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Should I replace the Crankshaft Seal in my 98 Camry?

I have 150k on my 98 Camry.

It is slowly leaking oil.

Garage recommends new Crankshaft seal, and while he’s in there a timing belt, water pump for about $900

I can stand the leaking by putting some cardboard down in my garage.

Are there any long term side effects to not replacing the seal if I manage the oil level by checking it every week or so?

The timing belt MAY be more important than the seal…Do you have an “interference” type engine where belt failure means engine destruction? The oil leak, by itself, is “manageable” You could try a little “engine oil stop leak” to swell the seal and stop the leak. “High Mileage Motor Oil” contains a low dose of this, to maintain oil seals…

I actualy replaced the timing belt at 95k so that should be fine. I wanted to hold off on Crankshaft seal until i need anohter timing belt.

I’m not sure about the “interference” type question.


If you can live with a few drops it will be OK. If it creates a small puddle when sitting a few days then perhaps it needs attention. The oil may be leaking faster when the motor is running than when sitting. Keep an eye on the oil level.

If you get the timing belt changed in the next year or so then you are good until almost 250K miles and who knows whether the car will survive that long. In other words if the leak is significant and the car is otherwise good, perhaps getting it done now makes sense.

Riders of motorcycles will thank you for not leaving your slippery oil on the roads they ride over.

I conclude this “crankshaft seal” is at the front of the engine? typically when you speak of crankshaft seal it is at the rear.We have not confused camshaft seal here have we?

My point is if there is anyway that the oil leaking from this FRONT crankshaft seal could get on the timing belt the seal souuld be replaced.

Do you place any value on having a engine that doesn’t leak oil? How much will you save if the seal is not replaced? it better be a substancial amount to pass it up when the mechanic is right there.

Did you check the PCV valve to make sure it working.
A bad PCV can cause a buildup of crankcase pressure, forcing oil through the seals.