The valve cover is bolted to the top of the cylinder head and is sealed with a gasket to keep oil from leaking onto the outside of the engine. A valve cover gasket generally fails due to deterioration from age. As it begins to fail, it will allow oil to leak down the sides of the cylinder head. This seepage is the first sign of valve cover gasket failure.
Smell or Smoke
If a gasket leaks enough, the oil running down the side of the head will eventually reach the hot exhaust manifold. It will then burn, causing a burnt oil smell and possibly smoke.
Replace the Gasket
You can try tightening the valve cover bolts, but you must be careful not to bend or deform the cover flange. In almost all cases, simply replacing the gasket is the best thing to do.
- Photo Credit Taylor Hinton/iStock/Getty Images
What Are the Symptoms of a Bad PCV Valve?
A PCV valve, or Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve, assists with the evacuation of gases from an internal combustion engine’s crankcase. A bad...
How to Stop Engine Valve Seals From Leaking
A leaking valve seal can contribute to damage or failure in your engine. The most common leak is oil and it will...
Blown Headgasket Symptoms in Honda Accord
Since its introduction in 1976 the Honda Accord has earned a reputation as a reliable vehicle. Regardless, engine problems can occur, especially...
Bad Valve Seals Symptoms
Valves regulate the amount of fuel and air mixture allowed in the cylinders for combustion. While the valves have guides or sleeves...
How to Find a Head Gasket Cover
Think you have a blown head gasket in your car? Get step by step instructions on how to find a head gasket...