Valve covers, also called rocker arm covers, keep oil inside the engine and dirt and debris out. They are commonly constructed from plastic or metal and the latter may be painted or chrome plated. Aluminum covers can be cast with decorative fins, and make, model, or engine size script. Valve covers seal to the top of the cylinder head over the valvetrain area with gaskets and usually have mountings for the PCV valve, oil filler or breather caps.

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A considerable amount of oil is pumped to the top of the cylinder head to lubricate the valvetrain. But valve cover gaskets can harden with age and continual exposure to heat, resulting in some of this oil leaking out and onto the engine. The valve covers can also warp, and plastic valve covers can crack, which can also cause oil leaks. Leaking oil not only makes your dipstick read low, it can be dangerous if it leaks onto a hot exhaust manifold.

Replacing a valve cover and/or gasket is not a difficult job. The hardest part will be removing/disconnecting the various wires, hoses, cables, etc. that are in the way. After removing the valve cover fasteners you may have to tap the cover with a rubber mallet to loosen it. Carefully remove the old gasket material from the cylinder head, and the cover if it will be reused, being careful not to drop old gasket or anything else into the engine. Clean all parts thoroughly and only use sealant where recommended. When installing the cover, only tighten the fasteners to the recommended torque specification.

Valve covers are common engine dress up parts. If you have a plastic valve cover, you may be able to upgrade to a metal one, and if you have a plain stamped steel cover, you may find that there’s a stylish aluminum alternative. In addition to adding style, sometimes there are practical purposes for upgrading. Some modifications like performance rocker arms require more clearance than the stock valve covers can provide, necessitating installation of taller valve covers. No matter whether you’re looking for stock replacement or performance valve covers, we are your one-stop shop.

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Valve Covers & Components Reviews

Average rating:  4.5  4.7 - 14 reviews
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5 of 5
Easy Install
Works well, easy install.
PPosted by Payton (Webb City, MO) /
1998 Audi A4
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