Valve Replacement Cost in 2022

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National average cost of a Valve Replacement
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What is a valve and how does it work?

A valve - often referred to as either an “intake” valve or an “exhaust” valve, depending on its function - is a device inside an internal combustion engine. The valve opens and closes in time with the internal rotation of the engine when it is running, as a result of the rotating action of the camshaft(s) connected (by way of the timing belt/chain) to the crankshaft. The intake valve opens at one point in the combustion process in order to allow fuel and air into the combustion chamber to be burned. The exhaust valve opens, in turn, to allow exhaust gasses to escape the cylinder after the completed combustion event and make their way into the exhaust pipe. A valve looks something like a disc on the end of a long, thin rod (the “valve stem”), and it is typically made of a hardened steel that allows it to be exposed to extreme temperature and compression. On a modern overhead cam engine, there can be as many as thirty two valves.

How do I know if a valve needs to be replaced?

A valve might need replacement for a number of reasons, from a worn and leaky valve seat to a sticking valve covered with carbon, or even a bent valve resulting from some other engine issue. If you notice any of the following signs, a thorough inspection might reveal that one or more valves need to be replaced

Your Check Engine Light comes on and reveals a diagnostic trouble code related to engine performance

You notice a loss of horsepower or a drop in fuel economy

You see blue smoke coming from the exhaust pipe

Your engine consumes an unusually large amount of oil

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How is this service performed

How is a Valve Replacement done?

Valve replacement is a highly complex job requiring special tools and experience. In some cases, valves might be able to be repaired, such as when the stems are intact and only the face is worn or coated with carbon. If the valve stem is damaged, the valve needs to be replaced. In most cases, due to the relatively low cost of valves, a technician will recommend replacement over repair. To replace a valve (or set of valves), a technician will typically perform the following

  • Remove the engine valve cover(s)
  • Unbolt and remove the cylinder head
  • Using special tools, disassemble the cylinder head to remove the valves
  • Insert the new valves, reassemble and reinstall the cylinder head, and replace the valve cover
  • Some engines may require that the intake manifold(s), timing chain, and camshaft(s) also be removed in order to access the cylinder head. The valves will also need to be adjusted for proper engine function.

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