Monday, 6 March 2017

How to Fix Oil Seal Leaks On Your Car?

Many of you will come across a situation where you’ll witness oil drips on the road and wonder why is my car leaking oil? This leakage causes clutter wherever you drive your car and you will eventually end up in spending a lot of money to purchase additional oil.
To avoid such situations, it is very essential to take care of any such possible minor leakages promptly. Fixing these problems on your own will not only save money but also boost up your confidence to solve such minor car problems independently in future.
Common causes of external oil drips might be oil plug leakage caused by a damaged gasket, failure of front main seal or worn out valve cover gasket. Following are simple steps explaining how to fix oil seal leaks on your car.

Tools needed:  

Screwdrivers - To gently remove the main seal from the seal housing

Source: Pixabay.com

  • Ratchet Socket Set - For removing the Harmonic Balancer bolts or fastening them

Source: Pixabay.com

  • Car Jack- This will be useful to lift up the car for replacing the front main seal. Using a heavy-duty Car Jack will be necessitous for large vehicles like Kia Sorento. This is quite powerful enough tool for jacking. 
  • Jack Stands - To withstand the heavy weight of the car with high stability and strength while jacking. The Powerzone 3 Ton Steel Jack Stand - 1 Pair might be a good option for jack stands. 
  • Bolt Puller Set - To efficiently remove the Harmonic Balancer from the crankshaft end
Source: Harborfreight

  • Sealer - To quickly fix any minor holes or damages of the rubber seals or gaskets
  • Gloves - To protect your hands from engine dust and oil

Source: Pixabay.com

  • Eyewear Protection - For protection against any injury while working on front main seal replacement
  • Liquid Transfer Pump - To remove excess oil from the oil reservoir, if any

Step 1: Detecting Oil Leakage

Park your car on an even level of surface and position it smartly on a paper, so that the engine is placed right above the paper. Use light colored paper so that you might recognize the color of the leaking oil easily and make sure the paper is wide enough to cover the width of your car.

After a day, move your car from the paper and analyze the paper keenly. If you see brown or dark colored oil dripped on the paper right beneath the engine, it is certainly oil leakage.

Step 2: Recognizing Cause of Leakage

Remove the hood of your car (Kia Sorento), check the oil level using the dipstick. If the oil level is low, fill additional oil to a desirable level. Whereas, if the oil level is above desired “Full” level, remove some oil using Liquid Transfer Pump.
Next, remove the oil fill cap. See if it is damaged, has become loose or if its seal is broken. In this case, the oil fill cap needs to be replaced.

Source: teon.co

Check the oil drain plug, if the oil seems to leak from this threaded oil drain plug then tighten the metal washer with the help of Ratchet socket set.

Source 2Carpros

Step 3: Fixing minor issues

  • Slightly damaged Rubber seals or gaskets:If the oil leakage is minor, pour sealers in the oil reservoir. Follow the instructions carefully given on the Sealer. Whenever the engine runs, the sealer along with the oil will be evenly distributed throughout the engine. This will cause the sealer to stop any sort of leaks caused by slightly worn out rubber seals or gaskets. It will efficiently heal orrenew them and this gives effective results in stopping leakage. Your car might stop leaking after about 5 hours of pouring the Sealer formula in the oil reservoir. Watch the following video to know more about how to fix the oil seal instantly using Sealer. 

  • Oil Filter leakage: Oil filter might cause leakage if it is loosely placed. Tighten the Oil filter, clean all the mess of previous oil leak and check again for any signs of leakage. 
Source: SuperCar Engineering

  • Valve Cover Gaskets:  Valve cover is deliberately incorporated to shield the valve train and prevent the oil from leaking. A gasket is placedbetween the cylinder head and this valve cover. As time goes by, the gaskets usually wear away and might cause oil leaks. You can replace this valve cover gasket easily. Follow the simple steps given in the following video for replacing the valve cover gasket with a new unit.

Step 4: Fixing Major Issues

If the oil continues to leak then this might indicate that the ‘Main seal’ is severely damaged (generally due to the wearing caused by high temperature and engine vibration).
Front Crankshaft Main Seal Replacement:
With the help of car jack and jack stands, lift up the vehicle high enough for easy operation. Wear eyeglasses and gloves for protection against any injury.

  • Remove the negative cable point of the battery to detach it completely. This will stop the supply of electrical power, for your safety.
  • Take out the serpentine belt to easily access the front dampener bolt. Use 22mm or more size of socket to unfasten the dampener bolt counterclockwise (you can use air impact gun for easy unfastening)
  • Take out the Harmonic Balancer with the help of Bolt puller Set and Ratchet Socket. Watch the following video for properly using the Bolt puller set

  • The front main seal will now be visible to you onthe forward-facing side of the crankshaft. 
  • Using a seal puller or a Standard Screwdriver, remove the main seal from the housing; make sure not to damage any part of the housing with the tools you are using. Watch this video to know how to remove the main seal easily 

  • Wipe out all the surface where the new seal is going to be mounted by using a cleaning towel 
  • Clean the crankshaft area as well 
  • Make sure the old seal and new seal have similar dimensions to avoid inconvenience
  • Take a tiny amount of silicone sealer and evenly spread it all over the outer rim of the seal to protect any external leaks around the seal housing
  • Carefully  mount the new seal unit back into the seal housing, make sure the lip of the seal is facing inwards
  • Using a hammer and socket unit, place the seal securely into its place and tap it lightly
  • Clean the surface of the Harmonic Balancer thoroughlyusing a soft cloth, where the new seal will be rubbing against, to avoid any further leaks
  • Spread slight amount of grease to this cleaned surface so that the new seal will be lubricated whenever the engine starts. Otherwise, no lubrication will cause the new seal to wear out instantly
  • Using a dampener installation tool put back the balancer into its original place. Make sure the key slot on the balancer is in proper alignment with the woodruff key

Watch the video to know how to use the Dampener installation tool efficiently

  • After completely installing the Harmonic balancer, thread the balancer bolts into the crankshaft end terminal and use socket wrench to fasten these bolts. 
  • Put back the serpentine belt into its place securely
  • Change the oil if necessary to avoid any further complications
  • Start the engine and check for any abnormalities
  • If no possible problems occur, you are good to go and the front main seal is successfully replaced

End of the line: 

If there are any minor leaking problems, above given first three simple steps might help you to fix such car leaking oil issues.
For the front main seal failure, all the steps mentioned in Step 4 will certainly help you to replace the main seal properly. Watch the YouTube videos for better understanding and proper execution of the steps.
Hope the instructions were clear enough and easy for you to understand. You can ask any questions below in the comments section for further queries or share your experiences of fixing oil leakages to help other readers. Also, if you liked this article then don’t forget to share it with others to benefit them as well!

Alice is the founder behind the automotivebros.  She is described as the car repair helper, money sever and advice giver when it comes to automobile industry. Automotivebros  gives best automotive products and repair posts that are straightforward and share her expertise in a manner that is easy-to-understand. Readers definitely are in for a unique and fun reading experience when the visit automotivebros.

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