There are various components that are used for sealing the engine. As plenty as they are, it is somewhat understandable why there are certain parts that are often neglected and left unrecognized. One such part is the gasket. This one takes a lot of work and is also a victim of abuse but more often than not, it is forgotten by many. The Volvo valve cover gasket, in particular, takes charge of protecting the head hardware while also keeping oil from escaping from the motor. Commonly made from plastic or cork, it seals the valve cover and the cylinder head.
The valve cover gasket also has its own protection. While that is the case, it is still a very delicate component that can be prone to damage from the sides. The gasket can become brittle over time, thus there is a tendency that it can crack, especially when exposed to heat, debris, dirt, and other elements. The gasket can then lose its integrity, then leak later on. At the worst, it can even lead to total engine failure. Before this even happens, it is best to watch out for signs of a bad valve cover gasket for your ride. Take them as a warning to have the part replaced at once.
Valve Cover Leaks Oil
The technicians will definitely inspect the valve cover during oil change. This is to check that there no oil leaking from the gasket. A dirty cylinder head is the best indicator that there is a problem with the gasket. Since oil has a tendency to collect dirt and debris, there is a chance that the valve cover will leak oil later. This is brought about by a bad valve cover gasket.
Smell of Burning Oil
A valve cover gasket can crack, worn out, or pinch, and when this happens, it will be easy for compressed oil to escape from underneath the valve cover. Take note, too, that when this happens as you run your engine, there is c chance too that excess oil will drip right to cylinder head. This excess oil may even go to the exhaust pipes or through fuel intake. All these hot components can burn oil, producing that smell that any car driver can easily recognize. This is yet another sign of a bad valve cover gasket.
An oil that leaks from a valve cover gasket can leak all the way through the spark plug galley. This will then seep inside the tubes. When this happens, engine performance can be reduced. Likewise, it can also result in fire under the hood, especially if you decide not to send the gasket yet for repair.
Low Oil on Engine
This is a usual occurrence most especially when oil leaks from the valve cover gasket. When this happens every so often, expect the 'Engine Oil Light' warning to appear on the dash. Once the oil is low, it will then diminish the proper lubrication for internal engine parts. This can even result in excessive heat buildup inside the motor, which can later lead to serious engine damage. All of the above circumstances call for immediate replacement of the valve cover gasket. Make sure that your replacement part works the same way as the original.