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97 Neon Cam Shaft Seal Replacement

So the front cam shaft seal on my 1997 SOHC Plymouth Neon is dead. From looking around online it looks like I can have this repaired without yanking the engine out? Looks like something around $700 maybe. Does that sound about right? Probably going to get the timing belt replaced at the same time so… anything else to replace while it is apart?

So, I’m wondering if I could have prevented this in the first place. Dodge started using some kind of seal clip in 1998 and issued a bulletin about this problem in 2003 (or thereabouts) which makes me think it’s just a hazard of driving a cheap car. But I also read that using heavier oil could also put more pressure on it and cause premature failure. I was using 10w-30 instead of the recommended 5W-30 as it seemed to drip less that way. Did I kill it or just coincidence?

After 16 years I wouldn’t necessarily call this premature failure but it might help if we knew the mileage of the car. Replace the water pump at the same time and, depending on how old they are, the tensioner and tensioner pulley too. If you don’t know when they were changed last, go ahead and change them now. Since the cam seal failed it would probably be prudent to replace the crank seal at the same time.

We’re only coming up on 90,000 miles, but I hear you on the 16 years part.