Underneath the hood of your Volkswagen is a finely-tuned system made up of individual parts working and moving together to create the driving experience you have come to love and expect. When any of these parts experience malfunction or wear, your driving experience will be negatively impacted.
One small part that many drivers overlook is the camshaft seal. This seal plays a big part in the performance of your Volkswagen. It is round and mostly made of rubber, which, as you know, is not a material that stays in optimal shape forever. It will eventually need to be replaced, so in this article, we are going to discuss when to replace it before your Volkswagen’s intricate system is thrown out of balance.
The Importance and Function of a Camshaft Seal
The camshaft seal in a Volkswagen is located in the cylinder head between the camshaft and timing covers. Its job is to contain engine oil and prevent it from leaking.
Oil is crucial to the proper function of any vehicle, as it keeps all moving parts lubricated and thus prevents damage due to friction and heat. Without the camshaft seal, several very important car parts will overheat and fail, including the engine.
Reasons Behind Camshaft Seal Failure
A camshaft seal can become defective and allow oil leaks for several reasons, indicating that you should replace this seal immediately.
The most common reason behind camshaft seal failure is normal wear and tear. Each part of your Volkswagen will suffer damage gradually because regular driving causes these parts to wear down. This is why sticking to a regular maintenance schedule is vital. Any worn part can be repaired or replaced before it causes a domino effect that will result in extensive damage.
As temperatures under the vehicle’s hood can run high while driving, the rubber seal may warp and become unable to fully contain engine oil. This will also contribute to the hardening and fragility of the seal over time.
Sometimes, when the crankcase puts too much pressure on the camshaft seal, it will break and allow engine oil to leak. This may happen after the seal is already significantly worn down, as it will be easier to damage.
Signs of Camshaft Seal Failure
Camshaft seal damage will allow the engine oil in your Volkswagen to leak. When this happens, several warning signs will manifest. It’s essential to pay attention to any concerning changes in your driving experience because they may indicate camshaft seal leaks that require immediate attention.
- The easiest warning sign to observe is any visual clues of an oil leak. You will see it on the engine, the motor, and the valve cover. If the leak is bad enough, it may puddle under your car when you are not driving.
- Low engine oil levels may indicate a leak if you are not due for a regular oil change or top-off yet. Check your oil levels occasionally, because oil leaks can be very gradual and you may not notice huge changes right away.
- When the oil cannot lubricate the engine, it will begin to heat up significantly. As a result, oil that has leaked onto the exhaust pipe or manifold may smoke and give off an odor. If you notice smoke coming from the engine in conjunction with other warning signs, you likely are dealing with an oil leak possibly due to camshaft seal failure.
- Oil leaks will eventually cause significant damage to your Volkswagen’s engine. As a result, the check engine light may illuminate or the engine will overheat, which is indicated by the temperature gauge on your dash.
Replacement of the Camshaft Seal
It is typically recommended by experts that you have your camshaft seal replaced every 80,000 miles. However, any premature damage can create a need to have this seal replaced earlier. When this happens, you need to be able to trust that your Volkswagen is in capable hands.
Mountain View’s Leading European Auto Shop
European vehicles are intricate machines that require the expertise of a qualified technician when things go wrong. When you trust the specialists, you are saving time and money with the guarantee of getting the job done right the first time.
The ASE-certified technicians at Bavarium Autoworks deliver the highest quality of care using the latest diagnostic and repair tools available, giving our auto shop the best reputation in the Mountain View, CA area.
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