When should valve seals be replaced?

Published 18-06-2021 Jay

When should valve seals be replaced?
Table of contents
  1. Valve seals damage symptoms

Perhaps we should start with a dose of theory. What are valve seals? Well, they are small gaskets seated on the engine head and covering the valve stems to seal them. Such a seal is supposed to prevent the ingress of oil lubricating the valve control mechanism to the cylinders. Unfortunately, very often we forget about them in everyday life, and they can mess up any engine. What can happen to them? What will be the symptoms of valve seal damage? And what if you do not recognize it in time Well, although it is unfortunate, this situation can, unfortunately, end badly both for the engine and for your wallet.  We come with help on how to diagnose a possible problem with your car's valve seals in an uncomplicated way.

Valve seals damage symptoms

The first symptom that may indicate that the seals are damaged is the engine consuming oil. This means that you will start to notice a significantly higher consumption of engine oil in your car, which, for example, has so far been extremely economical in this aspect. In addition, you may notice strong blue smoke from the exhaust pipe, which appears immediately after the engine has been running at idle for a short time and you suddenly press the accelerator. Strong bluish smoke and a distinct smell of burnt engine oil can also appear just after starting the car, e.g. after a long break-in period. If you have noticed any of these symptoms and can't find any other reason for this behavior of your car, you should visit a garage as soon as possible, because the problem is most likely related to the valve seals.

But why do they break down at all? You should know that valve seals, just like any other component of your car, have a specific life span and need to be replaced. The frequency of such replacement depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the seals themselves, the type and characteristics of the engine (naturally aspirated gasoline engines have more problems with seals). Another important factor influencing the life of valve seals is the quality of engine oil used. It is usually recommended to replace the seals after 80,000 km, even if their condition, at first sight, does not require such a change.

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