How to Replace the Valve Cover Gasket in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

If you own a Mercury car it is important to understand what the valves do and how to protect them. In total, the Mercury car has Mercury car valves, all of which are responsible for controlling the flow of fuel into the cylinder. The valve cover is the hero of the valve--it keeps dirt and grime out of the valves and prevents oil leaks. The gasket on the valve cover helps maintain a seal between the outside world and your valves. If the gasket gets old and brittle, you will need to replace it.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Valve Cover Gasket in a Hyundai Sonata

Visit your local automotive parts supply store. Purchase the necessary supplies and tools to complete the maintenance. This maintenance can be performed with parts that are sold at your local automotive parts supply store.

Find a location to perform the maintenance. Allow the car to cool. This can be accomplished by parking the car and letting it sit for several hours.

Lift the hood and disconnect the battery cable before starting the maintenance. Locate and remove the PCV valve connector clamp and the hose. Locate and disconnect the ignition coil wires and plugs. Locate the valve cover gasket bolts and, using a wrench, remove them. Remove the valve cover gasket.

Remove the old gasket. The gasket may be hard to remove. If you find this to be the case, using a flathead screwdriver, gently nudge the gasket to coax it out of the gasket seating area.

Clean clean the gasket seating area with the automotive engine cleaner, scrub brush and clean cloth rag, clearing it of all debris, oil or other particles that may have been left when the old gasket was removed.

Place the new gasket in the gasket seating area. Replace the valve cover and using the wrench tighten the bolts in sequence, starting in the middle and working outward.

Put the parts back into place by reversing the steps used to remove the parts. Make sure that everything is reconnected. Add oil to the car and start the engine. Allow the car to run idle for 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the oil to move to the top of the engine, lubricating the parts as it does.

Items you will need

  • Torque wrench

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Automotive engine cleaner

  • Scrub brush

  • Clean cloth rag

  • Valve cover gasket

  • Valve cover gasket kit

 How to Replace the Valve Cover Gasket on a 2.4L GM

Pop the hood on the engine compartment and make sure the engine is cool. Disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent possible shock. Remove the air outlet using a screwdriver. Loosen the PCV hose clamp at the valve cover with the screwdriver and pull the hose from it. Disconnect the quick connect fitting from the fuel line at the fuel rail.

Remove the fuel line clips from the fuel line bracket. Reposition the fuel feed line out of the way of the valve cover. Remove the bolt from the fuel line bracket using a wrench and take the bracket off. Mark the proper location of each of the wires on the ignition coils using the marker and masking tape and then pull them off.

Remove the wiring harness clips from the valve cover. Remove the valve cover bolts using a socket and ratchet. Pull the valve cover away from the cylinder head. Remove the valve cover gasket from the cylinder head. Use the scraper to remove any gasket material that remains. Clean the cylinder head mounting surface using the rags.

Place a new gasket on the cylinder head. Place the valve cover on the gasket and line it up properly with the cylinder head. Secure the valve cover bolts using the socket and ratchet. Attach the wiring harness clips to the valve cover. Attach the wires to the ignition coils according to the labels you made.

Place the fuel line bracket in place and tighten the bolt with the wrench. Move the fuel line back into place and attach the fuel line clips to the bracket. Connect the quick connect fitting of the fuel line to the fuel rail. Connect the hose to the PCV valve at the valve cover and tighten the clamp with the screwdriver.

Connect the air outlet and tighten the clamp with the screwdriver. Connect the battery cable. Start the engine and check the valve cover for leaking around the new gasket.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Socket set

  • Screwdriver

  • Scraper

  • Marker

  • Masking tape

 How to Replace the Valve Cover Gasket in a Dodge Ram

Find a location that permits this type of maintenance to be performed on site. Some neighborhoods and apartment complexes ban this type of maintenance being performed on the premises. Allow the car engine to cool for several hours prior to starting the maintenance.

Disconnect both battery negative cables. Remove the oil fill cap and the breather cover. Locate and disconnect the breather hose and breather drain tube from the breather housing. Locate and remove valve cover bolts and the cylinder head cover. Remove the old valve cover gasket.

Using automotive engine cleaner and a clean cloth rag, clean the valve cover seating area. Make sure that you remove all particles and debris that collected in the seating area.

Place the new gasket into the gasket seating area. Place the valve cover back into place. Reinstall the bolts. Tighten the valve cover gasket bolts. Do not over-tighten the bolts or the valve cover gasket will not fit correctly.

Reinstall the breather hose to breather. Reinstall the breather drain hose to breather. Reinstall the breather cover and wire harness clip. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Check the oil level in the vehicle. If necessary, add 1 to 2 quarts of oil. Start the engine and allow it to run for 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the oil to move to the top of the engine, lubricating the parts as is moves.

Items you will need

  • 9/16 mm wrench

  • Automotive engine cleaner

  • Clean cloth rag

  • Valve cover gasket

  • Valve cover gasket kit

  • 1 to 2 quarts of motor oil

 How to Replace a Valve Cover Gasket on a Saturn

Removing the Valve Cover Gasket

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal by loosening the retaining bolt and pulling the clamp off the terminal.

Remove the air cleaner. Use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen the steel band clamp that secures the air cleaner outlet duct to the air cleaner. Pull the duct off the air cleaner. There are two bolts on top of the air cleaner. Remove these bolts by hand. There is a third bolt near the outlet duct. Remove this with a socket. Lift the air cleaner assembly off the engine.

Use masking tape and a marker to label and disconnect any vacuum lines attached to the valve cover.

Use a socket to remove the two bolts and washers from the silicone insulators on top of the valve cover.

A steel tube is attached to the valve cover. This is the deaeration line, and it can stay attached to the valve cover. Use a wrench to disconnect the deaeration line from the outlet port on the cylinder head and the support bracket. A small amount of engine coolant may seep out.

Carefully lift the valve cover off the engine. If this is difficult, you may tap the side of the valve cover with a rubber mallet to loosen it. Do not pry between the valve cover and the mating surface on the head. Doing so can distort the mating surface and cause future leaks.

Remove the valve cover gasket. Clean the mating surfaces on the head and on the valve cover with a gasket scraper or a flat razor blade.

Installing the Valve Cover Gasket

Inspect the silicone insulators on the top of the valve cover. Replace them if they are overly worn or damaged

Place a thin bead of RTV silicone on the valve cover mounting flange. Do not place the RTV silicone on the cylinder head. Lay the new gasket on the valve cover mounting flange.

Apply two small beads of RTV silicone on the joints where the cylinder head meets the front engine cover. This is the only place on the cylinder head where you should apply RTV silicone.

Set the valve cover into position on top of the cylinder head.

Thread the two bolts that secure the valve cover to the cylinder head into their holes and tighten to 22 foot-pounds.

Using a wrench, reconnect the deaeration line to the port on the cylinder head and the support bracket.

Following the labels you made during disassembly, reinstall any vacuum lines that were removed from the valve cover.

Drop the air cleaner into position above the engine and reinstall the three bolts that secure it. Slide the air cleaner duct over the outlet port on the air cleaner box and tighten the steel band clamp with a Phillips screwdriver.

Reconnect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal by sliding the clamp over the negative terminal and tightening the retaining bolt.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Socket set

  • Masking tape

  • Marker

  • Gasket scraper or flat razor blade

  • Rubber mallet

  • RTV silicone

  • Replacement gasket

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace Valve Cover Gasket in a Mazda6

Disconnect the battery cable. Remove the PCV Valve and the tubing from the intake. Using the 10mm socket and extension, remove the valve cover gasket bolts.

Remove the valve cover. Remove the old valve cover gasket. This can be accomplished by using a flathead screwdriver and a slight push to pry the old gasket out of the seating area.

Prepare the valve head for resealing. Using automotive engine cleaner and a brush, clean the area where the old gasket previously sat. Remove any particles and oil. Check the corners to ensure that all remnants have been removed from the area.

Place the new valve cover gasket into the seating area. Apply sealant on the valve head. Put the valve cover back in its place. Replace the valve cover gasket bolts in sequence.

Put oil in the car and start the engine. Let the car run for about 10 to 15 minutes allowing the oil to flow to the head.

Items you will need

  • New valve cover

  • 10mm socket

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace the Valve Cover Gaskets on a Harley Davidson Evo Blockhead Engine

Remove the four bolts that secure the rocker cover onto the rocker box using a 12-point socket and ratchet. On some models, the rocker boxes may have Allen head bolts. If your Evo engine has them, use an Allen wrench.

Pull the rocker cover off the rocker box.

Pull the metal gasket off the rocker box and wipe the mating surface of the rocker cover and the rocker box with a clean rag.

Place the new metal gasket onto the rocker box and line up the holes for the bolts.

Place the rocker cover onto the rocker box and secure it using the four bolts, 12-point socket and ratchet.

Duplicate the process on the second cylinder if the rocker gasket leaks on that cylinder.

Items you will need

  • 12-point socket set

  • Allen wrench set (optional)

  • Clean rags

 How do I Replace the Valve Cover Gaskets on a Mercury V6 24 Duratec Engine?

Open and secure the hood of your vehicle. Disconnect the battery cables by loosening the clamps that are located at the base of the battery. Use your socket wrench to loosen the clamps and pull the cables completely out of the engine. While the risk is small, it's always a good idea to disconnect the battery when you are working on the engine.

Loosen the bolts which hold the valve cover to the engine mount. Place your socket wrench over the bolt and turn it counterclockwise.

Pull each of the bolts out of the valve cover when they are loose enough. Place both hands on the valve cover and pull it up and out of the engine.

Peel the valve cover gasket out of the valve cover. Check the valve cover gasket for any signs of abnormal wear and tear. If one side is more worn, it may indicate a serious problem with the valves or valve cover.

Place your new gasket into the valve cover along with strip of valve gasket sealant. Slide the cover back on and replace the bolts.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Clean shop rag

  • Valve cover gasket

 How to Replace the Valve Cover Gasket in a Chevy Corvette

Disconnect the battery cables from the battery terminal, then remove the fuel rail covers.

Twist and remove the spark plug wire boot.

Disconnect the ignition coils and harness connector, and remove the PCV Valve.

Remove the ignition coil bolts and mounting, the generator plug and the ETC plug.

Remove the valve cover bolts and the valve cover. Then, remove the old valve cover gasket and replace it with a new one.

Replace the valve cover. Tighten the valve cover bolts. Reattach the ETC Plug, generator Plug, ignition coil bolts, mounting, PCV valve, spark plug boot, fuel rail covers and the battery cables.

Check the oil level by checking the oil stick. Fill the container until the oil reaches the appropriate level on the oil stick. Start the engine and allow it to run for a short time period.

 How to Replace a Valve Cover Gasket on a Daewoo Lanos

Remove the engine cover. Depending on the year of your Daewoo Lanos, your engine may have a large plastic engine cover that protects some of the moving parts. In order to get to the valve cover, you will need to remove the engine cover first. Unscrew the bolts by turning your socket wrench in a counter clockwise motion.

Pull the engine cover off with your hands once you have removed all the bolts.

Loosen the bolts on the valve cover with a 13mm socket wrench. Turn your socket wrench in a counter clockwise motion in order to loosen the bolts that hold the valve cover to the valve cover mount.

Grasp each side of the valve cover with you hands and pull the cover straight up and out of the engine.

Pull the old gasket out of the valve box.

Examine the valve gasket for any signs of unusual wear or tear. If there is extra wear on a specific section of the gasket it may indicate a more critical problem with the valve or valve cover.

Press your new gasket into the valve cover, making sure that it fits securely.

Replace the valve cover lid.

Replace the bolts that you removed in the first part of the procedure. This time, you will need to turn your socket wrench in a clockwise motion to tighten them.

Replace the engine cover if your model has one.

Items you will need

  • Socket Wrench Set

  • New Gasket

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.