A car engine with its car valve cover gasket and replacement parts visible in a mechanic shop

What Is A Valve Cover Gasket In BMW, Why Does It Leak & How To Fix It?

BMW vehicles are known for their superior engineering and performance. However, even the most premium cars need timely maintenance and auto repair to run smoothly. One component that often needs attention is the BMW valve cover gasket, which is a small but important part of the engine.

This part seals the valve cover to the engine block, preventing oil from leaking out and potentially damaging the engine. In BMWs, the valve cover gasket plays a crucial role in maintaining the engine’s performance and preventing costly repairs down the line.

Let’s dive into why it is important for BMWs specifically and what to do if you suspect it may need repair or replacement due to a valve cover gasket leak.

Now that you know “what is a valve cover gasket,” let’s move on to our discussion on more serious issues.

In any case, Bluewater Performance is at your service, ensuring that you get the auto repair services out there!

What Are The Common Valve Cover Gasket Leak Symptoms?

The symptoms of a valve cover gasket leak can vary depending on the severity of the leak.

Some common leak symptoms include:

  • Oil leaking from valve cover: A common symptom of a valve cover gasket leak is oil leaking from the engine onto the ground or other parts of the engine.
  • Burning oil smell: Oil leaking onto the hot exhaust manifold may produce a burning oil smell.
  • Engine misfires: A valve cover gasket leak can allow oil to enter the spark plug wells, which can cause misfires and a rough-running engine.
  • Reduced engine performance: If the leak is severe, the engine may lose some performance due to the loss of oil pressure.
  • High engine temperature: If the oil level is low due to the leak, the engine may run hotter than usual. 

You must address a valve cover gasket leak (be it via inspection and repairs or even if you have to replace the box) to avoid more serious engine problems!

What Causes A Valve Cover To Crack? Let’s Find Out!

There can be any number of factors responsible for a cracked valve cover. Valve cover gasket cracks due to high temperatures, age, wear, improper installation, over-tightening of bolts, or physical damage due to impact or accident. Although it is well protected from the top and bottom, it is very delicate and prone to damage from the sides.

Additionally, using poor quality materials in manufacturing, prolonged exposure to chemicals or other corrosive substances, or engine overheating can also contribute to the cracking and valve cover leaking oil.

How To Identify A Valve Cover Gasket Leak? Let’s Find Out!

A BMW valve cover gasket leak can be identified in a few ways:

  • First, check for any oil on the ground under the engine or on other engine components that are easy to access.
  • Next, open the hood of your car and take a look at the valve cover (hopefully, you know by now what is valve cover gasket is). Any signs of oil around the perimeter or edges of the valve cover may indicate a leak, necessitating a valve cover replacement.
  • If you want to confirm the leak, clean the valve cover with a rag or towel, and observe it for a day or two while periodically checking for any additional oil seepage.
  • You may also notice a burning oil smell when driving, which could be another indication that oil is leaking onto hot engine parts.

If you see any of these signs or suspect a leak, it is best to have it inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic to avoid further engine damage. Some assume that they’ll just Google “how to replace valve cover gasket” and try it out themselves, but it’s still best to get professionals involved!

What Is The Average Cost Of Replacing A Valve Cover Gasket?

So, how much to replace the valve cover gasket? The cost will vary depending on the make and model of your car. Generally, the cost can range from $200 to $600, but prices are higher for luxury or high-performance vehicles.

In any case, if you notice any valve cover leak symptoms, you must address a leak promptly to avoid more expensive engine repairs down the line. It’s better to avoid making things worse than they already are – get professional help!

This small investment can help you a lot down the line!

How To Fix A Valve Cover Gasket Leak & Should You Do It Yourself?

If you’ve noticed leaking valve cover gasket symptoms, it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage to your engine. While there are some DIY solutions available for some types of valve covers, your best bet is to contact a specialist.

At Bluewater Performance, our team of professionals can fix a valve cover gasket leak and help you with all of your auto repair needs!

Our team is passionate about delivering honest and reliable services to our customers. We don’t believe in high-pressure sales tactics and instead, provide an honest assessment always. This allows our customers to make informed decisions about how to budget for their repairs.

In addition, we offer a 3-year, 36,000-mile nationwide warranty on all work performed, providing our customers with peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for rocker cover gasket leak repair and let us help you get your vehicle back on the road in top condition!


Is a leaking valve cover gasket serious?

Yes! A leaking car valve cover gasket can cause engine damage if left unaddressed, especially if you’re a motorhead.

Is it OK to drive with a leaking valve cover gasket?

It’s possible but not recommended. Driving with a leaking car valve cover gasket can cause further damage to your engine.

How much does it cost to fix a valve cover gasket leak?

The cost to fix a valve cover gasket leak is not constant, but it typically ranges from $200 to $600, depending on the types of covers and the make and model of the car itself.

Is a small valve cover leak bad?

While a small car valve cover gasket leak may not cause immediate issues, you must address the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your engine.