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How do you change an oil seal on a 1996 Honda Accord if the oil leak is coming from the timing belt cover?

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2015-07-15 21:12:38
2015-07-15 21:12:38

Oil leaks from the timing belt cover may be a sign that the oil is actually leaking past either the camshaft oil seal or crankshaft oil seal. These are circular rubber gaskets that keep the oil in the valve assembly where the camshaft is located or in the case of the crankshaft seal, this oil seal keeps the oil inside the block. Both the camshaft and crankshaft ends protrude slightly into the area covered by the timing belt cover. The timing belt wraps around the camshaft and crankshaft on the protruding ends where toothed gears or pulleys are bolted in place. In order to change either of the 2 oil seals, the timing cover and belt need to be removed. Also, the pulley to either the camshaft or crankshaft needs to be unbolted. Here is where the job can become quite difficult. Honda Accords have a crankshaft bolt that is extremely tight and thus, very hard to remove. The torque rating is 159 foot-lbs. and so I could not remove this bolt that holds the crankshaft gear in place on the crankshaft on a 1991 Accord with my simple torque wrench or breaker bar. As a comparison, the lug nuts on wheels are torqued at 90+ foot-lbs. I later found out that mechanics use an air impact wrench. A car parts tech told me that you can buy a special tool to leverage this bolt. Having successfully changed the crankshaft seals on a 1990 Hyundai and 1990 Mazda p/u with basic tools in the past probably gave me a false sense of confidence. But these vehicles had lower torque ratings to their pulley bolts. In summary, the answer to your question can be best spelled out in detail from an aftermarket repair manual as this is only a general and simplified explanation where I focused on the crankshaft pulley that first has to be removed in order to access the crankshaft oil seal which I suspect is leaking. By the way, oil seals themselves are inexpensive. The job is labor intensive as they are other components that need to be removed besides what is described above. This is why some mechanics suggest that the water pump be replaced at the same time as when changing the timing belt. Unless you enjoy the satisfaction of doing a job yourself, rent the tools/equipment, and have experience with working on cars, I'd leave this job to the pros.

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