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Camshaft Seal Replacement Cost: All That You Need to Know 

Camshaft Seal Replacement Cost: All That You Need to Know 

Camshaft seal replacement cost ranges from $363 and $456. The price can jump significantly and reach about $1000 depending on your vehicle's manufacturer. The part itself is very cheap, and it's usually between $22 and $27; However, labor cost is the major component in replacing any camshaft seal. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


The camshaft seal is responsible for preventing any oil leaks from the camshaft to the surrounding engine components.

For the camshaft to work properly, it requires a certain oil level to prevent any contact with metal components that could lead to friction which could damage your engine due to overheating.

If the seal gets damaged, it is very easy for that oil to escape from around the camshaft and make its way towards the cylinder. Once this oil reaches the cylinder, you will notice smoke smells or smoke trails.

It is very important to make sure that you will always have a working camshaft seal. Otherwise, you might deal with significant damages to your engine's components.

This article provides it with all the necessary details we need to understand, and we focus on how much it will cost you to replace the camshaft seal, the symptoms of a bad camshaft seal, and the main role of this camshaft seal in your combustion system.

At the end of this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step on how to replace your camshaft seal so you can save on labor costs. 

What is the camshaft seal, and what does it do? 

Before we discuss the details about the camshaft seal, Let's make sure that we're on the same page on how the camshaft works.

The camshaft is one of the most important components of your combustion system. It is located on top of the cylinders and its primary job is to control the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves.

As the camshaft rotates, both intake and exhaust valves open or closed depending on your engine's needs. 

Between the camshaft itself and the cylinder wall, there is what we call the camshaft seal. Is responsible for making sure that air or fuel does not escape from the engine. Thus, your cylinder will always be under the optimum pressure to generate the power. 

The seal is also responsible for making sure that the camshaft is always lubricated, and as it's moving, there is no metal touching each other which means there is no friction that could result in too high heats. High heats are the worst enemy to your engine, and it can't simply cause engine destruction.

Over time of use, it is not surprising to deal with a broken or damaged camshaft seal. Imagine this part is always exposed to high heat's which makes it very susceptible to getting damaged.

If the seal gets damaged, the oil will leak from around the camshaft. Thus, the camshaft will not receive the proper lubrication. As a result, you might face significant engine overheating that could damage not only the engine but also contaminates the entire engine's components. 

Usually, the seal is strong enough to stand the lifespan of your camshaft. Thus, you will not need to replace the camshaft seal unless you replaced the camshaft itself. 

Symptoms of a bad camshaft seal 

In the automobile world, there are always symptoms of bad or faulty components. First, as a driver, you need to educate yourself on the main symptoms of major damages.

For example, when the camshaft seal starts to go bad, it will tell you before it even does. There are very clear symptoms of a bad camshaft seal which includes:

  • Clear oil leak 

Since the seal is responsible for preventing any oil from leaking outside of the camshaft, the first most obvious sign of a bad camshaft is an oil leak.

This oil leak will not be to the bottom of your vehicle, and it's not something you will notice like a puddle of oil under the car. It will most likely be some drops of oil around your engine's rear part right close to the valves.

If the leak is severe, you might even start seeing some oil dripping around the corners of the engine itself. 

  • Smoke smell 

Imagine if oil makes its way to the exhaust system; what will happen? Another obvious symptom of a bad camshaft seal is the smoke smell or smoke trails coming out of the engine component.

This oil can quickly get burnt to produce some smoke smell or smoke streaks. Depending on the severity of the leak and the damage to your camshaft seal, the degree and intensity of smoke might differ significantly.

If you have noticed any of the mentioned symptoms of a bad camshaft seal, you must take immediate action and have your vehicle inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic. Otherwise, you might scarify one of the most important components in your car, which is your engine. 

How much does it cost to replace the camshaft seal? 

Camshaft seal replacement cost ranges from $363 and $456 . Camshaft seal replacement is one of those repairs that require a significant amount of Labor efforts. First, you will notice how the big difference is between the labor and part costs below:

  • The part itself is not very expensive, and it usually costs between $22 and $27.
  • However, the labor cost is consuming, ranging from $341 to $430 depending on where you get the job done. 

To give you a closer look at how different the camshaft seal replacement cost is between different types of cars, let's take a look at the table below: 

Car Type Camshaft Seal Replacement Cost
2013 Porsche Panamera $668.06
2014 Audi A8 Quattro $318.23
2009 Subaru Impreza $901.19
2010 Volkswagen Tiguan $423.07
2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 $268.60
2008 Audi A8 Quattro $657.42

As you might notice, the price range is significantly high, and we are only listing relatively older vehicles. We did not introduce any of the brand-new vehicles of this year or the year before.

One might argue why can't I replace my camshaft seal and save a ton on repair cost? Well, that is true, and it makes a lot of sense. However, replacing the camshaft seal requires a very long time of experienced mechanics. Imagine how much time will take you if you don't have any previous mechanical skills in replacing such part?

Plus, it is very important to keep in mind that any DIY does not work the first time. Therefore, you don't want to test the first DIY on your vehicle engine because you might introduce significant damages to the entire engine.  

How long do the camshaft seal last? 

According to automotive experts, the camshaft seal should last up to 80,000 miles. However, this number can be much lower depending on your vehicle's own circumstances.

The camshaft seal is designed of a mixture of metal and rubber. The rubber component ensures that heat does not reach their metal component, and therefore, the camshaft seal should last and withstand the high heat coming from the engine.

However, with the camshaft itself goes bad, it speeds the damage of the camshaft seal. It is very important to keep an eye on any symptoms of a bad camshaft seal. Otherwise, you might scarify the entire engine. 

How to replace a camshaft seal? 

As you already noticed, labor cost is the biggest component in the camshaft seal replacement costs. Thus, many drivers tend to learn how to replace their camshaft seal instead of wasting all this money on labor costs.

As we mentioned earlier, it is very important to make sure that you are comfortable replacing this component. Otherwise, you might introduce significant damages to your entire engine block.

If you still would like to get an idea about how this part is replaced, here is a summary of step-by-step guidance on how to replace a camshaft seal: 

  • Confirm that the problem is coming from the camshaft seal 

Before you dig into the details about replacing the camshaft, the first step is to make sure that the problem is coming from the camshaft seal.

To do so, you can reach out to a professional mechanic who can use certain toolsets to help him inspect your car and confirm that the problem is coming from your camshaft seal. 

  • Prepare all necessary materials 

The last thing you would want to do is start any repair shop without having all the same materials. For this certain job, you will need a relatively long list of materials which includes the following:

  • Torque wrench
  • The right stuff gasket maker
  • Trap to place it under the vehicle 
  • Safety goggles 
  • Your vehicles owner's manual 
  • Air hose reel
  • Sockets, wrenches, ratchets from different sizes 
  • Gloves 
  • Some power tools include a coolant vacuum fulfiller, an airflow gauge, a 3/4 drive impacts, and many impacts, an electric ratchet, and at 1/2 electric drive impact 
  • Oil drain pan 
  • Oil seal puller 
  • Grease 
  • Jack stand, and Jack 
  • Coolant drain pan 
  • Brake clean 
  • Camshaft sprocket holding tool 
  • These are the primary tools that you will need. Some mechanics might use some optional tools, which are not always necessary. 
  • Get your vehicle ready 

You will most likely be working under the car; Therefore, it is time to raise your vehicle using a Jack and Jack stand. Make sure to chock the wheels, so the vehicle doesn't slip as you're working to prevent causing any injuries to yourself. 

Once the vehicle is raised, use the drain pan and drain all the engine oil out. By now, you should be ready to replace the camshaft seal. 

  • Remove the timing belt 

Take out the timing belt and all associated components around it. You also need to remove the camshaft sprockets.

  • Remove the old camshaft seal 

Using a simple screwdriver or any oil seal puller, take out the old damaged camshaft seal. When you're doing so, ensure that you don't damage the camshaft itself by scratching it. 

  • Install the new camshaft seal 

Once the old camshaft seal is removed, clean out all the area before installing the new seal. It is also recommended that you apply a stuff gasket maker and put some grease to help install the new camshaft seal properly.

Place the new camshaft seal in the right place by driving it slowly without causing any damage is to the camshaft itself. 

  • Reinstall all other components 

Once the camshaft seal is installed, you can now go ahead and reinstall the sprockets, the timing belt, and all its associated components. 

  • Add engine oil 

At this point, you can go ahead and top up your engine oil to make sure that it has the optimum level of oil. To get an idea about what's the optimum level of engine oil, you can refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for accurate guidance. 

  • Lower the vehicle and test drive 

That's it! All it needs to do now is to lower your vehicle slowly and test drive the car to ensure no symptoms of a bad camshaft seal. 

 The bottom line

The camshaft seal is one of the most crucial components in your vehicle's combustion system, although it is very small. It prevents any oil from leaking from the camshaft towards the inside of your cylinders.

It is very important to release the camshaft seal whenever it gets damaged. Otherwise, you might introduce significant damages to your engine.

Replacement costs can be very high, especially on the labor costs part of it.

If you feel that replacement costs are getting close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, it is recommended that you sell this car instead and use the payment towards a better vehicle.

If you're looking for someone to buy your car with a damaged camshaft seal or even a completely damaged engine, we will always help you!

Cash Cars Buyer would love to buy your car, and all that it takes you is a quick conversation with our team. 

You can always give us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer