How To Clean Valve Cover Surface ? [6 Right Ways]

How To Clean Valve Cover Surface ?

Sludge or grease may build up on your valve cover surface. Not cleaning this sludge may cause a leak in the valve cover, increasing the fuel consumption of your vehicle. For this reason, it is crucial to know how to clean the valve cover surface.

Well, the cleaning process is so simple. With the help of basic hand tools and equipment like degreaser, bristle brush, steel wool, baking soda, 500 grit sandpaper, etc. can help you complete the process easily. Regular maintenance of the valve cover will increase its shelf life.

Let’s dive deeper to learn more.

What is the Valve Cover for?

Valve covers are usually found on the top of the engines. For some models, it is available in the V configuration or on the side. Regardless of their location, all valve covers are used for the same purpose – covering the head of the cylinders. This part has the camshafts, valve springs and the valve. All these parts perform together to minimize friction and protect the valve train by covering it.

Along with oil lubrication, a valve cover is also an access point for the adjustment of the valve. The cylinder head and the valve cover are mounted on the engine by taking help from a series of nuts or bolts and a silicon sealant or a rubber gasket.

How to clean valve cover surface

How To Clean Valve Cover Surface ?

Cleaning the surface of a valve cover is effortless. Following the below steps meticulously, you can give a shiny look to your valve cover.

Part 01: Valve Cover Removing

Required Items:

  • Socket set
  • Ratchet
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Rubber mallet/Torque wrench
  • 500 grit sandpaper

Step 01: Park Your Car

Before disassembling everything apart, prepare your car for that. Rest your car on a hard and even surface and engage the brake. Next, cool off the engine by opening the hood.

Step 02: Engine Disconnecting

Locate the locking tabs and press them. Then pull the connector out of the coil. Next, use a correct socket and a ratchet to remove the bolts of the ignition coil. Now, release the coil from the valve cover by twisting it gently. Thus, damage can be avoided easily.

A few cars are equipped with delicate valve covers. In these models, you will require to remove the connectors, cables and hoses attached to the valve cover. Finally, disassemble the spark plugs to continue.

Step 03: Take the Valve Cover Off

It is a crucial and probably the last step unless you do it wrongly. In order to remove the valve cover, disengage the nuts or bolts using a flathead screwdriver to make things easier. Now you will need to loosen the valve cover. For this, take assistance from a rubber mallet or torque wrench. While disengaging the cover, gently do it. Otherwise, a permanent leak may appear.

Part 02: Valve Cover Cleaning

Step 04: Keep the Valve Cover on a Newspaper

After removing the valve cover:

  1. Place it on a newspaper.
  2. Wear hand gloves and goggles.
  3. Grab a 500 grit sandpaper and fold it.
  4. Start sanding the valve cover gently.
  5. Don’t rush, and ensure every corner is sanded well.
  6. Wipe the surface with a rag and continue sanding until you are satisfied.

Step 05: Rinse the Valve Cover

Once finished sanding, rinse the valve cover thoroughly. If required, re-sand. After cleaning the valve cover surface, place it under direct sunlight and ensure proper drying.

Step 06: Re-install the Valve Cover

Now follow the vice-versa of the above-discussed process to put the valve cover on the engine. While fastening the nuts or bolts, it is important not to over-tighten them. If the thread breaks or any damage happens to the valve cover, you will need to replace it completely.



How to Clean Aluminum Valve Cover Surface?

Recently, a few car models started using aluminum valve covers instead of steel due to their excellent durability and strong build. Moreover, aluminum is less likely to corrode and rust. However, the aluminum valve cover requires regular cleaning for optimum engine performance. Here are the cleaning steps for your reference,

Step 01: Turn the engine off.

Step 02: Remove the valve cover. Then place it on a flat surface. Reaching the valve cover is effortless; removing it is unnecessary.

Step 03: Hose all sludge and dust from the cover down. If the cover is not uninstalled from the car, use a wet rag to rub it.

Step 04: Take assistance from a steel wool ball to scrub all the sludge off. If the result of steel wool is unsatisfactory, grab a steel brush and use it.

Step 05: Get a degreaser, and apply it to the cover. Leave the cover for 15 – 20 minutes.

Step 06: Use the steel wool to thoroughly scrub the valve cover surface.

Step 07: Hold the valve cover surface under running water and rinse it off. Repeat the process if sludge, grime, and other dirt or dust are still available on the valve cover surface.

Step 08: After thorough rinsing, use a dry cloth to dry off the valve cover surface. You can also leave it under direct sunlight for quick drying.


What can I use to clean the valve cover surface?

You can clean a valve cover surface using different materials and items. Degreaser, bristle brush, steel wool, baking soda, 500 grit sandpaper, etc., can help you easily clean the valve cover’s surface easily. If the bolts are stripped, you can easily remove them by out method

Can I use brake cleaner to clean the valve cover surface?

No, using brake cleaner is not a good idea at all. Brake cleaner can discolor your metal valve cover.

Can I use baking soda to clean the valve cover surface?

Soda blasting, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate is a commonly used home item for removing dirt. This is a soft item and doesn’t leave residue on the surface. At the same time, baking soda is non-toxic and non-flammable. So, you can use baking soda to clean the valve cover surface without hassle.

Final Thought

Aren’t the steps of how to clean a valve cover surface so straightforward? Cleaning can be done taking help from several items, but the most important thing is uninstalling and installing steps. You need to be careful when installing and uninstalling the valve cover because damage can happen if you are inattentive. Thus, buying a new valve cover will be mandatory. Also, properly tighten the mounting bolts to avoid leaks. We recommend some blow off valves, gasket and sander for you in our site for your better understanding.

Additionally, remember to ensure scheduled maintenance of the valve cover surface to get long-term service from your car engine.