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Gaskets / Sealing Rings auto parts: Valve gasket

How to detect the valve cover gasket failure

To assess the condition of the component, it must be visually inspected. For this you need to dismantle the valve cover. Cracks, warping and breaks, as well as a decrease in the rubber elasticity indicate the necessity to replace the gasket.

You may identify that the valve cover gasket needs diagnosis by the following signs:

  • oil  traces in spark plug wells and on the plug surfaces, as well as in the area of junction of the valve cover and the cylinder head;
  • considerable reduction of the engine oil level after a long-time engine running.

Causes of the valve cover gasket failure

The most common part failure is the loss of flexibility: a hardened gasket cannot securely seal the connection between the cylinder head and the valve cover, and it can crack over time. The change in the initial properties of the part manufacturing material is typically caused by high temperature impact. Frequent engine overheating shortens its service life.

Often, the valve cover gasket malfunction results from the part installation errors. In particular, usage of a poor-quality or unsuitable sealant may lead to the material disruption, and excessive torque when tightening the bolts can result in the component warping.

The valve cover gasket must be capable of sustaining the impact of aggressive components of the engine oil, and of resisting sharp temperature changes. Parts produced from low-quality materials and with violation of manufacturing technologies not only cannot fulfil their functions effectively, but also disrupt prematurely.

Replacement of the valve cover gasket

Sealing elements are consumables, that is why their repair is not performed. The valve cover gasket replacement, unlike the cylinder head gasket, is advised to be performed when it is worn out. A new part mounting is easy to do by yourself. For this, you have to perform the following steps:

  1. Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.
  2. Dismantle the engine cover if necessary.
  3. Disconnect the wire terminals from the spark plugs or disassemble the ignition coils.
  4. Using pliers, squeeze the clamps and disconnect the crankcase ventilation hoses one by one.
  5. Use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp and detach the oil hose.
  6. Detach the cable from the camshaft position sensor.
  7. Dismantle the timing belt cover loosening the corresponding fasteners. This is required to facilitate the further installation.
  8. Dismantle the air filter after loosening the connecting pipe clamp.
  9. Remove the valve cover bolts and carefully disconnect it from the cylinder head.
  10. Remove the old gasket from the grooves and clean its seat from oil, dirt and carbon deposits, degrease it.
  11. Install a new part in the grooves, after greasing the seat with a suitable sealant if this requirement is specified by the automaker.
  12. Complete the assembly performing the procedure in reverse order. The fastening bolts should be tightened with a torque wrench and in the order specified in the car manual.
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Gasket Set, cylinder head cover | FEBI BILSTEIN 23548 Parts Details
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Seal Ring, cylinder head cover bolt | JP GROUP 1212000500 Parts Details
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Seal Ring, cylinder head cover bolt | ELRING 476.820 Parts Details
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