Oil is integral to your Audi’s main components, as it keeps your engine lubricated and contributes to reducing temperatures. Your Audi simply can’t run without it. Sometimes it may feel like oil loves to leak and cause problems, and when it does, losing oil can cause all manner of chaos. Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios of valve cover oil leaks and also discuss where to go for help.
The Valve Cover
Depending on the model of Audi, you may have one or two valve covers. This depends on the engine configuration, since a typical four or six-cylinder engine only requires one cover. Engines with a V configuration, such as the much loved V8, will require two; one to cover each side of the V.
The valve cover is placed over your cylinder head and creates a tight seal that covers the valves. This cover is needed because the valves are required to open and close. Because they are moving parts, they need to be lubricated with oil to keep them moving smoothly. Therefore, the cover keeps this much-needed oil inside the system.
A valve cover leak is different to other oil leaks throughout your Audi, as it involves oil that isn’t under pressure. This means the leak you may face will be more subtle and gradual instead of a sudden flood. Many drivers have valve cover leaks that go undetected for some time. You might be surprised just how much damage can be caused by such a seemingly minor thing.
A leaky valve cover allows oil to seep into the exhaust manifold. This will produce noxious fumes as well as an increase in the risk of fire. A slow, weeping leak can also deplete your oil levels from right under your nose, which can put your entire engine at great risk if your Audi is running dry.
Causes of Valve Cover Leaks
A valve cover leak can be caused by a variety of things. The cover may have shrunk, become damaged, developed cracks, or simply started to fall apart with age. It may not be the cover that is to blame, as the bolts that hold the cover in place may have become loose.
Detecting a Valve Cover Leak
When figuring out if you are dealing with a valve cover leak, the first thing that you need to do is make sure the leak is not coming from another part of your Audi that may trick you into believing the valve cover is to blame. This will prevent you from wasting time and money investigating your cover.
First, you need to perform a visual assessment. You are looking to see if you can find evidence of staining, oil deposits, or even oil which is actively dripping. This may require the help of a carefully-angled mirror and a flashlight to achieve this inspection.
If your sleuthing hasn’t provided much in the way of evidence, then check for the following:
- Are there loose bolts or missing screws?
- Is the cover visible cracked?
- Can you see the gaskets or any gaskets poking out from the cover?
- On second glance, can you see traces of oil seepage?
Assessing your Options
When you have confirmed that you are dealing with a valve cover leak, you will then need to pause and weigh your options. Minor problems like a missing screw can be easily remedied at home and can be a great way to quickly prevent any more damage from being inflicted to your Audi. However, more severe issues, such as those which may require complete part replacement, or even further issues which have been caused by the leak, should only be addressed by automotive professionals with the proper tools to fix the problem quickly.
Drivers local to Norwood, Westwood, Walpole, Sharon, Canton, Medfield, Needham, Dover, and Boston, MA communities have excellent automotive professionals nearby. Our friendly team at Revolution Automotive will gladly take a look at your Audi, assess the problem with our diagnostic tools, and then clearly explain your options to you with no hidden agenda. We will diligently set to work and have your Audi running as good as new in no time. Call us today to schedule an appointment.