If you’re looking to replace a camshaft seal, you’re probably working on a car with a timing belt. The internal combustion engine in your vehicle uses a camshaft to open and close the intake and exhaust valves in your engine at the right time in the combustion cycle. It is very important for these valves to open and close at the correct time in the combustion cycle to maximize the amount of air brought into the cylinder during the intake stroke, to compress the correct amount of air during the compression stroke, and to expel as much exhaust gas as possible during the exhaust stroke.
The relationship between your engine’s piston and the valves is kept constant through the use of a timing belt, timing chain or timing gears. These mechanical devices keep everything rotating in the correct relationship so your engine can run at peak performance.
Early automobiles almost exclusively used timing chains or gears because they are more durable than a belt and engine manufacturers knew the importance of keeping the cam timing correct in any engine. However, as technology increased and manufacturers sought to increase the efficiency of their engines, the timing belt started to become popular to achieve this same purpose.
Timing belts can be simpler and more efficient systems than chains or gears because they are lightweight and don’t require any lubrication to work. Timing belts also wear very little as they are used so there is no loss of engine efficiency over time. The only drawback of a timing belt is that there is no indication prior to failure so you should make sure to change your timing belt at your manufacturer’s recommended intervals to avoid breaking a timing belt.
When you are changing your timing belt, you should consider replacing your camshaft seals as well. Unlike a timing chain or gears, your timing belt does not require oil lubrication so your engine will be designed with oil seals on the inside of the cam gears and crank pulley to keep oil inside your engine and away from the timing belt. These oil seals surround your camshafts and crankshaft and keep your engine oil where it belongs. Like any seal in your engine, they can wear out over time due to normal use, or they can wear out quickly from oil starvation, extreme temperatures or extreme engine RPMS.
Camshaft Seal leaks are extremely problematic because they will cover your timing belt in oil which could affect its ability to function properly but also because it is a leak from the top front of your engine which means the oil will leak down to cover just about everything else in your engine bay with oil.
The other problem with replacing your camshaft seal is that you need removing your timing belt and cam gear to do so. This adds a significant amount of cost to your project as timing belt replacements are expensive due to the time they take, as well as the technical skill required to complete the project correctly. If you are already replacing your timing belt, we would recommend replacing your camshaft seals as well even if they aren’t leaking just to be safe and save yourself another big project later.
If you don’t need to replace your timing belt and have a leaking camshaft seal, you should us BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak to seal your leak and keep your camshaft seal in place until your next required timing belt service. BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak is a specialized formula designed to restore old or worn seals and bring them back to their original shape, size and sealing ability. Using BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak will help save you money and time.
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