Valve Covers Gasket Leak Symptoms & How To Replace It?

Gasket is the most hardworking part of the engine. It takes maximum pressure of the entire vehicle but it has never been accepted for its struggle.

In this article, we will understand about valve cover gasket leak symptoms and we will also learn how to replace valve cover gasket.

Usually, valve cover gaskets are cork or plastic made and that can be useable as a seal connecting the valve cover and cylinder head.

Valve cover gasket is very well designed that protect from the upper side and bottom side. Even though, it is very sensitive part and a bad or damaged valve can cause engine failure completely.​

So, it is very important to know about its symptoms so that you can take immediate actions and fix it before it destroys your engine.

Valve Covers Gasket Leak Symptoms​

  • Oil burning smell

​If a valve cover gasket is cracked, damaged or pinched, compressed oil starts coming out from beneath the valve cover. When excess oil starts dripping on the head of the cylinder.

And the head of the cylinder is hot component as the engine is in running condition and it will burn up the oil then it will produce burning smell of oil that can be recognized easily.

  • Dirty valve cover

​Every time in the process of oil changing, your mechanic ensures to check valve cover. If it has any leak due to any reasons, it will collect debris and dirt below the cover and it will deposit on the cylinder head or valve cover.

If you find any dirt or debris that means your valve cover is leaking oil and you should get it repaired as soon as possible.

  • Low level engine oil

​It is obvious that if oil started leaking through the valve cover gasket, it will no more in the oil pot and if such happens frequently. You will be notified by oil light on your front car dashboard. So you will get sign of leaking oil.

If the oil is leaking from valve cover gasket, it reduces its capability to provide oil for lubrication to internal engine mechanism. This can lead extreme heat in the engine and can serious damage to engine.

  • Misfiring and rough engine

​Many times if oil started leaking from a valve cover gasket, it starts straight down up to the spark plug and ultimately seeps in the tubes of spark plug.

It can lead to misfire and eventually reduce performance of the engine. There would be the chances of fire also if it will be unrepaired.

In above all the symptoms, the main issues is because of a valve cover gasket which has been punched, broken or applied improperly if it is new. You should get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent the engine from more damage.

​There are some easy steps that you can do it yourself for replacement of valve cover gasket, we have mentioned some easiest steps of replacing valve cover gasket.

How To Replace Valve Cover Gasket?​

  • Step 1

​Before you start the process of replacement, you should first arrange all the require materials like valve cover gasket kit and other tools. Also keep ready soap and hot water for washing and cleaning process.

  • Step 2

​After arranging all the necessary materials, now you should start replacing new valve cover gasket. First step is to remove the intake. You will need screwdriver to loosen up this clamp.

  • Step 3

​Remove solenoid which you may find on the side of the valve cover. It is bolted so you need a proper screw driver to remove it.

  • Step 4

​Disconnect the breather hose and PCV canister, pull off the wires and remove all the wires and spark plug. You should take extra care while removing these wires.

  • Step 5

​Using torx bit, remove the valve cover bolts and their gasket washer ring. They all are must be in the same size so do not require to keep it aside in order.

  • Step 6

This step is optional but it would be better if you pull out some excess oil out of the plug wells. If it has some little oil left, it will burn off once you start the engine. So leave it as it is and move on to the next step.​

  • Step 7

​Get a gasket scrapper and remove all the old gasket material. Put it under sink and run lots of hot soapy water and scrub off thoroughly and make it clean. Ensure to scrub outside also so that it will look clean from outside as well.

  • Step 8

​Let it be dry for sometimes and apply evenly RTV gasket material. Also apply little RTV sealant on the right side of the head and it is advisable to apply it little more in order to seal it properly.

  • Step 9

This step is important, place the valve cover back on the head exactly on that place where you want it and ensure it should not hit with anything. Once the valve cover is back on its place, you should put the bolts back.​

  • Step 10

​At this point, you are almost done. Using socket, replace that solenoid and any other hoses you took off. Replace the breather, intake and PCV line.

After complete all the above steps, let your vehicle relax for 24 hours so that RTV will be cured. If you will start early, it may break seal and ruin the gasket.


This is how gasket works as a soldier in the engine, if it deteriorates, oil will start leaking out. If the oil leaks out, your engine will not be lubricated in a proper way and then serious engine damage can be occurred.

Oil which leaks out through the valve cover gasket, it can fall into the exhaust system and your engine can catch the fire.​

Above are some common valve cover gasket leak symptoms and tips on how to replace valve cover gasket. If you have recognized any of the above symptoms, it can be the warning signs for you and you should take immediate actions.

You should get it repaired by taking help of any mechanic or you should get it replaced if needed.​

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