We have talked about the symbol of a leaking valve cover gasket in the previous article. Now let's see how a mechanic will take the time to successfully replace a broken or cracked valve cover gasket. Of course, the steps he or she will take will depend on your particular vehicle. HONGLEI walks you through the general steps a mechanic takes to replace a worn valve cover gasket.
First remove the engine cover. Many engines have plastic covers that cover the entire top. The plastic engine cover will be removed so that your automotive technician has full access to the valve cover.
Continue removing components. For four cylinder engines, after removing any electrical components and emission control tubes, we usually have access to the valve covers. There may be some accelerator linkages that may be in your way, so your mechanic will remove these as needed. For six or eight cylinder engines, the removal of this part will depend on which valve cover gasket has a leakage problem.
When your mechanic has access to the valve cover, he will remove the retaining bolts and then remove the valve cover. The gasket sealing surface is then inspected with a straightedge to ensure that it is flat, secure and reusable.
Now start installing the new gasket. One will place a new valve cover gasket, as well as any new rubber gaskets. If any spark plug tube seals need replacing, they will also be taken care of.
Once the installation process is complete, the mechanic will give the engine a run and look for any leaks before sending you on your way.
When replacing leaking valve cover gaskets, please be aware of the following.
1. The mechanical components of a vehicle's engine usually last longer than the gaskets used to seal the engine. There are many gaskets - including valve cover gaskets - that are easily replaced.
2. Avoid any 'stop leak' products you see in engine oils. They may sound good in theory, but they usually cause more trouble than they are worth. Most of these chemicals and products are not even approved or specified by the equipment manufacturer.
3. Very often, if the vehicle is old enough to have a leaky valve cover, you can also count on other leaks. Therefore, ask your mechanic to carry out a leak check and stop the damage in time.
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