Volkswagens have captured the hearts of drivers around the world for years with their affordable prices and quality vehicles. Keeping service appointments will ensure your Volkswagen stays in top condition and keeps your car on the road where it belongs. If you become complacent, you may see problems develop mechanically in your vehicle.

Reasons For a Failed Valve Cover Gasket

Let’s take a detailed look into reasons of failure of your valve cover gasket failure in your Volkswagen.

1. Loose Bolts on the Cover

The first reason you may have oil leaking out of your valve cover may not be the cause of your gasket at all, but loose valve cover bolts. Over time, these bolts may come loose, allowing oil to bypass the gasket. Any gasket needs a tight seal to function correctly, and loose bolts are a disaster.

2. Brittle or Cracked Valve Cover Gasket

All gaskets given enough time will eventually turn brittle and crack. This is due to your vehicle heating up to high temperatures and cooling down before your next drive. Over the years, this heating and cooling effect will result in gasket failure, especially in cars that are frequently stopped and run several times daily.

3. The Valve Cover is Damaged

Another reason your gasket allows oil to exit your valve cover may be due to the valve cover itself being damaged or cracked. Once this happens, the gasket alone is not enough to retain the oil inside the crankcase, allowing it to spill out of your engine.

4. Poor Service When Replaced

When gaskets are installed, certain precautions must be taken. The surface of the gasket must be spotless of any oil or other debris. If this surface is not completely clean, the new gasket will not hold back the oil from leaking over time. This usually occurs if you have had engine work completed in the past, and the mechanic did not clean the gasket surface properly. It is essential to make sure whoever works on your Volkswagen is a certified professional technician.

5. Suction Jet Pump Clog

Volkswagens are equipped with a suction jet pump. It is this pump’s responsibility is not to allow pressure buildup within the crankcase. When a suction jet bomb becomes clogged, there will be no pressure relief. This will lead to a valve cover gasket failure. Maintaining your Volkswagen with scheduled servicing will prevent issues such as a clogged suction jet pump.

Common Warning Signs of a Failed Valve Cover Gasket

Your valve cover gasket is designed to hold oil inside the crankcase of your vehicle. As the inner workings of your engine, valves, and pistons need to be lubricated, the engine must be able to contain the oil. If a gasket failure occurs, your Volkswagen will lose oil and lead to your engine’s catastrophic failure. Take a look at the list below for warning indicators:

Dirty Valve Covers

If the oil is allowed to seep through your valve covers, the stickiness of the oil will trap and allow dirt to stick to your valve cover. The gathering of oily dirt around your cover is a good sign you may have a valve cover leak.

The Smell of Burning Oil

Leaking oil from your valve cover gasket will eventually find its way to your manifold. Once the oil begins dripping onto the manifold, the unit’s heat will burn the oil and produce a strong smell. Take care that if you do find signs of oil leaking onto the manifold, have your Volkswagen inspected as soon as possible by a professional.

Oil Level is Low

If you do not see any evidence of leaking oil, you may still find out you have a leaking valve cover gasket when you check and find that your oil is low. If this occurs, time needs to be spent finding out why.

Engine Misfire

Another sign you are losing oil through your valve cover gasket is if you begin to have misfires. Leaking oil can sometimes seep down into your spark plugs, fouling one or more plugs, causing a misfire.


Dell’s Service Center: Your VW Experts

If all of this sounds a little scary, don’t worry. At Dell’s Service Center, our highly-qualified mechanics provide quality service and repair. Serving Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay, WI, we take pride in maintaining your Volkswagen or any other European model vehicles.

Our maintenance programs can save you money from catastrophic repairs to your cars. Call us today to schedule your Volkswagen servicing and repairs.

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