When to Replace the Camshaft Seal of Your Volkswagen
08 Jul, 21
Volkswagens may experience failure or damage to the camshaft seal at some point throughout the vehicle’s life span. When this occurs, if left untreated it can lead to major engine damage resulting in costly repairs or a total engine loss. Let’s take a closer look and learn more about a camshaft seal and common warning signs that will alert you to the seal needing to be replaced.
Volkswagens are equipped with a camshaft, which is a metal, rotating object containing pointed cams. This is responsible for converting rotational motion into reciprocal motion. It is used in internal combustion engines to operate both the intake and exhaust valves.
The camshaft has round rubber seals. These are mechanical oil seals located between the camshaft and cylinder head. The camshaft seal is responsible for containing engine oil to ensure proper lubrication throughout a Volkswagen’s engine.
Common warning signs of camshaft seal failure in Volkswagen
The camshaft seal is made of durable rubber that is intended to last several thousand miles before needing to be replaced. As we know, the enemy of rubber is excess amounts of heat. Over time, if the camshaft seal is exposed to excessive heat, it prematurely wears down. This occurs from things such as a coolant leak or driving your vehicle too hard. Below are two of the most common warning signs of camshaft seal failure in Volkswagen.
A Visible Oil Leak
The most common symptom of a defective camshaft seal is a visible engine oil leak. As the primary responsibility of the seal is to ensure oil is held in and distributed appropriately when it wears out it is unable to hold the oil in place resulting in a leak. A driver may see traces of engine oil on the rear of the engine and below the valve cover.
Smoke Coming from the Engine Bay
Another common warning sign of a failed camshaft seal is smoke being emitted from the engine bay. When oil leaks from the seal onto the exhaust manifold or into the pipes, which are both extremely hot, it immediately burns up producing smoke.
The amount of smoke being emitted from the engine bay depends entirely on the amount of oil leaking from the camshaft seal. If there is only a small leak from the seal, there will be a small amount of smoke visible. A much larger oil leak will produce a much larger amount of smoke expelled from the engine bay.
The camshaft seal is known to last upwards of 80,000 miles, however, it may wear down prematurely. On average, repair of this seal is small in comparison to a total engine replacement.
An oil leak left untreated compromises the engine lubrication, which then affects the overall vehicle performance. With too much heat and too little lubrication running through your engine, the ultimate result is a total loss of the engine caused by a fire within the engine. While this is extreme, it is not uncommon among drivers who ignore warning signs.
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