How to Replace Your Vehicle's Timing Cover Seal
Your vehicle's timing chain and sprockets are responsible for turning your camshaft. These constantly-moving components are lubricated with pressurized motor oil. Keeping that oil from leaking is your timing cover seal. This protective covering deteriorates with time. When it's time to replace your timing cover seal, save yourself a trip to the mechanic by doing the job yourself.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Here's what you'll need:
- Adjustable wrench and socket set
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Drain pan
- Harmonic balancer puller (you can get this at any auto parts store)
- Gasket scraper
- Gasket sealer
- New timing cover seal
NOTE: Working on a hot engine can be extremely dangerous. If your vehicle has been run recently, make sure it has cooled over several hours before starting this procedure.
Step 1: Use your wrench to disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal.
Step 2: Place the drain pan under your radiator petcock. Remove the petcock by turning it counterclockwise until it comes loose. Let the coolant drain into the drain pan.
Step 3: After draining all the coolant, set aside the drain pan for use later. Restore the radiator petcock.
Step 4: You'll find the harmonic balancer holding bolt on the crankshaft in front of your engine block. Remove it with an adjustable wrench. Place your harmonic balancer puller over the harmonic balancer and screw the two bolts on the puller into the balancer.
Step 5: Use your adjustable wrench to tighten the two bolts until the harmonic balancer slides off. You can then remove the puller from the balancer by loosening the bolts. Set the harmonic balancer aside for later.
Step 6: Use your adjustable wrench to remove the holding bolts on the engine fan and the water pump. Remove the engine fan and the water pump and set them aside.
Step 7: Remove the timing cover holding bolts with your adjustable wrench and pry off the timing cover. You can use your flat-head screwdriver to pry it off if necessary.
Step 8: Use the gasket scraper to remove all traces of the seal or gasket from the mating surfaces of the timing cover and the engine block.
Step 9: Apply a very small amount of gasket sealer to the mating surface of your engine block. Place your new timing cover seal over the sealer. Make sure that the mounting holes on the seal line up with those of your engine block. Restore your timing cover and secure it in place with the holding bolts.
Step 10: Re-install the water pump, the engine fan, and the harmonic balancer.
Step 11: Open the radiator cap and use the funnel in pouring the coolant from the drain pan back into the radiator. Close the radiator cap, and reconnect the negative battery cable to the terminal.
Step 12: Start your engine and check for any leaks. Tighten any loose connections.
Refer to your vehicle owner manual for specifications that may require you to deviate from these general instructions.