Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Replacing the valve cover gaskets on your vehicle is often one of the easiest do-it-yourself jobs you can do on your car.  The reason is the valve cover gasket is right up on top of your engine so you don’t need to be laying under your vehicle and if you’re lucky there are very few other components that need to be removed to pull off the valve cover and replace the gasket.

To learn more about why your valve cover might be leaking and how to identify a valve cover gasket leak check out our article on valve cover gasket leaks.

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

  1. Remove any brackets, wiring or equipment cover the valve cover
  2. Remove the ignition coils or spark plug wires if necessary
  3. Remove the valve cover
  4. Replace the valve cover gasket, spark plug tube seals, and any other gaskets or seals on the valve covers or hardware
  5. Use liquid gasket maker like RTV across any seams or on sharp corners
  6. Torque the valve cover bolts to specification
  7. Replace any equipment removed

Helpful Hints:

Once you’ve got equipment moved, and the valve cover bolts loose, you can remove your valve covers.  Inspect them for warping, damage or excessive sludge build up on the bottom side. When installing the new gaskets and spark plug tube seals, be sure to install them facing the correct direction and in the correct valve cover.

Before reinstalling the valve cover with the new gasket, clean the surface of the head and add a small amount of RTV across any seam, like where the head meets the timing cover, and at any sharp corners like at a cam bearing cap to ensure a leak-free seal.

Be careful when installing the valve cover that the new gasket doesn’t snag on any brackets or the spark plug tubes.  Also be careful when guiding the new spark plug tube seals down over the spark plug tubes.

Last, it is important to torque the valve cover bolts all to specification.  Too tight and you could strip the bolts or warp the valve cover causing a leak.  Too loose and you could risk a poor seal again causing a leak due to unequal clamping load on the valve cover.

If the job just ends up being too big, like if you have to remove an intake manifold to the valve cover, consider using BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak to seal the leak instead of replacing the gasket.

You can find BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak, you can find it at one of your local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

Pictures Provided By:

engine_gaskets.jpg – By Denis_prof – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link