There are a bunch of different gaskets that sit within the general vicinity of your car’s engine. Most people are at least relatively familiar with what’s called the head gasket. But there is also an intake manifold gasket, an exhaust manifold gasket, and a valve cover gasket. All of these gaskets play very important roles in your car, but today, we’re going to discuss the valve cover gasket and what it does to keep your engine humming along. We’re also going to talk about what the valve cover gasket replacement cost will be if yours ever goes bad on you. Find out all about the valve cover gasket below.
What Is a Valve Cover Gasket?
To begin, let’s make sure that you’re clear on what exactly a valve cover gasket is. There is a valve cover that sits right on top of your engine’s cylinder head. In between the valve cover and the cylinder head, there is a valve cover gasket that is designed to keep all the oil in your engine inside of it. Valve cover gaskets are made out of molded rubber, and they’re tailored to fit perfectly when they’re first installed.
Why Is a Valve Cover Gasket Important?
In the grand scheme of things, it might not seem as though the valve cover gasket is that important compared to some of the other parts and gaskets that surround it. But in reality, your car’s valve cover gasket is more important than you probably realize. It’s put into place to stop oil from leaking out of your engine as it travels through it.
The good news is that your valve cover gasket is able to do this with ease when it’s constructed properly and put into place in the right way. But over time, it’s not uncommon for a valve cover gasket to begin to break down. When this happens, it can allow some oil to leak out of your car if you’re not careful. It can also result in your engine performance suffering. It’s why most mechanics will actually tell you that a bad valve cover gasket is one of the worst problems that you can have with your car’s engine.
You obviously aren’t going to come into contact with your car’s valve cover gasket much, if at all. It’s not an aspect of your car that you’re going to see much, even if you spend a ton of time with your hood open. But it is an essential part of your engine, and you will need to pay the valve cover gasket replacement cost to have a new one installed in your vehicle if yours ever goes bad.
How Long Does a Valve Cover Gasket Last?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how long a valve cover gasket will last you. Valve cover gaskets don’t move around at all, so they’re not going to wear down like a lot of other parts in your car. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t ever going to have to replace a valve cover gasket. Over time, the rubber that makes up your valve cover gasket can begin to break down and degrade so much that it’ll lead to oil from your car leaking.
How long will it take your valve cover gasket to reach this point? It’s really hard to say. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the valve cover gasket replacement cost more than once or maybe twice throughout the lifetime of your car. You can also extend the life of a part like your valve cover gasket and avoid the valve cover gasket replacement cost by learning more about what causes it to break down and leak in the first place.
What Causes a Valve Cover Gasket to Leak?
There are a handful of things that could potentially cause your car’s valve cover gasket to start leaking on you. You should keep an eye out for them and consider paying the valve cover gasket replacement cost if you ever notice any of them taking a toll on your valve cover gasket.
More often than not, it’s the environment in which you drive and park your car that’s going to play the biggest part in its demise. If you live in a place that gets very hot and/or cold, it can lead to your valve cover gasket shrinking, cracking, or even rotting over the years. Additionally, there are also a few bolts that hold your valve cover tight that can come loose and allow dirt and debris to get into your valve cover gasket. This can result in your valve cover gasket breaking down sooner than expected, and it can also allow oil to leak from your car without warning.
You might not be able to steer clear of your car’s valve cover gasket falling apart. But you can monitor it based on the conditions in which you live and consider replacing it more often if you subject it to extreme conditions on a regular basis.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Valve Cover Gasket?
It’s not usually going to be all that difficult for you to tell when you have a bad valve cover gasket on your hands. There are going to be certain symptoms that will rear their ugly heads when you have a bad valve cover gasket in your vehicle. You should be on the lookout for them at all times so that you don’t end up with a bigger problem than just a bad valve cover gasket.
First and foremost, you should always, always, always look out for any oil leaking under your car. If your car seems to have sprung an oil leak, it could be your valve cover gasket to blame. The only way to get it to stop will be to pay the valve cover gasket replacement cost right away.
If you have a bad valve cover gasket, you might also smell something burning under your hood when you drive. This typically takes place when oil is leaking out of your car and landing on other car parts as opposed to working its way down to the ground. It’ll be your job to spring into action and pay the valve cover gasket replacement cost to stop oil from leaking out of your car.
Can You Drive Around With a Bad Valve Cover Gasket?
If you notice that your car appears to be leaking oil and you suspect that you might be dealing with a bad valve cover gasket, you should ideally drive it right down to your mechanic to have it fixed. But if you can’t afford to do it right away for one reason or another, you can get away with driving a car around with a bad valve cover gasket for a little while.
That being said, driving your car with a bad valve cover gasket is going to allow oil to keep on leaking from it. This is, of course, not going to be good for your car over the long term. It’ll eventually lead to your car running out of oil and put your engine in harm’s way. It could also do damage to everything from your coolant hoses to your spark plug wells if oil leaks onto or inside of them.
Outside of these things, you’re also going to find it difficult to drive your car with a bad valve cover gasket if it always smells like burning oil. It’s going to be uncomfortable for you and your passengers, and you’re also going to lose the peace of mind you usually have when you’re behind the wheel of your car. It’s why paying the valve cover gasket replacement cost to fix your bad valve cover gasket is really your only option.
Who Should Perform Valve Cover Gasket Replacement for You?
In the event that you need to have a valve cover gasket replaced, you shouldn’t attempt to perform the job yourself. You also shouldn’t trust just any old mechanic to get the job done since it’s one of the more complicated jobs involving your engine. Instead, you should rely on an ASE-certified mechanic to perform valve cover gasket replacement for you. This might increase your total valve cover gasket replacement cost just a bit, but it’ll be well worth it to take this approach.
To start, a mechanic should inspect your car to see if you do, in fact, have a bad valve cover gasket. They should then work their way through the process of replacing your valve cover gasket properly so that they’re able to install a new one the right way. This will stop your car from leaking oil once and for all and ensure your car is ready to drive again once they’re finished.
How Much Will Valve Cover Gasket Replacement Cost?
Replacing a bad valve cover gasket isn’t necessarily the most expensive engine repair job on the planet. But it is going to require you to make a small investment into your car when you have valve cover gasket replacement done. The valve cover gasket replacement cost tends to fall somewhere between $240 and $320 in most situations. The valve cover gasket itself will cost well below $100, but the labor associated with the job can run you more than $200 at times.
The valve cover gasket replacement cost may deter some people from driving their car down to a mechanic to have it looked at. But at the end of the day, paying a few hundred dollars to have a bad valve cover gasket replaced could prevent you from encountering more serious issues with your car’s engine. It can also prevent your car from continuing to leak oil in the days and weeks to come.
Is the Valve Cover Gasket Replacement Cost Worth It?
If you have a few auto repair jobs that need to be done to your car right now, you might be wondering whether or not valve cover gasket replacement is ultimately going to be worth it. Should you really pay hundreds of dollars to take care of the valve cover gasket replacement cost? The answer is an unequivocal “yes!”
Sure, you could carry a case of engine oil around with you in your car and fill your car up with it over and over again. It’s an option that some people try when they don’t want to pay the valve cover gasket replacement cost. But it’s not going to be too long before that gets old. And when it does, there is a decent chance you’ll end up riding around in your car with next to no oil in it.
Rather than putting your car at risk by not facing the valve cover gasket replacement cost head on, you should push this particular repair job to the top of your to-do list. It’ll be one less thing you have to worry about as far as your car’s overall well-being is concerned. And once you’re done doing this job, it’s not something that you’re going to have to do again anytime soon.
Can You Get Rid of a Car With a Bad Valve Cover Gasket?
Is your car on its way out and not worth repairing at this point in time? If so, you may not want to have to face the valve cover gasket replacement cost. Your car might not be worth enough to justify spending several hundred dollars on it to put a new valve cover gasket into place, especially if there are other problems with your engine.
When this is the case, you should know that there is another option for you. You can sidestep the valve cover gasket replacement cost by selling your car to junk car buyers. Cash Cars Buyer is one example of a company that will provide you with cash for your car, even if it needs a new valve cover gasket. We buy cars in almost any condition and promise to pay top dollar for them.
Want to learn more about how you can get an offer for your car from us instead of paying the valve cover gasket replacement cost? Reach out to us to get additional information on how it works.