How to Remove Valve Springs

The valve springs on a car play an essential role in high-speed combustion. Because the valve constantly opens during combustion, these springs help bring it back to its closed state. In time, the springs diminish and lose their efficiency. Before these springs can be replaced with a new set, they have to be removed from the car first. Here’s how.

Tools and Materials

  • Valve Spring Compressor
  • Long-nosed Pliers
  • Wrench

Step 1 – Determine the Location of the Springs

Use your car's manual to determine the specific location of the springs. To expose them, open the valve cover. This cover is secured to the cylinder head with a number of bolts. These bolts vary in number depending on the specific model of the car. Use a wrench to loosen all the bolts and pull them out from the engine.


Step 2 – Detach the Rocker Arm

There is a rocker arm attached to the stud in between the push rod and the valve spring. A nut secures the connection. Use the wrench to loosen the nut and detach the fulcrum seat located at the top portion of the arm. The rocker arm has to be detached from the stud in order to access the valve spring.

Step 3 – Use the Valve Spring Compressor

Slide the claws of the compressor to grip the coils located at the bottom of the spring. The device has two claws that can be positioned easily at the top of the valve spring. As soon as these claws are in position, pull them towards the spring.

Hold on to the fixed handle on the device as you pull the movable handle towards it. This motion compresses the valve spring. When both handles are near each other, grip the two with only one hand. This allows the other hand to be used for the next steps. It may also be helpful to ask for someone else to hold on to the compressor as you carry on with the rest of the work.

Step 4 – Detach the Valve Keepers

While holding on to the compressor, detach the valve keepers located just at the valve’s tip. There are two of these metal pieces, each one surrounding half of the valve’s tip. Use long nose pliers to pull these two metal keepers from the valve.

Step 5 – Remove the Valve Springs

As soon as the keepers are removed, the springs can also be detached as well. Pull the compressed springs out of the valve while holding on to the spring compressor. While doing so, gradually allow the moving handle on the device to loosen from the spring. Remove the valve spring from the claws of the device to finish the job.

Remove the other springs from the valve in the same fashion. Do not hasten the process to avoid causing injury either to the car or to anyone, including you. Be sure that the replacement springs are of the same size. As soon as all the springs are removed, install the replacements.