When your engine is running, it circulates motor oil throughout the engine block to coat all of the internal moving parts. After the oil lubricates the bearings and other components, it falls back down into the oil pan beneath the engine to be pumped through the engine once again. Many gaskets and seals serve to close up potential gaps between parts of the engine. That way, oil stays inside the engine rather than leaking out.
One such seal is called the front main seal. Sometimes referred to as a crankshaft seal, it forms a seal around the front end of the crankshaft in an engine. The seal takes up space between the end of the crankshaft and the engine block or the front timing cover.
The main symptom of a bad front main seal is an oil leak on the engine. Your engine might need this seal replaced if you notice one or more of the following:
Front main seal replacement requires significant access to the front of your engine. That can require that a technician remove several other components as part of the service, since space inside an engine compartment, especially in vehicles with transverse (sideways) mounted engines. To replace the seal, a technician will generally perform the following steps:
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