In tip-top shape, an Audi is a joy to own and ride. Its modern features and performance rank it right up there with other luxury vehicles. However, when things start to wear and tear or an accident causes damage, you may run into some performance issues.
A leaking valve cover is one of those annoying defects that starts out with mild issues that can become serious and possibly dangerous down the line. If you suspect your Audi’s valve cover is leaking even a little bit, you should get it to our licensed mechanics as quickly as possible.
Your Audi's Valve Cover
The valve cover (also called a rocker cover) is an important part of your engine. Made of either plastic or metal, this component is bolted to the top of the cylinder head. The small gap that exists between the head and the cover is sealed with a rubber or cork gasket which keeps the oil contained. This oil is essential for keeping internal engine parts lubricated and functioning properly. Without adequate oil, the engine parts would seize and eventually fail.
5 Signs Your Valve Cover is Leaking
1. Dashboard Lights
Your dashboard warning lights may be the first indicator that anything is going wrong with your vehicle. If you get an oil warning light, this means there is not enough oil pressure. This could be due to a failing valve cover and gasket. The best way to determine what is going wrong under your hood is to have your vehicle inspected by a reliable and trusted mechanic.
2. Low Oil Levels
If you're checking your oil levels regularly and you consistently notice that the level is low, then there’s a really good chance that oil is leaking somewhere. If the oil is leaking via the valve cover you should be able to tell just by looking. If there is indeed a leak from the valve cover, be sure to continue adding ample oil until you can have the cover replaced by a mechanic.
3. Misfiring Engine
If your engine is misfiring, this could be due to a number of things, such as bad spark plugs or a failing fuel system, but a faulty valve cover ranks right up there among common culprits. One of the more common effects that a bad valve cover can have on your engine is leaking oil onto, and possibly into, your spark plugs. If this happens you could be at risk of an engine fire so have your vehicle looked at immediately to be safe.
4. Burning Oil Smell
If you can smell burning oil, you can bet you have an issue somewhere under the hood. If your valve cover is leaking oil until the hot parts of your engines, it could very well be causing the noticeable stench that burning oil makes. If you smell burning oil and cannot visibly see where the oil is leaking, you should definitely get your vehicle into a shop right away for inspection.
5. Leaking Oil
Leaking oil is never a good sign and possibly an indicator that you have a faulty valve cover. One of the best ways to determine if the leak is due to your cover is to look directly in the region where the cover sits. Check closely around the edge of the gasket. If you see even the smallest amount of oil, this is a good sign something is going wrong. It doesn't take long for a small puddle to turn into a big spill. If you allow the valve cover to continue leaking, you can run into all sorts of issues with the belts and hoses. Don't hesitate to have a mechanic take a look if you think you have a leak.
Causes of a Valve Cover Leak
If your valve cover has loose or missing screws or bolts, it could definitely lead to a serious leak. Bolts or screws that are attached too tightly can also lead to complications, such as a broken valve cover.
Over time, your valve could also develop cracks. If this happens, a leak is very likely to occur.
Another cause of a leaking valve cover could be related to the gasket. If the gasket is misshapen or warped, you could end up with a leak.
M Service for Your Audi to Fix a Leaking Valve Cover
If you notice or suspect your valve cover is leaking oil and you live in the Walnut Creek, CA area, bring your Audi into M Service right away. Our expert mechanics will inspect and repair the problem quickly to get you back on the road with confidence in your Audi again.