Oil leak additive effectiveness and related question

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Old 18 Dec 2005, 02:02 pm   #1 (permalink)
M. Hamill
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Default Oil leak additive effectiveness and related question

My 1986 Camry had been burning about a quart of oil every 500 miles. Last
Monday, I filled it with oil at least up to the oil dipstick full mark,
probably past it.

The next day, about noon, after having driven it about 300 miles, I noticed
that oil was leaking off the engine somewhere, quite likely at the
camshaft's oil seal. While it's possible the leak is coming from the oil pan
gasket, it probably isn't. It's hard for me to tell because I can't easily
prop up the car, and it's been cold and wet here. The leak seemed to develop
fairly suddenly.

If the camshaft oil seal IS leaking, it looks to me like this would be quite
an expensive, labor-intensive repair.

I've seen that auto parts stores sell additives that can be added to motor
oil that supposedly stop or slow oil leaks through seals. I'm interested in
feedback about the effectiveness of these additives - or the lack thereof.
And does anyone have any particular brand(s) or these additives to
recommend - or warn me away from?

A related question - can anyone think of a scenario where overfilling the
oil level might lead to an oil leak. For example, by increasing the oil pump
pressure enough to cause a leak at a weakening point in a seal?

Thanks. Any help would be much appreciated.


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Old 18 Dec 2005, 02:23 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil leak additive effectiveness and related question

Those oil-leak additives have chemicals in them that cause seals to swell
and hopefully fill in the empty space where your oil is escaping. I doubt
its effectiveness on the kind of oil leak you're describing.
The only scenario that I can imagine a front-engine oil leak evolving
from an overfilled crankcase would be the clogging of the PCV system due
to the excess vapors from blowby and oil foaming, I guess. I've seen more
than a few cars have sudden and severe front engine seal failure from
clogged PCV systems; don't know if it was a result of over filling,

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Old 19 Dec 2005, 01:20 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil leak additive effectiveness and related question

ck the price
might not be as expensive as you think
I replace all the seals when changing the timing belt
I think I spent around $50 for a special tool to install the cam seal
parts pricing for all the seals was minimal
most common leak area is the valve cover gasket - try checking that
If you have no money - try tightening the nuts that hold the valve
cover first - but, of course, much better to replace the gasket,
tightening would at best slow the leak, not stop it.
Assuming 4 cyl. since you didn't specify

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Old 21 Dec 2005, 11:40 am   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil leak additive effectiveness and related question

Replace all the seals on the timing belt side of the motor. There is a
large seal behind the oil pump that most people forget about and it
will crack and really leak oil. Replace that too, replace the valve
cover gasket too. switch to a high mileage type oil to help swell the
other seals you cant easily replace like the rear main seal.

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