Q: After valve cover gasket replacement, compressor broke

asked by on

There was a burning smell in my car and I took it to the mechanic’s shop. He told me that he found that the valve cover gaskets had been leaking oil onto the exhaust. He removed and replaced both of the valve cover gaskets. As soon as I had driven away, the A/C light started flashing, which was an indication that the compressor had broken. Back to the mechanic’s and I had him look again. He reported that the compressor, sure enough, was broken but that it was not due to the valve gasket replacements. The timing was either a coincidence or a bit suspicious to me. I would like your assessment. What other things can cause a compressor to break and what is the best fix?

Hi there. Thanks for writing in about your 2000 Lexus GS400. Compressors can go bad due to oil saturation. It is likely that the technician spilled additional oil on the compressor when replacing the valve cover. The technician may have dealt the final blow to the already weakened compressor if they did spill such additional oil onto it. Unfortunately there is no real way to prove if this was done or not. If you need to have this taken care of, a qualified professional, such as one from YourMechanic can take a look at the car and replace the compressor if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. After valve cover gasket replacement, compressor broke

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Compressor shaft seal leak

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. Put a manifold set (A/C gauge set) on the A/C ports and check the system when it is running on high A/C. Look to see what the pressures are on the high side and...

Q: Car stalling and smelling like gas

The air intake houses the mass air flow sensor. This sensor plays a major role in the fuel delivery system. If this component was damaged during the installation in the new air intake hose, this could be the issue. Also...

Q: Valve lash is good,check rod bearings. Engine taps under load.doesnt tap when in neutral and revving engine. Timing off 1 tooth?

Hello. Check intake vacuum at idle to "guess" as to the status of the timing. If below factory spec., for example if as low as 15 inches or so (vac. gauge reading), you might be off a tooth. Really, the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...