Where there is smoke, there is fire. If you see blue smoke coming out of your car's tailpipe, however, it's a whole different story. That indicates exhaust gases have leaked into the crankcase, thanks to worn-out valve stem seals.Too much engine oil may also be draining from the crankcase. Fortunately, you'll only need a valve stem seal kit to repair the damage. The kit contains everything you need to reseal your car's leaking valve stems, restoring the functions of the engine's poppet valves.The valve stem seals in each kit are designed as direct-fit replacements, so installing them shouldn't involve be too hard. You can get seal kits just for the intake or exhaust manifold, but it's recommended that you get a valve stem seal kit that can work for both manifolds.That way, you can't be sure that the intake and exhaust manifolds are properly closed and opened during each engine stroke. For your convenience, valve stem seal kits are widely available here at Carparts.
• Comes with a complete set of seals
• Made from high-quality material that resists damage brought by heat and pressure
• Ensures that the intake and exhaust manifolds' poppet valves are protected from leaks
How to Find the Valve Stem Seal that Fits Your Vehicle
Thinking of a way to reduce your vehicle emissions? Replacing your old valve stem seal just might do the trick. This seal ensures that your valve train and combustion chamber are properly lubricated for long-term engine performance and service life. It also prevents too much oil flow, which may lead to overheating. If you are looking for a valve stem seal replacement, here are the things you have to check out before buying:
- Umbrella-type or deflector-type: If you have a used auto with a pushrod engine, then this type of seal is what you might be looking for. Often paired with an O-ring, it is an easy-to-install component that works by deflecting the oil from the valve stem.
- Positive-type: Used in modern automobiles, positive-type seals provide a higher level of oil control compared to umbrella-type seals. Its design provides a tighter coverage, which reduces not just oil leaks, but also unwanted emissions. If your ride has an OHC engine, this is probably the seal design you should look for.
Valve stem seals can be made of different materials. Every material is not compatible with every vehicle-so before purchasing anything, make sure you know what your original seal is made of.
- Nitrile: This material is commonly used in low-end seals because of its cheap price and easy accessibility. Nitrile-based seals can be found in vintage vehicles and supercars.
- Polyacrylate: Similar to nitrile, polyacrylate is also common in umbrella-type seals, but it is a little more expensive and durable than nitrile-crafted seals. Seals made of polyacrylate are used in vehicles designed for everyday city or highway driving. Older engines such as the Chevy V8 also use seals made of this component.
- Fluouroelastomer (Viton): Viton possesses superior oil and heat resistance, making Viton-crafted seals perfect for race cars, off-road trucks, and other vehicles involved in heavy-duty applications. The downside: Viton seals can be really pricey.
- Silicone: One of the high-grade materials, silicone costs four to five times more than nitrile-based seals. Though it's not as tough as fluouroelastomer, this material handles higher temperature levels making it more powerful compared to nitrile and polyacrylate.
- Teflon: The toughest of them all, Teflon-crafted seals may cost 20 times more than nitrile-based products, but it is worth it-its performance against heat and wear is unmatched by other materials, even Viton. It provides maximum oil flow control. Used in positive seals, Teflon-made seals are common in high-performance automobiles. Apart from its steep price, another downside of using Teflon-made seals is compatibility. Not all valve stems are designed to handle this type of material.
5 Easy Steps to Replace Your Valve Stem Seal
Blue is a good color, except when it is the color of the smoke belching out your car pipe. In case you notice this while your engine is idling, make sure you switch its busted valve stem seal right away. Not only will you help reduce environmental pollution, but you will also prevent oil leaks within the exhaust or intake manifold. The valve stem seal is easy to replace; in just five steps, you can enjoy a clean and leak-protected vehicle.
Things you'll need:
- Wrench set
- Assembly lube
- Socket set
- Valve spring tool
- Screwdriver (a magnetic screwdriver would be useful)
- Air compressor
- Compression gauge (hose)
- Shop rag
- New valve stem seals
- Remove the different components within the engine: spark plug cover, spark plugs, cylinder head cover, rocker arms, push rods, cam breather pipes, coil packs, etc. until you reach the valve stem seals.
- Afterwards, turn on the air compressor and regulate it to 60 to 90 psi. Rotate the crankshaft until the valve seals are at the center. Attach the compression gauge hose into the spark plug hole, and connect the air compressor hose to pressurize the cylinder. By doing this, you are keeping the valve closed.
- Compress your valve spring using the valve spring tool and remove its keepers using the magnetic screwdriver. Cover the area using towels to avoid losing the keepers then remove the spring.
- Remove the valve to access the old seal. Use your pliers or screwdrivers to get rid of the seal, and place a dab of assembly lube into the grooves of the valve to keep the collets on the valve stem. Re-install the valve; place something under it so it won't slide.
- Carefully lodge the new seal on the valve stem and slide it down to the base. Secure the new seal with a socket. Afterwards, tap it lightly with the hammer so it sits well on the valve guide. Re-install the valve springs together with the collets.