What is a Valve Adjustment?
Let’s take this one word at a time. The valve that’s being adjusted is an engine valve. Engine valves are extremely critical parts of your car.
The purpose of the engine valves is simple. Every cylinder in the car’s engine has valves that sit on top of the cylinder. There are intake and exhaust valves. The intake valves let air and fuel (or just air in some cases) into the engine and the exhaust valves let spent gases out.
The camshaft, rocker arms, and valve lifters are responsible for opening the valves, and a spring closes them. Pushrods are also added to the mix on some cars.
But, as is the case with so many things, good things can come to an end. Over time, the space between the valve and the camshaft can change. And when that happens, the timing of the valve system will get all messed up. The valves won’t open and close at the right time, leading to an air and fuel mixture that isn’t quite right, and suddenly the engine isn’t too happy.
So, that brings us to the second half of “valve adjustment”: the adjustment. When the aforementioned issue takes place, it’s time for a valve adjustment. A valve adjustment isn’t actually an adjustment of the valve, but rather of the space between the valve and camshaft, so that the system will function properly.
Many cars have self-adjusting valves. So, if your car is one of those lucky ones, you’re set.