Volkswagen vehicles are reliable and dependable with safety features, comfortable interiors, and streamlined exteriors. When you drive a Volkswagen, you know that you can trust it to get you from one point to another.
To maintain the reliability of your Volkswagen, you need to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule. Even when you do, there are times when select parts can fail unexpectedly. One such part is the valve cover gasket. Continue reading to discover the function of the valve cover gasket, signs that the valve cover gasket has failed, and where to go to get it fixed.
The Function of the Valve Cover Gasket
On the top portion of the engine cylinder head, there is a valve cover that is sealed into place by the valve cover gasket. The valve cover gasket is responsible for securing the engine oil that circulates through the engine.
In addition to keeping the engine oil in place, the valve cover gasket houses some of the spark plug ports. Depending on the make, model, and year of your Volkswagen, the valve cover gasket is either made from a liquid or rubber material. Both were designed to be equal in strength but can be damaged just the same.
As you can see, the valve cover gasket is necessary to ensure that the engine always has the engine oil it needs to properly function.
Signs of Valve Cover Gasket Failure
The valve cover gasket needs to be sturdy to ensure your Volkswagen continues to have the engine oil it requires. The best way to keep it this way is by knowing what signs to look for when the valve cover gasket begins to fail.
The first sign is a burning oil smell. With a cracked, worn, or broken valve cover gasket, the engine oil leaks out. As it leaks, the engine oil drips onto hot engine parts, burning almost instantly. The engine oil continues to leak if the valve cover gasket failure is not addressed. You will smell the burning oil every time you drive your Volkswagen. This burning oil smell is the first indicator that the valve cover gasket has failed.
The next sign to be aware of is a dirty valve cover gasket. Engine oil can be sticky, so when it leaks out of the valve cover gasket, debris and dirt easily cling to it. Some engine oil drips onto the hot engine parts, as discussed above, while some oil collects around the gasket itself. The dirt and debris create a “caked” appearance.
This sign is an easy one to identify because you can see it when you look under the hood of your Volkswagen. If you are skilled in vehicle repair, then you can attempt to clean the gasket, but if not, it is best to leave this to the professionals.
Another sign to be aware of is the low engine oil warning light. Your Volkswagen has a central computer that uses sensors throughout your vehicle to alert you to any problem. One of those sensors is responsible for monitoring the engine oil level. When it becomes low, you are notified via the light illuminated on your dashboard.
If you are constantly filling up the engine oil and the light remains on, then you know there is a valve cover gasket failure because the valve cover gasket is not keeping the oil in the system.
One last sign to look for is your engine running roughly or causing misfires. When the engine oil is leaking from the valve cover gasket, it has the potential to seep down the spark plug galley and into the spark plug tubes. When the engine oil interferes with the spark plugs, misfires occur because the engine is not receiving the consistent sparks that it requires. When you notice your Volkswagen misfiring, then you know that the valve cover gasket has failed.
Fixing the Valve Cover Gasket
Once you notice any of the above-mentioned signs of valve cover gasket failure, then you know it is time to bring your Volkswagen into your trusted mechanics at Heynneman European.
We are easily accessible from the areas of Larkspur, Kentfield, Corte, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and San Rafael, CA. We always have certified technicians available to service your Volkswagen when you come in at your scheduled appointment time. You will be happy with the excellent customer service and repairs received at Heynneman European. We look forward to earning your patronage for your future Volkswagen needs.