How much does it cost to change a rocker cover gasket?

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Price guide

£75 - £255







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Last Updated on March 9, 2023

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

  • The age of the vehicle

  • Vehicle’s make and model

  • 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)

Average costs for a rocker cover gasket replacement

Below are examples of rocker cover replacement cost in the UK based on different vehicles:

Type of Vehicle

Price guide

Toyota RAV4


BMW 120


Audi A3



The average cost of a rocker cover gasket replacement can be anything from £75 to £175, 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. Those found in your engine are 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 are going to look at what a rocker cover gasket does, when you need to get this replaced, and how much a rocker cover replacement should cost. We’ll also consider how to choose a good mechanic and different ways to get the task done.

a rocker cover gasket

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 maybe 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. The rocker cover gasket acts as a seal on top of the engine and ensures it remains fully lubricated at all times by trapping the oil inside. When the rocker cover gasket leaks, it jeopardizes the safety of the engine.

Do I need a mechanic to do a rocker cover gasket replacement?

A rocker cover leak is common and somewhat of a simple issue to repair. However, it takes knowledge of engines and vehicle systems to inspect this kind of leak. It demands proper identification of the source of any oil leaks. That's why it's important to keep an eye out for rocker cover gasket leak symptoms to spot them before they get worse. 

The procedure itself 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 someone inexperienced to handle 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 that smell is accompanied by such issues as:

  • 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 is failing (or failed), it allows oil to leak out of the engine. The oil leak may not be harmful to the vehicle or the engine. However, operating your engine without enough oil or low oil levels is very harmful to it. This runs the risk of major damage or even outright failure. If you notice the oil levels are low and 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 too 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 on to 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, along with any new gaskets that are 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 rubberize.

  • 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 special 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 on writing a rocker cover gasket replacement task listing

You are now ready to write your rocker cover gasket replacement listing for Airtasker! You will want to be clear about your needs and itemize 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!

Post a task for rocker cover gasket replacement 

It's best to hire a car repair specialist or mechanic to inspect and change your rocker cover gasket before it gets damaged further. To ensure you get the best results from your listings for rocker cover gasket replacement work, check out some of our recent listings for head gasket repairs.

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FAQs about rocker cover gasket replacement

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.

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.

If you also need help with head gasket replacement, check out this head gasket cost guide.

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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