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Is A Valve Cover Gasket Leak Serious?

The short answer, absolutely!

The unsung hero of your engine is the valve cover gasket. This little gasket endures abuse from your engine with every stop, bump, speed, weather, and anything else you can imagine and that is all just from the outside of the engine. The pressure and heat that this little valve cover gasket holds at bay while collecting “gunk” from your engine – it is amazing that one little piece of rubber can do the job.

But make no mistake that this gasket is one of the most important gaskets in your entire engine. And if you notice that there is a leak coming from it, there could be a serious problem in your future.

Even though this gasket seems to be well protected by the engine, just like with anything in a mechanical item, after a while parts start to wear out and need to be replaced. As with most parts in your car there are warning signs prior to failure that if caught can save you a massive headache and save you money too!

When this gasket has lost its integrity and leak begins to leak, which can potentially cause cosmetic issues like leaking oil. Or, on a more serious note, it can cause drivability problems and reduced engine performance. If not properly replaced by an ASE certified mechanic before it is too late, a bad valve cover gasket can lead to complete and utter engine failure.

The warning signs we mentioned earlier are fairly simple. If you heed these signs, you should contact us at German Imports Car Care, as soon as possible so we can replace the valve cover gasket if needed.

Burning Oil Smell

 If you notice that while your engine is running or right after you shut it off you notice that you can smell burning oil, this can be a sign that you have a cracked or worn out gasket. This happens because when the engine is running the extra oil will drip from the engine to the cylinder head or even the fuel intake, which are all very hot when the car is running. When it leaks the oil hits these very hot engine parts and fumes the burnt smell.

Low on Oil

We always try to encourage our customers to check their oil dip stick periodically to ensure that their engine isn’t running low on oil between changes. If you check your oil dip stick and see that you are running low on oil, or that your engine seems to be “going through” oil a lot faster than normal – this is a great indication that you have a leak in your system that could relate back to your gasket failing.

Extra Dirty Engine

As we all know, engines are dirty. It seems like you can’t even refill the windshield fluid without getting some grease or dirt on your hands. But if you open your hood and your engine, especially around where the valve cover is, this is a good sign that you have a leak and it is pushing oil out from the inside of the engine to the outside…not good.

We can help you narrow down and identify the possible serious issues that can arise if your valve cover gasket is leaking or worn out. Call us today to schedule an appointment with us to have your engine and gasket inspected by us at German Imports Car Care.

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