using a torque wrench, the gasket can be tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

2) Allow the engine time to cool down – If tightening the gasket doesn’t solve the problem, then replacing it is the next viable solution. Before you proceed, it’s a good idea to allow the engine time to cool off. Depending upon what type of vehicle you have, you may need to remove spark plugs, wires, or other obstructing parts. 

3) Remove the valve cover – Remove the bolts and lift the valve cover. Be sure to cover the engine with protection to prevent the bolt from falling into the compartment of the engine. 

4) Replace the old gasket with a new one

5) Apply silicone if the process is recommended by the manufacturer. 

6) Re-install the valve cover and reattach the mounting bolts. 

Getting the Job Done Quickly and Effectively 

Driving with a leaking gasket can lead to larger problems in the foreseeable future. Aside from the burning smell and possible oil leak, you can cause severe damage to your vehicle’s engine. Get in touch with the experts at Dave’s Auto Repair immediately if you notice any problems with your vehicle. For contact info, visit our website at

Contact Us