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When we say rocker cover, we don’t mean an AC/DC tribute band. Your rocker covers are what cover the valve train inside your engine. If you look inside your engine bay you can see them on top of the motor. Typically the coils and spark plugs are mounted to them. They keep your oil in the top of the engine and the rocker cover gaskets make sure it stays there.
A rocker cover gasket can be made out of a variety of materials. Anything from steel to rubber to cork, they all do the same thing. As the rocker cover is bolted on, they compress and create an airtight seal to keep oil inside the top of the motor.
If the gasket fails, it can lead to oil leaking down the engine and that can cause other serious problems. Losing oil is not something you want to practice. Not to mention that if the oil leaks onto your exhaust headers, that can lead to smoke and fire.
If your oil level gets low and you notice that there’s oil leaking from around the top of the engine, that’s a good indication. If you notice that there’s smoke coming from the engine and it can be traced back to the rocker covers, then you’ll need a new gasket. If your spark plugs go through the rocker cover, have a look at them and see if there’s oil on the threads.
The mechanic will remove the engine cover and disconnect the spark plugs and coils. They will then disconnect anything else that is connected to the rocker covers. The rocker covers themselves will be unbolted and the mounting surface and rocker covers will be scraped clean of the old gasket. The new gasket will be fitted and the rocker covers rebolted as well as everything else. The engine will then be run, checked and good to go.
It’s not too pricey, mainly because everything is easily accessible from the top of the engine. Expect labour to be the main cost and prices to range from $250 to $650 depending on how many cylinder banks you have.
They don’t fail too often so don’t expect to replace them inside 150,000km.
If oil is leaking out of your engine and smoke is being created from the leak, then it can be. It’s something that is worth replacing if it needs it.
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