MINI’s are known for their compact, sturdy design and the quality engineering of their parent company, BMW. Unfortunately, they are not without their problems and are also known for crank seal oil leaks. Should you suspect an oil leak, it is likely coming from your vehicle’s crank seal and it must be repaired in a timely manner.
The crank seal is a component of your MINI’s engine, and if you let the oil leak fester long enough, you could be looking at engine damage down the road, and a much more expensive repair bill. Let’s take a closer look.
The Purpose of a Crank Seal
The crank seal is located on the front of the engine and seals the end of the crankshaft with the timing cover as the crankshaft rotates. They are generally made from rubber and metal. While a tiny component of the engine, the seal keeps the oil that is constantly being used and tossed by the crankshaft from leaking out of the engine’s crankcase.
Oil leaks left unattended can spell bad news for your vehicle’s engine and will eventually cause engine damage if not dealt with. Because the crank seal is mounted behind the engine’s main crankshaft pulley, it requires the removal of the belts, crankshaft pulley and harmonic balancer before it can be accessed.
Should you suspect a leaking crankshaft seal, it is imperative you take your vehicle to a professional for inspection and not take the task into your own hands. Aside from having to remove several parts to access the crank seal, you could end up incorrectly installing a crank seal, which can also cause an oil leak.
Signs of a Leaking Crank Seal
If you encounter any of the below signs of a leaking crank seal, take your vehicle to your trusted MINI mechanic as soon as possible:
- Check Engine Light: If you’re dealing with a leaking crank seal, the first sign may be your check engine light illuminating on your dashboard.
- Oil Leaks: The most obvious sign of a crank seal oil leak is just that, an oil leak. The crank seal can dry out, crack, or break over time, causing the leak. Smaller leaks cause oil to accumulate on the underside of the engine, while larger leaks will cause drips of oil from the front of the engine.
Causes of a Leaking Crank Seal
There are various causes as to why crank seals can leak oil. Having an understanding of these causes can help you prevent oil leaks in some cases.
- Weather Conditions: High temperatures can affect the elasticity of the rubber on your crank seal. Over time, it will break apart and deteriorate, leaving your crank seal susceptible to oil leaks.
- Faulty Installation: It is never advised to install a crank seal on your own. If done incorrectly, the crank seal can easily leak oil. Always have your trusted service and repair center install a new crank seal on your vehicle to avoid oil leaks. Your crank seal is located behind belts, the crankshaft pulley and the harmonic balancer, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it would be easy to install the crank seal incorrectly.
- High Mileage: Vehicles pushing the 100,000 mile range run the risk of the crank seal wearing out, resulting in an oil leak. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out how often you should service your crank seal as a preventative measure to avoid oil leaks.
If your car is pushing high-mileage, it is definitely recommended you have your crank seal serviced in the near future, as it is likely wearing out and in need of replacement. When it comes to avoiding faulty crank seals and oil leaks, prevention is key.
H&A Service and Sales: The Trusted Experts
At H&A Service and Sales, we look forward to repairing the crank seal oil leak in your MINI and earning your trust in the process. Quality service and customer care are of utmost importance to us, and we proudly serve our clients in the Cobb County, Kennesaw, Woodstock, and Marietta, GA areas.
Our highly-skilled technicians will have your crank seal oil leak fixed quickly. Call us today to book your appointment, or just stop by to speak to our friendly staff. We look forward to proving why we’re the best around.