Breaking Valves

It broke… but why?
By Steve Scott

Broke is the past tense of break, but neither are defined as a defect. Here are a few common causes for valves to break.

When you consider an engine running at full load, this gives a better understanding of the conditions and demands valves must consistently function under. At this rate of speed, temperature, and force, it does not take much of an abnormal condition to cause valve failure.

This article focuses on the valve itself and is by no means all-encompassing, but here are some common valve failures. Just to be fair — yes — valves can be defective. Manufacturers can use inferior materials, inadequate heat treat processes, deficient welds, meager coatings or facings, incorrect specifications, etc. They are certainly not above making mistakes. Unfortunately, there are few of these qualities that can be verified visibly or without destructive testing. The best advice is to research who you buy parts from and buy from suppliers that stand behind their products and products you trust.