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Valve Cover Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your valve cover replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard™ to get fair cost estimate for your valve cover replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a valve cover?

The average total cost of a valve cover replacement is $100-$350. Of course, the price you pay will depend on your vehicle.
How long does it take to replace a valve cover? Generally, it takes a certified mechanic around 1 hour to complete the job. Your mechanic will determine if a replacement is necessary with a preliminary inspection, then follow up with the full replacement. 
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my valve cover replacement?

A valve cover replacement is a fairly simple job that only requires a few parts:
  • Valve cover: The valve cover is the main component in the replacement. This plastic or metal part is found on top of the engine and typically costs around $30 to $150.
  • Valve cover gasket: The valve cover gasket serves to attach the valve cover to the engine and seal it to prevent leakage. Valve cover gaskets are sometimes included with the valve cover, but they can also be purchased for $20 to $80.
  • Valve cover bolts: Valve cover bolts help to keep the valve cover attached and should be secured using a torque wrench. Valve cover bolts are also often included with valve covers, but you can purchase bolts for around $10 to $50.
Some reputable brands we recommend include Fel-Pro, ACDelco, and Dorman for reliable and quality valve cover part replacements. You can typically purchase these brands from retailers such as  AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and Summit Racing, both online and in-store. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle's specific year, make, and model.
When it comes to your valve cover, OEM valve covers might be worth the extra money. While they are more expensive, they tend to last longer and cause fewer problems. That being said, you can opt for aftermarket valve covers, but we recommend doing your research before buying.
Valve cover replacements are readily available at auto body shops and auto parts shops like  AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and Summit Racing. You can also find kits on Amazon.
Keep in mind: You will need knowledge of your vehicle and engine to purchase the right valve cover. If you’re unsure which valve cover to choose, check with your mechanic before making a decision.

Where can I get my valve cover replaced?

Finding the right place to get your valve cover replaced can be tricky, especially without a go-to mechanic. That’s where Jerry's
GarageGuard™
comes in. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ will compare costs from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US, analyzing fair price estimates* from each shop using their real hourly labor rate. With GarageGuard™, you can even find out if you’ll need to budget for diagnostic fees and see real reviews to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to find the best car repair quotes in your area.
154 Reviews
61 Auto Center
address
1226 Centre Ave, Reading, PA
Valve Cover Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$191
(Parts - $178, Labor - $13)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$70
110 Reviews
Meineke Car Care Center 2005
address
710 N Aspen Ave, Broken Arrow, OK
Valve Cover Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$209
(Parts - $178, Labor - $31)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
152 Reviews
Olympos Auto Service
address
400 Jericho Turnpike, Mount Vernon, NY
Valve Cover Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$210
(Parts - $178, Labor - $32)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
143 Reviews
ESS Fleet Service
address
4020 Main St, Dallas, TX
Valve Cover Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$212
(Parts - $178, Labor - $34)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$185
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my valve cover?

Your mechanic will follow these basic steps to complete a valve cover replacement:
  1. Inspection: Your mechanic will open the hood to examine the engine and the valve cover.
  2. Removal: Your mechanic will then remove the faulty valve cover. If it is sealed by silicone RTV, the mechanic will remove this sealant entirely.
  3. Replacement: Your mechanic will install a new valve cover—and a new valve cover gasket and bolts—and seal it with silicone RTV if required.
To confirm that the repair is successful, your mechanic may do a test drive and then check the oil level with a
dipstick
.

What happens if I don’t replace my valve cover?

Failing to replace a faulty valve cover or a leaking valve cover gasket can result in engine damage. If your valve cover is cracked, corroded, or misaligned, it can cause an oil leak in the engine compartments—the leak can even reach all the way to your
spark plug well
—leading to poor engine performance, misfires, damage, or engine failure.

What is a valve cover?

Your valve cover is located on top of your vehicle’s cylinder head where it protects the car’s engine and prevents oil leaks. The valve cover, also known as a rocker cover, must be tight and unbroken. If this metal or plastic part is faulty—or there is a valve cover gasket leak—it could lead to engine damage or even failure. 

When should I replace the valve cover on my car?

Bring your vehicle to a mechanic to see if it needs a valve cover replacement if you observe any of the following signs:
  • Leaking oil
  • Burning oil smell
  • Decrease in horsepower
  • Trouble accelerating
Your vehicle's check engine light may also be lit.
Keep in mind: These signs can vary depending on your vehicle and its engine type. It's always best to ask a qualified mechanic to assess the condition of your valve cover if you think it might be failing.

How often should a valve cover be replaced?

You won’t find valve covers in your regular car maintenance schedule. Instead, you will need to replace the valve cover when you notice signs that it’s no longer working properly to protect your engine components.

Can I replace my valve cover myself?

You can complete a valve cover replacement at home if you’re confident in your DIY auto repair skills, but it is essential to complete the replacement correctly. For most drivers, it’s best to let a professional handle your valve cover replacement. 

FAQs

We don’t recommend driving with a failing valve cover. If the amount of leaking oil is small and it is not leaking onto the hot engine components, you can continue to drive your car, but you should schedule an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible. With a bad valve cover, your car’s engine is exposed to oil and debris, which can lead to damage, misfires, or even engine failure.
Yes, you should replace your valve cover gasket when necessary. The valve cover gasket seals the valve cover, preventing oil and other pollutants from reaching the car’s engine components, so if your valve cover gasket is no longer working properly, you should take your car to a mechanic immediately.
A valve cover does not have a mileage limit. Instead, it should be replaced when you notice signs of failure, such as an engine oil leak, the burning smell of oil, or trouble accelerating.
You should bring your vehicle to a mechanic to inspect your valve cover if you observe any of the following signs:
  • Leaking oil
  • Burning oil smell
  • Decrease in horsepower
  • Trouble accelerating
  • Lit check engine light

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.