How to Replace a Camshaft Seal

The camshaft seal is designed to seal the end of the camshaft. Over time, seals harden and begin to leak. Seals can also fail from excess crankcase pressure, but that happens much less frequently. A failed camshaft seal can result in oil loss and potential timing belt contamination. On most vehicles, a timing belt replacement is a big job that requires the removal of the timing belt and camshaft sprocket(s).

Part 1 of 6: Prepare the vehicle

Materials Needed

Step 1: Jack up the vehicle. Use a hydraulic jack to raise the vehicle and support it with jack stands. Chock the wheels and set the parking brake.

Step 2: Drain the engine oil. Place an oil drain pan on under the vehicle and remove the oil drain plug using a wrench or ratchet and socket of the appropriate size.

Part 2 of 6: Remove the timing belt and associated components

Step 1: Remove the timing belt and associated components. Remove the timing belt and all components needed to access it as outline in this article:

Step 2: Remove the camshaft sprockets(s). Use a camshaft sprocket holding tool to hold the sprocket in place. Then, remove the sprocket bolt using a long ratchet and socket or a breaker bar.

  • Note: If the camshaft sprocket is not held properly, the camshaft may spin causing, engine damage.

Part 3 of 6: Remove the camshaft seal

Step 1: Remove the camshaft seal. Pry the camshaft seal out using a screwdriver or dedicated oil seal puller (there are a variety available).

  • Note: Be careful not to scratch the camshaft during this step of the seal will leak.

Part 4 of 6: Install the new camshaft seal

Step 1: Prepare the sealing area. Spray brake clean into the sealing area and wipe it clean with a paper towel or lint free rag.

Step 2: Prepare the new seal. Apply a light coat of the Right Stuff Gasket Maker to the outer diameter of the seal. Then, put some multi-purpose grease inside the seal to keep the spring in place.

Step 3: mount the new seal in place. Mount the new seal in place around the camshaft and push it in by hand as much as you can.

Step 4: Drive the new seal into place. Find a socket that fits over the camshaft and is about the same diameter as we the seal. Then, using a hammer to hit the socket and drive the seal into place.

Part 5 of 6: Reinstall the timing belt and associated components

Step 1: Reinstall the camshaft sprockets(s). Apply threadlocker to the sprocket bolt threads. Them, use a camshaft sprocket holding tool to hold the sprocket in place. Finally, install the sprocket bolt using a long ratchet and socket or a breaker bar. Torque the bolt to the specification listed in the vehicle repair manual.

  • Note: If the camshaft sprocket is not held properly, the camshaft may spin causing, engine damage.

Step 2: Reinstall the timing belt and associated components. Reinstall the timing belt and all components needed to access it.

Part 6 of 6: Finish the job

Step 1: Refill the engine will oil. Refill the engine with the correct type and amount of oil as listed in the vehicle repair manual.

Step 2: Lower the vehicle. Use a hydraulic jack to raise the vehicle and remove the jack stands. Then, lower the vehicle and remove the wheel chocks.

This is clearly a big job that’s best left to a professional. If you decide you’d rather kick back with a cold drink and let someone else take on this endeavor, YourMechanic offers expert camshaft seal replacement.


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Recent Camshaft Seal Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(41)

Rating Summary
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Charles

34 years of experience
342 reviews
Charles
34 years of experience
Toyota Tundra V6-3.4L - Camshaft Seal - Austin, Texas
Charles is the best mechanic ever! Prompt, expert in his field and honest and I am thankful to have him as my mechanic.
Volvo S60 - Camshaft Seal - Austin, Texas
Very knowledgeable and friendly. Did the job as planed and explained in details. A very good mechanic and I recommend him highly.

Joshua

27 years of experience
709 reviews
Joshua
27 years of experience
Toyota Avalon V6-3.0L - Camshaft Seal - Oakland, California
I bought my Avalon on last February 10th. The car is in so clean and mint condition by considering its age. However, I've noticed that the previous owner did not change timing belt and water pump for over 7 years. So at first, I made some quotes with different shops around my town. And obviously, they were asking too much of money on parts and labor to service timing belt and water pump. All of a sudden, I realized that I've serviced my previous car with YourMechanic before. Then, I made a quote, and I decided to make appointment today morning. In my opinion, Joshua is the most professional, friendly, and knowledgeable mechanics I've experienced. He was on time, completed the service way faster than I expected! Since he serviced my vehicle today, I would definitely make another appointment when the service is needed. Glad my Avalon found her doctor today!
Chevrolet Cobalt - Camshaft Seal - Berkeley, California
Joshua was on time and on top of everything. He was professional and got the job done in about an hour, which is impressive since I had my cam shaft seal, engine and cabin air filter all replaced, and my rusty caliper painted. He also made sure that my doors were lubricated. I highly recommend Joshua.

Patrick

33 years of experience
1408 reviews
Patrick
33 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner V6-3.4L - Camshaft Seal - Austin, Texas
Patrick called me an hour before the appointment and asked if he could show up early and when he did, he was ready to get to work. Very professional and efficient. Overall, YourMechanic exceeded my expectations!
Honda Civic - Camshaft Seal - Austin, Texas
Repairs were done correctly and quickly. However after knowingly taking almost all my money for the repair he could've informed me earlier that my timing cover was broken and let me go get one. Now I have no money and I still can't really drive my car for work. Yourmechanic service won't help me either. In fact there only solution was to raise the price of the repair i need. Probably should stick with a regular mechanic so you can leave your car there and go get parts and stuff is something comes up.

Kyle

13 years of experience
145 reviews
Kyle
13 years of experience
Subaru Forester H4-2.5L - Camshaft Seal - Fort Worth, Texas
There was an unfortunate parts mix-up (which I didn't think would happen booking a week in advance) that caused my appointment to end up starting four hours later than scheduled, which caused some disturbance to the rest of my day- but the work was top notch, faster than estimated, far cheaper than any shop in town, and done with friendly professionalism. Will absolutely book with Kyle again.
Honda Civic - Camshaft Seal - Dallas, Texas
He is very kind and knowledgeable,a hard working person.best of all He was on time!!!.

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