The valve cover gasket in your Volkswagen keeps the engine oil-sealed in as it circulates to the valves, camshafts, and rockers, as well as protects the cylinder head and other engine components. Temperatures, road debris, and natural wear and tear can cause the rubber gasket to become brittle over time, causing oil to leak and even the tiniest leak might lead to engine failure if it’s not properly maintained.
Valve cover gasket failure is more common than you think, and If you suspect that yours is leaking oil, visit a professional to help you analyze the issue and take the required actions to inspect and repair your car properly.
Causes of Valve Cover Gasket Failures
There are two major causes of valve gasket failures:
- Extreme weather conditions: This causes the valve cover gasket to deteriorate more quickly than usual.
- Sludge buildup: This problem can be a result of not changing out your oil as frequently as recommended. This causes pressure on the gasket, as the system has to work harder to circulate the oil throughout the engine bay. Keeping your car under cover day and night in extreme temperatures can safeguard your engine to keep it running as designed by Volkswagen.
Warning Signs of This Type of Failure
These are some of the first signs that there is a problem with your valve cover gasket. Check these out and see if your VW is exhibiting any of these symptoms:
- A strong smell of burning oil: Excess oil will spill onto other parts while the engine is running. These parts are heated and will burn the oil, producing a distinct burning oil odor and visible oil smoke.
- The valve cover is coated with dirt and leaking oil: When the valve cover head is really dirty, this is the first sign of a problem. Because oil collects dirt, it appears “caked” on the area where it is leaking. If you peek under the hood of your Volkswagen and see a dirty valve cover, it’s most likely due to a leaky gasket.
- Low engine oil level: Every leak in the oil pan reduces the oil level. If this happens regularly, the oil light on your dashboard may appear. Additionally, inadequate engine oil reduces the engine’s ability to adequately lubricate internal engine components. Above all, this can lead to the engine overheating, resulting in significant engine damage.
- Misfiring or noisy engine: Oil can occasionally leak down to the spark plug and eventually seep into its tubes. This will result in a misfire or a reduction in engine performance, or even worse, if left unattended, it can result in a fire under your hood.
The valve cover gasket is usually easy to spot because it’s the engine’s topmost seal. If you suspect problems, you should have your Volkswagen checked and serviced as soon as possible. If you see any missing bolts or cracks in your engine, don’t try to drive it. Driving your VW can cause more engine damage or complete failure. It can also be a safety problem for you and your passengers.
Repairing a Failing Volkswagen Valve Cover Gasket
The good news is that most valve cover gasket failures can be repaired and your car will operate just as well, if not better after the simple rubber gasket is replaced.
While the gasket is a basic component, the procedure for replacing it is difficult. Unlike easy routine maintenance such as changing the oil or installing an air filter, replacing the valve cover gasket necessitates the removal of many engine components.
Instead of performing this repair on your own, it is strongly recommended that you use skilled and experienced specialists to ensure that the job is completed fully and correctly.
World Class Auto is Up to the Task
At World Class Auto, we assist drivers in and around Boca Raton, FL to take better care of their European automobiles without the expensive expenses, long wait times, or impersonal service. Our factory-trained experienced mechanics will promptly inspect, diagnose and service your car so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible. To make an appointment, please call our shop and one of our friendly technicians will be pleased to speak with you about your car needs.