How Much does Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement Cost?

Price Guide

$145 - $800

low

$145

median

$400

high

$800

Like many common repairs done on modern vehicles, rocker cover gasket replacement costs vary based on many different factors.

  • The age of the vehicle

  • Make and model of the vehicle

  • The location of the rocker cover

  • Whether or not a vehicle has an inlet manifold that must be removed

  • If other issues are occurring, such as valves needing adjustment and so on

  • The way that the mechanic prices repairs (by the job or hourly)

Below are several modern vehicles and examples of their rocker cover gasket replacement costs:

Type of Vehicle

Price guide

2006 Toyota RAV4

$203-$357

2016 Hyundai Accent

$200-$800

2011 Ford Fiesta

$145-$210

2010 Volkswagen Golf

$180-$550


Rocker cover gasket replacement can cost anything between $145 to $800 depending on the location of the rocker cover and the car brand.

Gaskets and seals appear in almost every system in a car or truck, and those that relate to your engine are some of the most important. The rocker cover gasket (known as the valve cover gasket in the U.S. and Canada) is an essential seal between the rocker cover and the engine. When it fails, oil leaks out of the engine, putting it at risk for damage and failure. 

In this guide, we will look at just what the rocker cover gasket does, when you need to get the rocker cover gasket replaced and just how much that job should cost. We’ll also consider how to choose a good mechanic and different ways to get the task done.



What is a Rocker Cover Gasket? 

The rocker cover is bolted over the rocker arms (also known as valves) inside an internal combustion engine. They are not in all engines, such as overhead cam and dual overhead cam engines. They will appear on engines without rocker arms, as well, and may be described as cam covers.

The rocker cover gasket is just as it sounds – the gasket or seal between the rocker (i.e. camshaft) cover and the cylinder heads inside of the engine. It is the rocker cover and gasket that work together to seal the top of the engine and ensure that the engine remains fully lubricated at all times by simply trapping the oil inside. When the rocker cover gasket leaks, it jeopardises the safety of the engine.


Do I Need a Mechanic to do a Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement?

You may read that a rocker cover leak is a common and somewhat simple issue to repair. However, it takes knowledge of engines and vehicle systems to ensure a leak of this kind. It demands that the source of any oil leaks be properly identified, and the procedure for replacing the gasket varies from engine to engine. Getting to the rocker cover and removing it is quite challenging. Without proper tools or knowledge, it is possible to misread the source of a leak and do a repair that is unnecessary and ineffective.

Also, many vehicles have valve clearance adjustments required at specific mileage readings. Since the valves are tucked beneath a rocker cover gasket, you may want to use that as an opportunity to check valve clearances and make adjustments. This, too, is not something for an inexperienced person and should be done by a mechanic.


What Are the Signs that I Need a Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement?

If you notice a burning smell whenever you are driving your vehicle, it could be a sign of almost any sort of problem. When such issues as: accompany that smell

  • Signs of oil leaking from an area around the top of the engine

  • Signs of oil in the area around the spark plugs

  • Leaking oil beneath the car

  • Check engine light illumination

  • High-temperature warnings…

Then, it is quite likely that a rocker cover gasket replacement is needed.


Can I Use the Car with a Leaking Rocker Cover Gasket?

If the rocker cover gasket fails (or failed), it allows oil to leak out of the engine. The oil leak itself is not harmful to the vehicle or the engine. However, operating your engine without enough oil or low oil levels is very detrimental and runs the risk of major damage or even outright failure. If you notice the oil levels are low and see signs of oil leaking, it is not wise to continue driving. Instead, get in touch with a mechanic to have the vehicle inspected and any leaking gaskets replaced.

Remember that other components may be damaged by exposure to leaking oil and that oil leaks are also a leading contributor to engine fires. The combustible materials drip down onto everything below, eventually striking the scalding hot exhaust components. This can easily cause a fire and destroy the entire vehicle! 


How Long Does It Take to Do a Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement?

Several issues affect the answer to this question. 

  • As noted above, some modern vehicles have what is known as intel manifolds that are located above the rocker cover (particularly many V6 engines). This may mean that removal of the intel manifold is part of the job and any new gaskets required.

  • The need for valve clearances to be adjusted can add to the length of time that this repair will take

  • Is the replacement gasket a liquid gasket or a rubber gasket? If liquid, the vehicle must sit idle for at least 15 hours to allow the gasket to rubberise.

  • Will you remove the oil (i.e. do an oil change) too? Mechanics opt to do this in case debris fell into the engine during the gasket replacement.

In addition to these particular circumstances, there is also the general process used for the repair. Typically, this will mean that the bonnet is opened and the engine inspected. Then:

  • Ignition leads/coils, hose and vacuum hoses are removed

  • Parts are inspected for damage

  • The rocker cover is removed and checked for damages (and also cleaned)

  • The gasket is removed, and the engine is cleaned

  • The rocker cover is reassembled, and all leads/coils, hoses and vacuum hoses are reconnected.

  • The repair is road tested 


Tips to Write a Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement Task Listing

With all that you know now, you are ready to write your rocker cover gasket replacement listing for Airtasker! You will want to be clear about your needs and itemise what you think the job involves. Then, it is just a matter of posting it, getting offers and comparing them to make a choice. We recommend going on more than just the price, such as looking for any ratings or further information about the mechanic. They can come to you to do the work if needed, and we suggest you use the following details to get the best offers:

  • The time frame required (emergency, longer amount of time available, etc.) 

  • Budget (the amount you have for the project)

  • Your location and if you anticipate any issues or challenges posed by the location

  • The make, model and age of the vehicle, along with notes on other tasks (intel manifold on car, oil change, and so on)

  • The materials and parts you will provide (and ask for a quote on them if you want to compare your options)

  • If you require a warranty on labour (and materials if you don’t supply them)

The more details you offer, the easier it is for a provider to give an accurate and competitive offer. Keep in mind that most will also use your listing as a guideline for when they arrive to do the work – so accuracy and honesty are key!


Examples of Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement Listings from Airtasker 

To ensure you get the best results from your listings for rocker cover gasket replacement work, we offer the following samples:



FAQs About Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement Costs

Is there an average rocker cover gasket replacement cost?

With so many variables affecting it, there is no standard rocker cover gasket replacement cost. However, you can anticipate spending anywhere from $200 to $800+ depending on your vehicle and other factors.

Is a rocker cover gasket the same as a head gasket?

No, the head gasket is between the engine block and the head, while the rocker cover is on top of the engine and above the head. It keeps oil from leaking out of the rocker cover, while the head gasket keeps oil and coolant separate from one another.

Can you temporarily stop the rocker cover gasket from leaking?

Some say you can, but it is never suggested that you ignore or try quick fixes for something as crucial as a gasket that keeps the engine lubricated.

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