Camshaft seals are an important component of your Volkswagen’s engine. They can break down over time, which can cause oil leaks. We’ll take you through the consequences of camshaft seal failure, the symptoms to look out for, and how we can help.
Dangers of a Broken Camshaft Seal
As mentioned above, a broken camshaft seal can cause significant problems for your car because oil will leak in the engine. Over time, driving regularly with low oil due to a leak can lead to complete engine failure.
Replacing your engine may total as much as 30 percent of the original cost of the vehicle. Leaks can also cause the engine to overheat. This may damage the engine gradually, but it may also cause imminently-dangerous fires. Overall, leaks are clearly dangerous enough that a defunct camshaft seal should prompt a trip to a mechanic.
Luckily, there are several signs that can help you identify a broken camshaft seal. If you notice any of these, you should make sure to see a mechanic.
Visible Oil Leakage
You can find your camshaft seals on the top of the cylinder head. Leaks will have visibly spread to the rest of the engine, including the area below the valve cover.
Engine Bay Smoke
Leaked oil may find its way to the exhaust pipe, causing it to burn. You may notice smoke or the smell of smoke. The larger the leak is, the more intense the smoke is likely to be. This is a sign that your car is at risk, and this excessive smoke is also terrible for the environment.
Check Engine Light
Your check engine light can detect oil anomalies in your engine. Though the problem may well have nothing to do with your camshaft seal, this indicator is at least a sign that you should look further to figure out what is wrong.
In a poorly-lubricated engine, excessive friction may cause your engine to overheat. Any of these signs might tell you that your engine is overheating, and the culprit could be your camshaft seals.
- Hot Hood: Your engine relies on combustion, so it is normal for the hood of your car to be hot. However, if it is extremely hot, there might be cause for concern. You should be able to comfortably place your hand on the hood without burning yourself. You may also notice that a hot hood emits steam.
- “Hot” Smell: Burning components have a distinct smell caused by fumes that are only released during overheating. If your car smells off, you should see a mechanic.
- Temperature Gauge or Light: If your temperature gauge is near the maximum, your engine might be overheating. Still, you should not rely too much on the temperature gauge, as certain circumstances can prevent it from properly displaying the correct temperature.
- Ticking Noise: In a poorly-lubricated, overheated engine, you may hear noises when parts grind against each other. When the engine is hot, these parts may degrade faster than normal, causing overall damage to your car.
- Coolant Liquid on the Ground: Leaks in your coolant system may cause the fluid to spill onto the ground, so you will notice puddles where your car is parked. Overheated engines can facilitate this, when they cause coolant liquid to boil over and spill out.
- Reduced Engine Power: An overheated engine may not be as powerful as one at the proper temperature, and you may notice that your Volkswagen struggles to accelerate. There are numerous problems that can cause this, so examine your car more closely and take it to a mechanic if you suspect that your engine is struggling to generate power.
Bavarian Auto Can Replace Your Camshaft Seals
If you suspect engine anomalies, including a broken camshaft seal, you should see a mechanic before you risk continued damage to your engine. Additionally, broken camshaft seals are difficult to predict, and you are unlikely to know you have one if there are not relatively obvious symptoms.
We recommend that you have your car preemptively inspected regularly. For both preemptive maintenance checks and for replacing broken seals, our skilled mechanics at Bavarian Auto in Chattanooga, TN are here to meet your Volkswagen needs. We are proud to serve areas including Ootelwah and Hixson. Call us today.