Each year, Audi stands as one of the world’s most sought after cars. Well-built and known for its high performance, Audi designs cars to have as few issues as possible. That being said, all vehicles over time will experience certain issues.
Valve covers are metal covers that are bolted over your engine where the valves are located. The covers and gaskets create a seal that holds in the engine’s motor oil. Valve cover oil leaks can be a messy and costly repair, but only if you do not follow some simple rules when it comes to maintaining your vehicle.
Causes of Valve Cover Oil Leaks
Losing too much oil from your engine can have a detrimental impact on your Audi. Running the engine with low or no oil can permanently damage the motor. Let’s look closer at the reasons you may have a valve cover oil leak in your Audi and how to deal with it if it happens.
Cracked Valve Cover Gasket
Over your car’s lifetime, any parts made of rubber, plastic, or cork will degrade naturally. For gaskets, this usually shows itself by cracking and allowing the oil that protects your valves to blow out of the valve cover while the engine is running.
Loose Valve Cover Bolts
Valve covers are bolted to the top of the engine with several bolts. Either after poor car repair or due to vibrations and pressure over time, these bolts can become loose. When this happens, the seal that holds the oil in is broken and the motor oil is allowed to leak.
As mentioned above, poor service and repair to your Audi can lead to other expensive issues. If your Audi has ever had its valve cover gaskets replaced, a less than adequate job may allow the oil to leak. Gaskets require an ultra-clean surface to seal properly. If the last gasket was replaced and the area was not cleaned properly, the new gasket may not have been sealed correctly, causing a new leak.
How To Know You Have a Valve Cover Oil Leak
Below we’ve listed the most common ways to determine if you have a valve cover oil leak:
The Smell of Burning Oil
When oil leaks from the valve cover gasket, it is blown onto the engine and manifold. This becomes very hot during operation. As soon as the oil meets this heat, it will burn into smoke, causing a unique and strong smell. This smell is so strong, you may smell it inside your vehicle, especially if you are venting your A/C to the outside air.
Be cautious and do not operate your car with a valve cover oil leak, as the same heat can cause an engine fire if enough of it ignites.
Low Oil Level
If you do not smell any oil burning, you may find you have a valve cover oil leak when checking your oil levels and find it low. As oil is blown from your engine, your level of engine oil will decrease on the dipstick.
Filthy Valve Covers
Slower oil leaks from a valve cover may show when a thick mix of oil and dirt buildup on the valve covers themselves. This is due to oil and dust mixing and sticking to the area. The buildup will be noticeable right away. Your valve covers should be relatively clean and dry without an oil leak. Luckily, this type of oil leak is slow and can be caught early by a trained technician during servicing.
Professional Help for Valve Cover Oil Leaks
The best way to deal with a valve cover oil leak is to prevent it from happening. Simple preventative maintenance can keep your valve covers from leaking and can save you thousands of dollars in expensive repairs if you run your Audi without oil.
Whether it is to prevent or repair valve cover oil leaks in your Audi, contact Bavarian Auto for the best service in the area. We proudly serve customers in and near Ootelwah, Hixson, and Chattanooga, TN.
Bavarian Auto pledges to treat each vehicle with our award-winning expertise. Our technicians have over 50 years of combined experience in the automotive repair field. Specializing in high-end European cars, we can prevent or repair your valve cover oil leak with our excellent and quality care. Bring your Audi in today for proper and experienced service.