Last post on May 13, 2002 at 9:06 PM
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May 12, 2002 (2:55 am)
Sometime over 100K most cars leak a little. Big leaks usually indicate a problem. An example would be valve covers. My 89 Jeep started leaking large amounts from the valve cover. This valve cover has a lip on it so even with an old gasket, it is not prone to large leaks. Removed the cover and found large deposits of sludge preventing oil from returning to the pan. Sludge was the result of swelled shut PVC rubber gromit. An old Ford PU also pooled oil. Besides leaking, every time I stopped fast the oil would rush to the front and be sucked up by the PCV valve. On this same engine (180K) I replaced a leaking front shaft seal. Six months later, it was leaking again. This engine had really bad main bearings that ruined the new seal. Still it was reliable, had good gas mileage for a truck and ran great. Sometimes leaks are telling you something other than being old and dried out.
#4 of 12 no stop leak please!
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 12, 2002 (5:24 am)
Don't use oil stop leak. It is evil stuff and does more harm than good. It's a seal swelling chemical and ruins the seals completely. It will probably worsen your leak, not help it.
#5 of 12 Replace the front seals,
May 12, 2002 (8:32 am)
along with the timing belt, any tensioner arms, and if high mileage water pumps. On more than one car, when a seal leaks in the front it saturates the timing belt. It weakens the belt, and can be a dangrous condition. The complete repair is not cheap, idler arms, tensioners, and water pumps require removal of the timing belt it saves money in the long run. I had one car that had to have the timing belt removed and put on again 3 times. VERY EXPENSIVE.
#6 of 12 If it's a minor leak.....
May 12, 2002 (3:54 pm)
....you could try switching to one of the motor oils formulated for cars with high mileage. They are supposed to allow the seals to seal better. I've heard Valvoline makes a good one. Of course if it's a major leak, this won't help.
May 13, 2002 (10:09 am)
I agree that leaving a leak can harm the timing belt. Fatal on an interference engine. If that is not the case try autorx www.auto-rx.com or Valvoline Maxlife (it's now SL approved) to see if it will make a difference. Valvoline described the Maxlife to me as one that wasn't a permanent fix, but it would slightly enlarge the seals and help seal what he called pinholes.
#8 of 12 Bearin Seal
May 13, 2002 (1:06 pm)
I used a product from Radiator Specialty company a long time ago when I had a GM with a seeping rear seal. It was called Bearin Seal. I don't know if it's still available but it worked great. I had a seeping seal at 20,000 miles and never lost a drop after adding the Bearin Seal for another 107,000 miles (at which point I sold the car).
I recommended it to my brother a year back and it worked for him. It supposedly is absorbed into the seal material and causes it to soften and swell. It's a very low viscosity material and does not seal gaps by "clotting".
#9 of 12 OK guys, so what's the difference..
May 13, 2002 (2:01 pm)
There is alot of negative press about most seal swellers (exception is the previous note on BERAIN SEAL!!!), so what is the difference in these seal swellers and the Valvoline maxlife version?
Does Maxlife use something different or is it just packaged better...I understand it uses better than normal base oil, but it is still adding seal conditioners just like you can get seperately right?
#10 of 12 According to Valvoline,
May 13, 2002 (3:24 pm)
It has a small amount of seal conditioners that help restore original condition. (No more than 5% increase in size on a test with pre hardened seals). Seal swellers can go much larger.
#11 of 12 re:max life
May 13, 2002 (3:26 pm)
do not expect miracles from max life.it made my small leaks a little worse.
#12 of 12 it's already been said
May 13, 2002 (9:06 pm)
"seal conditioner", "swells the seal slightly and seals pinholes," however you want to say it, you are pouring seal rubber solvent into the oil pan and circulating it around the engine. sure, the seal swells up... it also gets softer and gel-like, and if you have any other issues at all besides a hardened or slightly burned surface on the seal, it's gonna fail fast. you will also have failures of things you never figured, like the gasket sealing edge on the oil pan gasket, any rubber gaskets on the inside, etc.
might as well pour drain acid in the oil to get the varnish stains off the tops of the valves.
you really want to stop leaks, I recommend you pump hydraulic cement under pressure into the oil filler until it comes out the radiator cap. guaranteed you will have no further wear on that engine.
disclaimer: that's a joke, folks, don't try this at home. have a trained professional comedian do it, and sell the video on late-night TV.