Like the crankshaft, the camshaft is an essential component of the combustion process that moves your car down the road. Its motion is responsible for instigating valve movement, which regulates the air/fuel mixture that fuels the “big bang.” The camshaft uses lobes (called cams) to push against and open the valves as the camshaft rotates (springs on the valves return them to their closed position) in sync with the pistons. Note: Both valves are closed during compression and combustion so that the combustion chamber is sealed.
The camshaft seal fits between the camshaft and the cylinder head, sealing the camshaft between the top of the head and the valve cover. Like all of an engine’s internal moving parts, the camshaft must be well lubricated, essentially submerged in oil, to do its job properly. Without the camshaft seal, this lubricating oil would leak out of the engine block, befouling the engine bay and putting the engine’s internal components in danger from insufficient lubrication. It also keeps contaminants like dust and dirt from damaging the engine’s internal components.
One of the most important parts of your car, the camshaft seal is made from a durable material, capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and pressures. But if it fails, replacement is the only cure. The good news is that the seal is a relatively inexpensive component, but note that replacing it can be a labor-intensive job.
Loss of oil could cause the engine to seize, and a leak could develop into a potential fire hazard as the mixes with dirt and other contaminants. Replace the camshaft seal sooner than later.
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