What is the rocker cover gasket?

The rocker cover gasket (also known as the valve cover gasket) is an important but often overlooked engine component. Its role is to hold the rocker cover in place, protecting the engine cylinder head and preventing oil from escaping your engine.

The rocker cover gasket is made from rubber or durable plastic and is positioned above the engine cylinder head to prevent oil leaking out of the engine’s valve cover.

Learn more about the rocker cover gasket >


What happens when the gasket is damaged or leaks?

The rocker cover gasket is frequently exposed to high temperatures. This means that it can become brittle and eventually loose its gasket sealing abilities. Sometimes it can even crack. A hardened, damaged, under or over tightened or broken rocker cover gasket will result in oil leaking out of your engine and often all over the rest of your engine and engine bay. Very often this oil will also leak directly onto your engines hot exhaust system which is very dangerous in terms of the fumes and fire risk. 


What are the symptoms of a leaking rocker cover gasket?

There are several symptoms which you can use to identify a leaking rocker cover gasket. These include:

Visible oil leaks – You may notice oil leaking from underneath your vehicle’s engine bay. 

Burning oil smell – If oil is dripping onto your exhaust, it will burn, producing a noticeable smell. 

Engine running hotter – If enough engine oil leaks out the engine may begin to run hotter, and if the engine oil gets too low the engine may start to seize up. If you engine seizes up it is generally more cost effective to put a second hand engine from a car wrecker / dismantler than to recondition your seized engine.  


How important is a rocker cover gasket replacement?

Oil leaking from the engine rocker cover(s) generally finds its way onto the engines hot exhaust pipe or even hotter catalytic converter in the exhaust system. This poses two main dangers:

  1. this hot oil can reach ignition temperature when in contact with your hot exhaust system starting a fire underneath your vehicle.
  2. even if the oil dose not reach ignition temperature the heating of the oil can start to put out toxic and environmentally unfriendly fumes which are very bad for you and your passengers health.

A damaged rocker cover gasket will cause the oil to leak from your engine. An oil leak starves your engine of oil, resulting in damage to the engine over time.

As the engine is depleted of oil, its parts will lose lubrication, resulting in increased friction and heat. This causes premature wear of engine parts, resulting in an expensive repair if left untreated (from a seized or partially seized engine parts).

It can also be quite embarrassing to park on someone’s clean concrete and have your car drip oil stains everywhere!


Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement in Hamilton

If your rocker cover gasket is broken, it will need to be replaced before your engine sustains serious damage. At Grimmer Motors, we can provide reliable and effective gasket replacements for your vehicle. 

For rocket cover gasket diagnostics and replacement in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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