There is nothing worse than seeing a black puddle underneath your MINI where it’s been parked. When your vehicle starts to leak oil, you might write it off as an everyday thing that can wait for a repair. But a drop becomes a steady drip which can become a leak. Sooner or later, you will have to face it: your car has an oil leak.
We see oil leaks all the time, and for the most part, the culprit is a cracked or broken crankshaft seal. This little widget is essential to a healthy, happy car. When you first notice that tell-tale stain on your driveway, don’t despair. A crank seal replacement is an easy job for your local mechanic.
The reason your Mini needs oil is to keep the crankshaft lubricated while it rotates. Your crankshaft has 2 caps, one on either end, keeping the oil inside the crankshaft case. When one of those crankshaft caps becomes cracked or damaged, the pressurized seal becomes compromised, and oil leaks out.
Causes of a Crankshaft Seal Failure
Crank seals are made of durable rubber, which is lightly lubricated. Over time, that rubber dries out and begins to crack. These cracks break the seal around your crankshaft and cause oil to leak out gradually as the rubber part loosens.
This is a natural part of the life cycle of your Mini and not a sign of an underlying issue. Crank seals typically have a lifespan of 100,000 miles but may wear out faster if exposed to extreme temperature fluctuation.
How To Spot A Crank Seal Failure
The most evident sign of crank seal failure is an oil leak. You might find your vehicle just can’t seem to hold oil no matter how many times you fill it up. You could find the oil light never seems to shut off, even after filling it up just hours ago.
If the crank seal has broken, the oil in your engine will escape through the broken seal. Given the necessity of oil in the function of your engine, this is a safety hazard. If all those moving parts aren’t oiled up, they’re bound to stutter or scrape, wreaking havoc on your engine and possibly causing your car to stop working while driving.
If you notice that your vehicle has begun having trouble holding oil, or if you’ve found a big black puddle underneath your vehicle, it’s a good idea to bring it to an automotive technician as soon as possible.
Fixing a Cracked or Broken Crankshaft Seal
We service old, cracked crankshaft seals all the time. It is a routine repair that you should expect to experience during your Mini’s lifespan. The process is straightforward and can be completed in just a few hours.
First, we raise your vehicle and place the body on jack stands. This allows us to easily access the underside of the chassis. While our mechanics lift the vehicle, we also have a chance to ensure your vehicle is properly aligned and free from other potential problems.
Next, we remove the crankshaft damper along with the timing belt. While this is a routine maintenance task, it should only be performed by factory-certified technicians with experience in the make and model of your particular vehicle. DIYers who attempt this repair risk damaging the timing belt or crankshaft. These are delicate parts that require specialized tools to remove and replace.
The next step is the removal and replacement of the crankshaft seal. Because the engine is off during maintenance, the oil is below the level of the crankshaft at this stage. We do not need to drain the oil to complete the job. We still recommend an oil change if your vehicle has been leaking oil to ensure enough oil is in your vehicle for smooth operation.
Once we replace the crankshaft seal, we reinstall the timing belt and crankshaft. We lower the vehicle, and you are ready to drive home without leaving a trail behind you.
Find Technicians You Can Trust at Turning Wrenches
We know that when your car is having trouble, it can be stressful. At Turning Wrenches, our technicians have the skills and ability to make sure your car can continue to run reliably for you and your family.
We’ve always had a passion for cars, but we’ve been helping the community of Louisville, KY drive safely since 2013. Turning Wrenches is here for any of your automotive needs. Bring your vehicle in for service today.