Openbay makes auto repair and service simple.

Compare estimates. Choose a shop. Schedule an appointment. Pay securely online.

How Openbay works

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

What is a valve cover gasket?

A valve cover gasket seals the valve cover to the top portion of the engine cylinder head. The gasket prevents motor oil from leaking out as it travels around the camshafts, rockers and valves. In addition, many spark plug ports are sealed by the valve cover gasket. In the majority of modern engines, two style of gaskets are prevalent – liquid gaskets and formed rubber gaskets. The choice of gasket will depend on the material used in the construction of the valve cover, and how much pressure the seal might be under.

What are the symptoms of a faulty valve cover gasket?

Loss of motor oil is always a concern. Having said that, the oil leaking down from the valve cover tends to soak parts on the motor. Oil is acidic, and will eat through rubber and plastic over time, causing additional problems outside of loss of oil. The portion of the gasket that seals off the spark plug port is particularly weak, and over time will let in oil where the ignition wire or coil meets the plug. Although unseen, this leak may cause an engine misfire, leading to serious problems.

How severe is a faulty valve cover gasket?

Significant. This is not a repair that will leave you on the side of the road, at least if not ignored interminably. However, if you plan to drive your car for many years and high mileage, taking care of small leaks helps to extend engine life. Plan the repair before the leak reaches the point where oil level is critically low, meaning if you are adding more than a quart every once in a while. Find a good mechanic, one who has experience in engine repair, and set an appointment.

Get service estimates for Valve Cover Gasket Replacement from nearby shops

What is the typical cost for Valve Cover Gasket Replacement?

  • Estimated part(s) cost $10–$40
  • Estimated labor cost $100–$300
Estimated total cost $110–$340

On a happy note, the gasket will be relatively inexpensive. Depending if it’s a liquid gasket or a pre-formed rubber gasket, price will run between $10–$40. Installation can vary greatly with the make and model of vehicle. Most valve covers are very accessible, and the labor time will be in the $100 range. Some covers need the removal of turbo plumbing and intake components removed to gain access. Labor prices in these instances can reach into the $200–$300.

Keep in mind, pricing will vary by location and your vehicle make and model. Save time by using Openbay to compare pricing and book an appointment with a qualified repair shop in your area.

Service article written by an ASE Master Technician

Get estimates from nearby shops

How Openbay Works

  • Tell us about your auto service needs

    Openbay offers hundreds of maintenance, diagnostic, and repair services: from oil changes and brake jobs, to major suspension, electrical, and engine work. If you're not sure, describe the problem and we'll make recommendations.

  • Get estimates from nearby shops

    We get you detailed service estimates from our network of thousands of auto shops — usually within a few seconds. Compare on price, location, ratings, amenities, and more.

  • Book and pay securely online

    Once you choose a shop, book an appointment that fits your schedule. When service is complete, you authorize Openbay to make a contactless payment with your saved card.

  • Earn Openbay Rewards

    When you complete a service, you earn 1% of the invoice total as Openbay Rewards. They're instantly added to your account for use on your next service.

  • Manage your maintenance history

    When you create an account, your service history and upcoming appointments are always available online. Time to clean out the glove box!