A car’s engine is a delicate piece of equipment that experiences a lot of wear and tear with time. That is why after completing a certain mileage, it becomes susceptible to various issues.
One of the primary issues that an engine suffers from is leaks. These can take place due to many different external and internal reasons. The most common leaks that take place in a vehicle originates from valve cover gaskets.
If you’re looking to learn more about valve cover gasket leak symptoms, your search ends now. In this guide, we will explain to you everything about issues due to this piece of equipment.
What Is A Valve Cover Gasket?
Before we dive into the specifics of valve cover gasket leak symptoms, you must understand this equipment. A typical engine is made up of various components which allow smooth functioning of the vehicle.
The key thing to note is that all components have to be sealed adequately, or else fluid loss will take place. Gaskets are the primary piece of equipment that serves as a seal and protective cover. In the past, they were made up of corks and rubber.
However, now gaskets are constructed from plastic or special fiberglass materials. A particular region that requires a seal in a vehicle is the engine cylinder head and valve cover. The gasket that comes between them is called valve cover gaskets.
Top 4 Valve Cover Gasket Leak Symptoms
A valve cover gasket provides a sturdy seal and does not allow any fluid loss in the engine. However, with time they can malfunction and deteriorate, which can cause you trouble.
The good news is that you can catch the leak early due to noticeable signs. Here are the top four-valve cover gasket leak symptoms that will help you fix the issue before severe damage:
- Foul Smell
When a valve cover gasket is not working correctly, the oil from the region seeps to different places. For instance, it can reach the cylinder head, exhaust pipes, and much more.
The key thing to note is that all the surfaces that oil seeps into are hot when the car is running. As a result, the fluid starts cooking, which provides a foul smell.
As the oil starts to burn, you will be able to smell a distinctive odor inside the car. In such a situation, you must call a mechanic and get your vehicle inspected. If you ignore the smell, keep in mind, you will be in for bigger trouble.
- Dirty Valve Cover
This is one of the easily identifiable valve cover gasket leak symptoms that anyone can recognize. If you get your vehicle’s oil changed frequently, this symptom will be an early warning sign.
When a technician changes your car’s oil, they tend to check the valve cover gaskets as well to see if they are working well. If the component is leaking oil, it will result in dirty cylinder heads and valve covers.
A technician can easily recognize the region because of the caked oil appearance. You can also look under your hood every once in a while to check the valve covers yourself. If they appear dirty, you must take your car to a mechanic because your gasket is most likely failing.
- Low Engine Oil
A vehicle’s engine is designed to operate smoothly when a specific amount of oil is present. This is because the fluid acts as a lubricant and allows the different components to work in harmony. When oil leaks from the valve cover gaskets, the total capacity in your engine will decrease.
Eventually, there will come a time when the engine oil level will be dangerously low. In such a case, a light on your vehicle will appear, which may tell you to check the engine.
When the warning light appears, keep in mind it will not go away until the issue is fixed. Besides that, you should not ignore thinking it does not mean anything. This is because low engine oil can cause other parts of the engine to face damage.
- Engine Misfire
A valve cover gasket prevents oil from reaching various parts of the engine that does not work well in the presence of fluid. When a leak takes place, this protection is no longer offered, and oil reaches areas where it should not be present.
One of the particular regions that oil can seep into is the area in an engine that stores spark plugs. When fluid accumulates in this spot, various issues can take place, including engine misfires.
Besides that, the performance of your engine will also reduce due to oil leakage. Another thing you should keep in mind is that you must get the issue repaired immediately. Otherwise, fire under your hood can occur and cause major damage to the vehicle and you.
What Causes Valve Cover Gasket Leaks?
Now that you understand the valve cover gasket leak symptoms, you may be wondering why the leak takes place in the first place. If so, then here are some causes to help you understand better:
- Poor Maintenance
As a car owner, you must ensure that the oil of your engine is changed frequently. This is because fresh fluid contains various essential elements that the engine requires for smooth functioning.
When you don’t maintain your vehicle and change oil regularly, the engine runs out of the essential elements. Due to this, the valve cover gaskets become susceptible to wear and tear.
A car can overheat because of many reasons, such as the radiator fan not working, wiring issues, and much more. When the temperature of your vehicle rises above the average value, the valve cover gaskets face stress. This breaks the firm seal they provide, and eventually, leaks occur.
This is everything you need to know about the top four-valve gasket leak symptoms. This issue can result in various problems, some of which are more severe than others. That is why you must always keep an eye out for these four-valve gasket leak symptoms. Once you do that, you can prevent your car from serious damage.
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