What Is a Valve Cover and How Does It Help Your Engine?

Valve covers are essential components in automobiles that keep oil from leaking out of the upper part of the engine. As such, one of the most common causes of automobile oil leaks are faulty valve covers. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to spot a bad valve cover, as well as know a good source to rely on when you require replacement parts. In this article, we will be discussing this, and more, so that you may have a deeper understanding of valve covers and their use in modern vehicles.

Besides protecting valves from outside contaminants, valve covers also contain an oil that lubricates the valve assembly. As the engine operates, the oil splashes against the valve cover and then drains back through the passageways within the engine head where it eventually flows down into the oil pan. Without a valve cover, the oil would splash all over the upper part of the engine and would not be recirculated back into the engine block to be used again. With various moving parts, engines require an adequate amount of lubricating oil to function properly.

Valve covers are useful on their own, but to be completely effective, they also require a valve cover gasket. With several large protruding holes that attach to the valve train, there is ample space for oil to leak through the loose fit of the mechanism. To minimize leaking and ensure a secure hold, valve cover gaskets, made of either rubber or cork, can be used to create a tight seal between the cover and engine block.

Though valve covers are built to withstand harsh conditions, they are not indestructible and can sometimes crack as a result of heat cycling which causes the cover to repeatedly expand and contract. Valve cover gaskets can also fail as a result of similar processes. In both cases, engine oil will leak out and result in minor problems such as the smell of burning oil, excess oil consumption, and oil leaking into other parts of the engine or onto the ground. Aside from these minor issues, oil leaks pose a serious risk of fire as it could drip onto hot components and ignite. An oil leak can also starve the engine, causing it to run with increased friction, becoming damaged as a result.

These effects are all important signifiers to pay attention to, but physically inspecting the engine head is the only way to definitely confirm that your valve cover or valve cover gasket is broken or malfunctioning. If you have confirmed that your valve cover or valve cover gasket is in need of replacement, you may procure a new part with assistance from our knowledgeable representatives at Cogent Sourcing. As a leading supplier of aviation components, including valve covers and their associated gaskets, we host an inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts that have been tested for their durability and function. If you are interested in the items and services we offer, we invite you to browse the various catalogs featured on our website Additionally, request quotes for your comparisons with ease using our RFQ service, available 24/7x365! 


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