Can a Bad Valve Cover Gasket Cause Overheating?

Can a Bad Valve Cover Gasket Cause Overheating

An important component of an engine is the valve cover gasket and its main purpose in the engine is to act as a seal that keeps fluid in the cylinder and valve from flowing out.

A valve cover can go bad due to a lot of reasons that can result in leakage. The question now is, Can a bad valve cover gasket cause overheating.

Yes, a bad valve cover can cause overheating, however, this is not often the case. Overheating due to a bad valve cover gasket will depend on the severity of the leakage.

What is Overheating in a Car?

Overheating in a car happens when the heat generated by the engine is trapped inside with no way of escaping. This tends to happen when there is a problem with the cooling system and some other part of the engine, the cooling system is responsible for removing excess heat from the engine enabling it to run at a normal temperature.

A car engine that is overheated isn’t hard to recognize as there are signs to let you know what the problem is. Some signs to look out for are; strange smells coming from the front of the car, and steam also coming from the same direction usually under the hood. You can also tell from the engine temperature gauge on the dashboard.

When you realize that your car is overheating, the first thing that usually comes to mind is to pull over somewhere, and rightfully so. It is not safe to keep driving around with an overheated engine.

What are the Dangers of Overheating in a Car?

When your engine overheats and you don’t take action immediately, you put your car in danger of developing other problems.

An overheated engine leaves you in danger of having a twisted and deformed piston and cylinder. A piston imparts motion in the engine by compressing air and fuel inside the cylinder, this motion is what powers the car.

Every cylinder in the engine has a piston. This piston and even the cylinder walls can be deformed by the excess heat generated by the engine.

Overheating can result in a cracked engine block. The engine block is there to support the engine’s component and can last a very long time.

Overheating causes the engine to crack when it expands and contracts. The crack in turn leads to oil leakage and more overheating. A cracked engine block is something you should avoid dealing it.

It could cause the gasket head to go bad. The gasket head serves as a seal that prevents the fluids in the engine from mixing by keeping them in their various compartment and also ensures that the fluids are channeled correctly.

When the gasket head gets spoilt, there’s nothing separating the fluid which results in leakage. You do not want to go around with a leaking gasket head, it is unsafe.

All these dangers can be prevented if you do not ignore signs of overheating in your car.

Can a Bad Valve Cover Gasket Cause Overheating?

Yes, a bad valve cover gasket can cause overheating, but this is on rear occasions. Usually, a bad valve cover gasket shouldn’t cause overheating but this can happen when the driver does not notice that something is wrong with the gasket in order to take quick action.

A valve cover gasket serves as a seal for the cylinder head and valve cover by keeping the fluid (engine oil) inside from flowing out. Its main purpose is to keep oil inside the engine and prevent it from escaping.

The valve cover gasket can go bad like other parts of an engine. When the cover gasket is bad, it starts leaking oil since there’s nothing to keep it contained and this oil gets in contact with other parts of the engine. Leaking oil if not noticed in time will eventually run out.

An engine that is out of oil will cause overheating if you keep driving it around, but there are easy ways to know if the problem is from your valve cover gasket.

A common and major sign of a bad valve cover is leakage. Yes, it will leak out engine oil. You may not know when it starts leaking but will be able to detect a burning smell. When the oil comes in contact with other hot surfaces in the engine, it burns.

A leaking gasket if not noticed in time will eventually result in the oil running out. An engine without oil is not safe to be driven around as it can cause overheating and other technical problems that cost more to repair.

Some ways to prevent the valve cover gasket from going bad are; to ensure that you change the oil in the engine as often as possible and regular engine service also make sure the engine’s valve cover bolts are tightened correctly.

Tips on How to Prevent Your Car from Overheating

Although overheating in a car isn’t uncommon there are ways to prevent it altogether or reduce the frequency of its occurrence. We will take a look at some ways to prevent car overheating below

  • Always Check your Temperature Gauge: You can always tell when if your engine’s temperature is normal or overheating from the gauge, so always check it.
  • Check your Coolant Cap: When the coolant cap is bad is not well fastened, the right pressure will not be maintained within the cooling system
  • Coolant Flushing: The fluid in the cooling system should be changed regularly by taking out the old fluid and replacing it with the new fluid.
  • Pull Over as soon as Possible: One advantage of checking your temperature gauge is it helps you to know when there is a rise in engine temperature and you know when to pull over. Pulling over in time prevents too much overheating.
  • Change of Car Battery: A car battery over time doesn’t produce the power it usually produces and therefore works harder. This can also cause overheating, so change your battery if it has been in use for a couple of years.


Leakage from the valve cover gasket is not usually seen as a serious problem, but this is true when the leaking is not significant. If the leakage is significant, then it is considered a serious problem.

All problems with the valve cover gasket can be easily fixed only if you are able to detect it in time. Most times, all you have to do to fix a bad gasket is to replace it with a new one and you are good to go.