Valve Cover Gasket Vs Head Gasket, Which differences do they share?

Valve Cover Gasket Vs Head Gasket, this discussion is completely valid because some people think the same because they are gaskets. Proving them wrong they share extreme differences in their service. Though they meant to seal the different places and different things.

Specifically, the valve gasket and the head gasket are made out of different materials sealing oil and coolant. One is extremely vulnerable to extreme cold and hot and the other one is not. Also, they have huge differences in replacement costs. Want to know more and deep details on the topic? If yes, have a look below.

Valve Cover Gasket Vs Head Gasket

Valve Cover Gasket Vs Head Gasket

If one knows even the simplest mechanism of a car, one must know how much gas and liquid work the car does. Inside the car or in the mechanical part of the car, there is nothing that is not involved either with the gas, oil, or water. Here comes the responsibility of the gasket to safeguard the liquid elements and keep them inside the system.

In specific, a gasket is a simple kind of gadget or equipment used in the head or open side of the pipe of the engine or anything. As we already said the main of the gasket is to keep the gas, oil, and water inside the pipeline. Specifically, it will prevent any leak of the combustion aspects of the engine. Simply, the gasket is in charge of covering up the section where liquid and gas pass through.

In case, anyone the gasket gets damaged the car will be in a disaster. The engine oil loses oil and fuel, and the coolant will lose water. Resulting in dead care which may require a high repair charge. That is why one will have to know about different gasket and their differences. Moreover, we will discuss two of the common and significant gaskets of a car which are the valve cover gasket and head gasket. Also, we will illustrate the differences they share.

To be specific the valve cover gasket and the head gasket may have the same purpose but serve completely different. One will find the valve gasket in the valve and the head gasket in between the engine and the cylinder. Because of the different temperatures in these two places, the material, building design, and everything are different between these two. Let’s know more details about the differences from the table below.

Table: Valve Cover Gasket Vs Head Gasket

Valve Cover GasketHead Gasket
Placed on the top of the engine cylinder head valve.Placed between the engine block and the cylinder head.
Responsible for storing the engine oil between the valve cover and the cylinder head.Responsible to keep the pressure produced by the ignition of gasoline vapors within the combustion chamber.
Made of compressed rubber which can take the shape of the hole at first-time use.Made out of heavy-duty material in a special design to fit.
One cannot reuse the gasket once they set it in a hole even if it stays for a day.It is possible to reuse the gasket it is in excellent health
It prevents oil from leaking from the engine.It prevents oil and coolant from mixing up together.
Though its hard to predict the lifespan, it will last for at least 5 to 6 years.The lifespan of the head gasket is predictable to at least 5 to 8 years or more if in good hands.
Extremely cold or extremely hot temperatures will damage the gasketExtremely cold or extremely hot temperatures will not harm the gasket that much.
The main symptom of the damaged valve gasket is the oil leak.The main symptom of the damaged valve gasket is the discolored oil.
The repair or replacement cost of a valve gasket will be around $240 to $320.The replacement cost can be around $1400 to $2000 and sometime more.

From the information illustrated in the table, we can say that though both are gaskets they have pretty differences. Specifically, the valve gasket is simply made out of silicon rubber to fit the hole perfectly. On the other hand, the head gasket is a little complicated with all the thin steel layers that bond together to build it. Moreover, different manufacturers use graphite or copper in the building material to increase performance and durability. But the steel is popular because of its affordability. Besides, the outer layer of the head gasket is covered with a rubber cover to enhance the sealing.

Moreover, the lifespan of the valve gasket and the head gasket is almost similar. Yet one cannot predict the lifespan of the valve gasket since it’s made out of rubber material. Any unsuitable environment like extremely hot or cold can easily damage the gasket. In this case, the head gasket performed quite better because of the building material. This one can easily tackle the unsuitable environment for quite a time.

The biggest and insane difference they share is in the replacement cost. One may go blank if they do not have an idea about the cost before. Normally, the valve gasket will cost around $200 to $320 on average including everything from the beginning to the end. However, the head gasket will cost so much more than this.

Normally, one will have to pay at least $1400 to replace the head gasket. Moreover, it can go to $2500 depending on the design, mechanism, and condition of the car. Therefore, one needs to be extremely careful with their head gasket.

What are the symptoms of a damaged valve and head gasket in a car?

Well, the head gasket and valve gasket are designed and set to serve the same purpose differently and have different symptoms. If they go bad one will face different symptoms because of their placement. One is in the cylinder valve head and the other one is between the cylinder and the engine. Let’s check to out their symptoms of dying.

Damaged Valve gasket symptomsDamaged Head gasket Symptoms
Low engine oil level because of the oil leak from the valve gasket.Low level of coolant because of the coolant leak from the head gasket.
Leaks oil to the engine to burn.Leak coolant to the engine to burn.
Oil burning smell coming out from the engine.White smoke from the exhaust production of burnt coolant.
The cover of the valve will have a layer of dried oil.The engine oil becomes like a brown milkshake and changes the density since the coolant will get mixed with the oil.
Oil will get spread around the spark plug.The engine will overheat because of a lack of coolant.


In the engine, the gasket is extremely important to seal the different liquids and prevent them to get mixed. Specifically, the mechanism of the engine involved oil, gas, and water. This three material is different and cannot get mixed. Here the gasket helps the engine to do so. When it comes to the differences between the valve and head gasket, the main difference is the valve seal the oil, and the head seal oil and coolant.

Also, the valve gasket is made out of rubber and the other one is of metal. Hopefully, the information above on valve cover gasket vs head gasket helped one to understand the differences.

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