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Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

 
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Old 22 Apr 2014, 06:12 pm
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Default Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

Hi everyone,

I was driving back home on Sunday and pulled into a rest area. When I put the car in park (on a slight incline), I heard a beep and the Oil light came on. So, I shut it down and waited for a tow truck. I was about a quart or so low on oil (just enough that sitting uphill set off the oil light). I chose to have it checked out before I traveled any further though.

The mechanic said that they could see the oil leaking from the main seal (not sure if it was the front or rear though). They put a quart in, and sent me on my way--as they weren't equipped to handle that kind of thing. So now I'm trying to figure out what it's going to take to fix this.

I guess the things I want to know are, what are my alternatives? Will this require pulling the engine out, or just taking some things off? If I have to pull the engine, what other things will/should I fix at the same time? The car has about 83,710 miles on it right now.

Thanks, and have a great day.
Patrick.
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Old 22 Apr 2014, 06:58 pm
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

We are in the same boat!

It's probably the front main seal if the mechanic could see where the leak was coming from. I plan on doing mine this summer. Busted_PT did his when he did his timing belt. Here's a link to his thread:

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Old 22 Apr 2014, 07:26 pm
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

With Almost 84K miles , if your going to replace the seal , I'd do the Timing Belt , Water pump and the Tentioners too since theyre due around 90 - 100K miles anyway , maybe even do the Cam and Crank seals too , since they're right there , check your motor mounts
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Old 22 Apr 2014, 08:05 pm
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

do it while you are in there it saves time and busted knuckles later
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Old 21 Jul 2014, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

So this is an old thread (well a few months at least), but I'm curious about something. I haven't had the repairs done yet, due to the cost of them. I've driven the car every day, and haven't had any issues with the oil light coming on . The weekend that this happened, I drove 360 miles one day, and about 50 over the next two days. Then, I drove 80 miles and the oil light came on. Prior to that, I had some mechanical work done (shocks, struts, a new rack and pinion, and brakes).

I've probably put at least 1,500 miles on the car since April, if not more.

The thing I'm wondering is this: is it logical to think that all that driving I did in one weekend was enough to lower the oil enough to set off the light--but the 1,500+ miles I've put on since wasn't enough to do it again? Or should I be considering the idea that the mechanic messed up somewhere along the lines?

I'm asking because 1) I'm going to a different mechanic this Friday for an oil change, and 2) I'm going to be driving another 300 miles next weekend + whatever driving I do there, and 300 miles back home. So I'm worried about whether I'm going to have any issues again or not. I'm doing the oil change right before, so that I *hopefully* won't be a quart low when I travel.

I guess basically I'm asking if putting 400 miles on in a three day period would cause more oil to leak through the main seal than putting 1,500 miles (mainly city) on in four months would. More or less, so I know whether I need to check the oil every time I start the car on my upcoming trip or not.

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm going to be working up to getting these repairs done as soon as possible.

Have a great day.
Patrick.
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Old 21 Jul 2014, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

From what you posted, the work you had done had nothing to do with the seals..so I'd say no. What I do wonder is, why have all the other work done not but the seals since you know they are already leaking..??
A leak is a leak..plain & simple..with all your driving, you'll be lucky if you don't blow it out & cause a lot more damage. JMO
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Old 21 Jul 2014, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

well i drive 200 miles a day and a lot of times i will actually put like 1500 in a week and its been in the high 90's many days so im saying the oil geting thin shoudl not be a factor more likely the oil sending unit
(I do add a quart of lucas at each oil change and i change the oil ever 4 weeks)
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Old 21 Jul 2014, 12:11 pm
JDB JDB is offline
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_Dickey View Post
So this is an old thread (well a few months at least), but I'm curious about something. I haven't had the repairs done yet, due to the cost of them. I've driven the car every day, and haven't had any issues with the oil light coming on . The weekend that this happened, I drove 360 miles one day, and about 50 over the next two days. Then, I drove 80 miles and the oil light came on. Prior to that, I had some mechanical work done (shocks, struts, a new rack and pinion, and brakes).

I've probably put at least 1,500 miles on the car since April, if not more.

The thing I'm wondering is this: is it logical to think that all that driving I did in one weekend was enough to lower the oil enough to set off the light--but the 1,500+ miles I've put on since wasn't enough to do it again? Or should I be considering the idea that the mechanic messed up somewhere along the lines?

I'm asking because 1) I'm going to a different mechanic this Friday for an oil change, and 2) I'm going to be driving another 300 miles next weekend + whatever driving I do there, and 300 miles back home. So I'm worried about whether I'm going to have any issues again or not. I'm doing the oil change right before, so that I *hopefully* won't be a quart low when I travel.

I guess basically I'm asking if putting 400 miles on in a three day period would cause more oil to leak through the main seal than putting 1,500 miles (mainly city) on in four months would. More or less, so I know whether I need to check the oil every time I start the car on my upcoming trip or not.

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I'm going to be working up to getting these repairs done as soon as possible.

Have a great day.
Patrick.
Hey Patrick. We bought the wife's 06 band new. It now has over 160 thousand on it. She has changed the oil religiously at 3,000 miles since the first day we got it. And the thing has just as religiously burned a quart of oil between every single oil change since the very first one! ;~)

From what I was told by the dealer...and from other Cruiser owners...just about ALL of them do it. HowEVER, at about 100 thousand miles, the oil consumption went up to about a quart every 1,500 to 2,000 miles. So, I had her put a oil additive product in it that I've been using since the 60's. It took a couple applications, but it went back to better than it was when it was new. Less than a quart every 3,000 miles.

My question to you would be, have you SEEN fresh oil on the ground underneath the car when you park it? If you haven't, even if it is leaking slightly...it's not likely enough to hurt the car. Main seals don't usually just fail. They are a wear component that gradually gets worse and worse. Unless there is a bigger problem, like compression getting into block, it is hard to see how the main seals could be blown out bad enough to fail catastrophically.

But I suppose anything is possible. And with my everything Murphy said goes double for me kind of luck...even LIKELY! ;~)

Here's the thing. The PVC valve on your car sticking can cause it to consume oil. Heck, it can even cause it to blow smoke like a crop duster. Normal wear to oil rings can and DO cause oil consumption with age. So loss of oil can be a lot of things that are not necessarily going to lead to a catastrophic failure.

Were it me, I would go buy a GOOD QUALITY oil additive that says conditions seals and add it to the oil in your car today. As per directed on the bottle of course. Then drive it normally until the oil change Friday. Then buy an extra quart of oil and carry it with you and just monitor the oil on your trip and add the oil if it gets low.

But keep in mind...NEVER over fill the oil in you car's engine or transmission. That WILL blow out the seals and lead to engine failure. NO QUESTION!

As a matter of fact, I ALWAYS check the oil after my wife has the oil changed in her's to make sure that they not only got it full...which they do NOT do half the time...but that some jackwagon ain't over filled it. ;~)

I suggest everyone do the same if you pay to have it changed.

Oh, and to answer your question...I doubt it. In town driving is usually harder on your car than highway driving. The constant stopping and starting puts a LOT higher stresses on engine components than a constant speed. The ONLY difference it might make is that MAYbe if you are running it at high RPMs, the seals may allow more oil to push through the crank seal seats.

But unless the seal seat on the crank was flawed from the factory or somehow damaged by metal in the oil...it's hard to see that being the case. Especially since it's got all those miles and just now starting. Oh, or if the harmonic balancer has failed or been damaged and it's setting up weird harmonics at highway speeds. But that's about as rare as hen's teeth! ;~)

So I'd say, put in the oil additive NOW, have the oil changed and check the oil before you leave, carry an extra quart in case and see what happens. UNLESS you are seeing a bunch of oil on the ground everywhere you park that you KNOW is coming from your little cruiser. In THAT case...you have a problem you need to address as soon a possible.

By the way, the additive I use a lot is something called Marvel Mystery Oil. I've used it for years and it works pretty good for oil consumption. It SAYS it's a fuel additive as well, but I've never tried it for that. But just get a good brand that says it conditions seals and try it. It can't hurt and it might help. ;~)

Last edited by JDB; 21 Jul 2014 at 12:19 pm.
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Old 21 Jul 2014, 01:45 pm
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

You need to check the oil once a week. Don't wait on the light. I think that our pts suck oil through the breather system into the intake and burns some. You could still have a small leak. They make a a oil stop leak that works very well. Check you local auto parts for some.
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Old 22 Jul 2014, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Main Seal Leaking, What to do?

I'll try to hit on everyone's replies here. When the mechanic had it up on the lift (after the oil light came on), you could see oil on the bottom of the engine. They're the ones who said it was the main seal. And that was the first time anyone ever said a thing to me about it.

The reason I had the other work done, and not it was two-fold. One, the mechanics never said anything, and two I'm working from a limited budget. So I couldn't (and still can't) afford the extra expenses. I should note that I haven't taken the car back to them since. There were too many coincidences for me to trust them. Like two days after I had the shocks/struts/rack changed, my engine overheated. It was the radiator cap, which was bad. (Haven't had a problem since, but it could also contribute to this). And I should note that I shut the car down before it got to the redline. It barely got to the next line above half, and I could smell anti-freeze. Then two weeks after, I had the oil light come on... (Again, hasn't happened since)

As for oil leaks, I haven't noticed anything. Also I should note that I park the car slightly downhill (except for occasions when I have to pull in forward). I'm not sure if that would make a difference in seeing the leaks or not though. I haven't noticed any smoke either (or the other usual signs of using oil--except the notes about it being a quart low at every oil change).

I haven't checked my mileage yet (keep forgetting), but I can tell you that I average about 120 miles every two weeks or so of driving. It's all mainly city driving.

The one question I have for the people recommending that I put something in (Lucas, Marvel Mystery Oil, Oil Stop, etc) is will the amount that I put in add a lot to the oil level? I ask, because JDB mentioned not overfilling it, and I don't have anywhere to dump oil out at. I live in an apartment, so I can't do my own work on the car. Plus, I'm not very mechanically inclined (although I have helped tear apart and rebuild an older car about 25 years ago).

I'll get something and put it in tonight or tomorrow morning. And I'll see what the mechanics that I'm taking it to on Friday have to say. I had them do some work on the car in the past, and I trust their judgement more than the big-name store that I had do it before (regretfully I do have to say Walmart was one, but the mechanics who worked on the struts, etc was Blain's Farm and Fleet).

Thanks for your answers and opinions on this. Have a great day.
Patrick.
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