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Cars have a lot of fluids. There’s oil, coolant, and brake fluid, just to name a few. So, if you see a leak, you won’t be able to tell what is immediately wrong. But, you should be able to tell that something is wrong. That something could be the valve cover gasket. The valve cover seals in the motor oil, which means that when the gasket breaks, the oil will start leaking out. When that happens, it may end up under your car, where you should be able to notice it.
If a broken valve cover gasket leads to oil leaks, what do you think that might mean for your oil level? It's good to get in the habit of checking your fluid levels. It only takes a few minutes, and it can help you catch issues before they become bigger, more expensive issues. If you notice that your car is getting low on oil, it could be due to a leak. And that leak could be from the valve cover gasket.
While the oil that leaks out from a broken valve cover gasket often falls straight to the ground, it can also end up going into the wrong parts of the engine. It’s fairly common for motor oil to leak onto your car’s spark plugs if the seal in the valve cover isn’t functioning properly. When that happens, your engine is likely to start misfiring. You’ll notice it in the form of poor performance when you’re accelerating, and also a gunshot-like noise.
We all know that leaks are bad, and so are mysterious burning smells. If your car smells funny, something is most likely wrong. Unless it's coming from your bag of gym clothes. When oil leaks through a broken valve cover gasket, it often drips onto the engine, where it burns. So, if your nose picks up a weird burning scent, you might have a valve cover gasket issue.
If your car has a valve cover gasket that isn’t doing it’s job, it’s still safe to drive, as long as you still have a decent level of oil. Now, that doesn’t mean the repair isn’t urgent. Oil dripping onto the engine can cause damage, and the smell and performance of the car won’t be great, so you should get it replaced sooner than later.
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