So, you are just about to cheat on your mechanic with a new one for reasons well known to you, and you are wondering how much a valve adjustment costs? The cost of a valve adjustment depends on a couple of things. One is the type of car you drive, two, the number of valves your car engine has, and three, whether your valves operate with pushrods or overhead cams. These factors affect how easy it is to access, check, and adjust your valves.
No matter the cost of an engine valve adjustment, this process is critical for your engine’s health. The best thing you can do is follow your car’s maintenance guide to establish valve checks and adjustment intervals. Scheduled maintenance will ensure your engine valves always have enough clearance. Otherwise, you would have to deal with a bunch of severe issues like overheating and pre-ignition.
What Is Valve Adjustment?
First things first, you must understand the valve system of a standard combustion engine. Essentially, engine valves are valves. Valves are tiny components that sit on top of your car engine’s cylinder. There are two main types of valves; intake and exhaust valves. The latter lets the spent gasses out of the engine, while the intake valves allow air and fuel into the engine. Valves feature camshafts, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters that open them up, and a spring that closes them.
The opening and closing of car engine valves is a continuous vital process that goes on and on over a thousand times every minute. With time, there can be a change in the space between the camshaft and the valve, affecting the valves’ timing, opening, and closing. When the valves are unable to open and close properly, they cannot do their job, and that should be your cue to arrange for an engine valve adjustment. Contrary to popular belief, an engine valve adjustment process does not change the valve. Instead, it adjusts the space between the valve and the camshaft. Most cars with modern engines have self-adjusting valves, but only a few of us are so well-evolved.
Also Read: Is Driving With a Bad Camshaft Sensor Safe?
What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Valve?
Here is how you’ll know it’s time to adjust your engine valves;
Pretty sure your mechanic has told you several times that the only noises you should hear from your car are the speakers’ music and the engine’s roar. Any other queer noise from your vehicle should signify that something is amiss. An engine valve that needs adjusting will make a bizarre, tapping, or ticking noise. When the pushrods are not secure, they do not glide up and down smoothly, hence the noises.
Engine Performance Issues
The first engine performance issue you are likely to notice is rough idling. When the intake and exhaust valves fail to open on time, the engine gets limited airflow, referred to as rough idling.
Excess Oil Consumption
An incorrect valve clearance can also cause excessive oil consumption. If you notice your vehicle’s dipstick level gradually decreasing, consider taking it to the mechanic for a valve check and adjustment.
Read More: What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Oil Cooler?
How Often Should Valves Be Adjusted?
The best way of determining your engine valve check intervals is to look at your owner’s manual. The manufacturer sets the valve checks and adjustment intervals after projecting the wear of the valves. After some time, the valve components are bound to wear down, thus increasing or reducing the valve clearance. Some manufacturers recommend a valve check every 60,000 miles, while others advise getting one every 100,000 miles. If you bought a used car that didn’t have the user’s manual, you could buy one from a dealer that sells your car brand.
Cost of a Valve Adjustment
As mentioned before, the cost of valve adjustment varies according to various factors, including the vehicle make and model, the mechanic, and your geographic location, among others. Generally, the standard cost of valve adjustment should be anything between $150 and $300. Confirm with your local mechanic for an exact cost.
Periodical valve adjustment is critical for any vehicle running on a combustion engine. Many motorists overlook valve adjustment until they experience more significant problems with their cars. The best valve check and adjustment interval recommendations are the ones by your automaker. You can use it to schedule valve adjustment maintenance. This way, you don’t have to wait to see any symptoms that your vehicle needs valve adjustment.
The valve adjustment cost will depend on the mechanic you see, and your vehicle make or model. Your car model matters because the number of engine valves it has and whether it uses camshafts or pushrods to operate the valves matters. In sum, valve adjustment should not cost you more than $300 if there isn’t more work or parts required to complete the service.