Rocker Arm Functions, Bad Symptoms and Replacement Cost

Hello guys, in this article we are going to explain about one of the engine part called rocker arm, so you will know the basic functions, bad symptoms and replacement cost. And here we go:

Basic Functions

The rocker arms are found in the drive train of the internal combustion engine. The function of the rocker arms is to assist the pushrods in opening and closing the exhaust valve and intake value. The pushrod is part of the camshaft and whenever it pushes up, it causes the rocker arms to push down and put pressure on these different valves. If you don’t have functional rocker arms, then you won’t have functional exhaust valves or intake valves. This will ultimately limit the performance of your engine and your ability to drive the car smoothly and safely.


Rocker arms are made from stamped steel. This is basically flat sheet metal that was put through a stamping press and then shaped from a special die surface. Steel is very economical to the consumer while still being strong and lightweight for the vehicle. But if you are driving a high-performance vehicle, then you will want aluminum rocker arms instead. For truck engines, they need even stronger rocker arms made from forged carbon steel or cast iron. If you are only driving an economy class car, then the steel rockers are all you need to worry about.

Read also: Top 5 Best Automotive Scan Tool for Diagnosing Your Car

Bad Symptoms

If your rocker arms ever go bad, you will notice some strange symptoms as a result. One of the most noticeable symptoms will be noise coming from the drive train. You will need to visually inspect the rocker arms to see if they are sufficiently getting pushed by the pushrods. If there is any deterioration on the arms or the pushrods, then you’ll need to replace them. Other symptoms might include a weaker engine performance since the valves are not opening and closing when they’re supposed to.

Replacement Cost

The rocker arm parts themselves only cost between $15 and $200 if you purchase them individually at an automotive store. There are also rocker arm kits sold which include other necessary components like the guide plates and pushrods. This might be the better way to go if you’re confident that you can perform the replacement job yourself. The best kits sell between $200 and $350. Otherwise, if you hire an auto mechanic to perform the replacement job, you are looking at paying anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Most of this expense will be for their hourly labor. So, you will have to weigh your options carefully here. Don’t forget about the added taxes and fees that will be included with the final price.



  1. Hi I have a 2010 charger 3.5 I had the tick I just went and got new rocker arms and installed. Upon completion started the car and it sounds worse than when I started….I can’t figure out what I did wrong. Any advice.

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