The start valve gives your motor a running start before the motor begins to load as the pressure increases from an empty tank. The motor strain is more profound when there is pressure in the tank. If you plug the valve, the motor will instantly encounter a heavy load because it has to force air into a partially filled tank. This extra load without the valve will shorten the life of the capacitors and motor windings. There could be two problems with your unit that can revealed by test. What actually closes the valve is a certain volume of air produced by the compressor. If the compressor is not pumping to full efficiency or there are leaks in the discharge hose the valve will not close. Or the valve is faulty. With an empty tank, plug the valve and run compressor and test airline for leaks with soapy water. If no leaks, empty tank of air and restart compressor and take note of the amount of time it takes to fill the tanks to shut off. If it takes an unusually long time to fill, then the compressor probably has valve problems causing low air volume. If the compressor fills to shut off in a short time frame as compared to a similar model then replace the valve.
Leaking valves in the head will also cause the pump and discharge tube to run very hot. Parts are available at www.toolpartsdirect.com
Good luck with your repair.