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Valve Cover: Preventing Oil Leaks

Owning a car is anybody's dream come true. However, it doesn't just mean that when you have a car and you are able to flaunt and drive it around, and your responsibility ends there. It is important to know every tiny detail about your vehicle.

What if it suddenly stops in the middle of the road, would you know how to fix it? And even if you don't end up in the middle of the highway, you still need to know every vehicle and engine part so that when there are slight problems, you would easily detect and fix them. Or if you don't have a mechanic's hands, and then refer your car to an automobile mechanic. At least you avoid larger problems simply by knowing the overall motion of the vehicle.

The Engine Parts

Your vehicle is being run by an engine. The engine itself consists of different parts that include the intake valve, valve cover, exhaust valve, exhaust port, head, intake port, coolant, engine block, oil pan, crankshaft, oil sump, spark plug, piston, rod bearing, and the connecting rod. Among these parts, the valves are the ones that are responsible in letting the air and fuel in and letting the exhaust out. With the proper timing, the intake and exhaust valves open and close during combustion and compression. The valve trains are the mechanism that opens and closes. It has valve springs, rocker arms, lifters, push rods. A cam would be included in vehicles that have an overhead cam engine. The valve train is a vital part of the whole system of the engine, which is covered by the valve covers.

Valve Cover
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The Covers

The valve covers are long metal lids that wrap the valve trains. They are mounted on top of the engine cylinders that typically cover the oil from spilling out into the rocker arms. It also protects contaminants from getting into the oil so that the oil does not turn into a liquid abrasive later on. In order to adjust the valves, the valve covers may be removed. Underneath the valve covers, oil is scattered after the pushrods are pushed up. This acts as the lubricant for the rocker arms. Holes may be found in various places in the engine head so that the oil can circumvent back down into the oil pan. This is why the valve covers has to be tightly oiled.

Problems with Valve Covers

There are times that the valve covers are over-tightened. This problem was almost present on older cars when the valve covers were overly tightened. After some time, it causes the valve cover to bend. This happens because the valve cover is made from a very thin sheet of metal, and when it is already bent, it becomes the primary source of oil leaks. It should be immediately replaced with new valve covers.

Some Helpful Tips

The valve cover is an important engine part. It helps keep oil inside the engine cylinder head and protects the oil supply of the engine from contaminants. It is also helpful in preventing fluid or oil from leaking out. It is therefore essential to keep the valve cover in top shape. Simple cleaning with a rag, an all-purpose, or non-toxic cleaner will do. Some would even use industrial salt to clear the valve cover with clusters of engine oil residue. Replacing the PCV valve and the gaskets regularly could likewise prolong the life of the valve covers.

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