Located right on top of the cylinder head is a part called the valve cover. In this guide, you’ll learn about valve covers and why they’re important.
What is a Valve Cover?
The valve cover, which is sometimes called a rocker cover, is an important component of the engine. It’s a plastic or metal component that is bolted to the top of the cylinder head.
The gap between the valve cover and the cylinder head is sealed by a valve cover gasket. The whole setup keeps oil inside the engine, which is important to the engine’s overall health and performance.
Why a Cracked or Loose Valve Cover is Bad News
When a valve cover is cracked or loose, oil leaks out. When there’s not enough oil in the engine, the engine will eventually self-destruct. More specifically:
- Extreme engine wear: Without enough oil, there’s excess friction between the fast moving parts that should be lubricated well. That wears down the parts and will eventually break them.
- Overheating: Not only does oil lubricate the parts inside your engine, but it also helps keep the engine cool. When there’s not enough oil, the engine will overheat.
The bottom line: a leaking valve cover leads to serious engine issues.
Symptoms of a Cracked or Loose Valve Cover
If you think oil might be leaking out of your engine’s valve cover, keep an eye out for the most common symptoms:
- Engine running rough
- Reduced engine power
- Burning oil smell
- Dirt and debris covering the valve cover
- Oil spots on your garage floor
How Much Does a Replacement Valve Cover Cost?
There’s no good reason to put off a valve cover replacement. It's a simple fix and replacement valve covers don’t have to be expensive. If you order a genuine OEM GM valve cover from us, you’ll save a lot of money. Look up your vehicle in our catalog to see if we have a valve cover for you at a steep discount. You can also see if your vehicle is in this list of our most popular valve covers: