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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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  • Auto Repair Parts
    This article will guide you through a generic tune up on most any car or light duty gasoline-powered vehicle built within the last 20 years or so. We will presume that you are tuning up your engine because it has reached the mileage or time point to do so, and that you are NOT performing a tune up to cure an engine performance defect. We make this distinction because not all running/performance issues will be solved via a simple tune up.
  • Auto Repair Parts
    Internal combustion engines are extremely complex and feature a wide array of components that rotate, move up and down, pump, seal, or remain stationary. When repairing or rebuilding your engine, you will come across many different terms when referencing repair manuals and ordering parts. We know it can be confusing, especially when the repair is complex. Even if you are paying a professional to do the work, it’s good to be conversant with the topic. In order to help you understand the terminology of engine components, we’ve created the following glossary, listed in alphabetical order.

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Valve Covers & Components Reviews

Average rating:  4.5  4.6 - 11 reviews
Read All Valve Covers Reviews
5 of 5
2005 Honda Civic / Posted by John (Apo, AE) /

This gasket was everything I needed to prevent my oil from leaking and ever since it hasn't leaked a single drop. Great product and quick shipping as well as always with CARiD.

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