MINI Coopers may be small cars but their size takes nothing away from their excellent performance. These vehicles are designed for speed along with comfort and safety in an affordable package. This makes them highly appealing in the vast automobile market.
Like many other cars, MINI Coopers are far from perfect. This is because these cars are also prone to developing mechanical failures along the way. A common fault that has been a thorn in the side of many MINI owners is the issue of crank seal oil leak.
What is a Crank Seal
The crankshaft seal (or crank seal) is a seal that is found at the front of the engine in the timing cover. It serves the purpose of sealing off the end of the crankshaft as it goes about its rotations. The crank seal is often made up of a fortified rubber material. Through its sealing action, this seal effectively prevents the oil in the crankshaft from leaking out in the course of being turned within a rotating crankshaft.
Causes of Crank Seal Oil Leak
A common reason why the crank seal oil sometimes leaks from within the camshaft is the accumulation of mileage on your MINI. The crank oil seal, being made of rubber, will start to degrade after having driven around for a while. Over time, rubber dries out and develops cracks. If left unchecked, this problem will cause the oil to start leaking.
Other than normal wear of the rubber seal, corrosion can also cause oil leaks from the crankshaft. Frequent temperature changes also cause expansion and contraction of the rubber seal, and this ultimately shortens the life of the seal and cause cracks to develop. These cracks are, in turn, responsible for the oil crank seal oil leaks.
Effects of Crank Seal Oil Leak
When the oil in the crankshaft starts to leak into the engine compartment, this leak will leave the smaller parts of the camshaft exposed to friction, which will affect the functions. The oil leaking into the engine compartment can also cause extensive damage in the other parts, such as the alternator.
How to Detect Crank Seal Oil Leaks
When oil leaks in your car, you will likely notice it somewhere or feel the effects of the leak. Crank seal oil leaks are no exception, as you may be able to notice brownish fluid under the engine. Should a leaky crank seal be left unattended for a while, the source of the leak can expand and lead to larger leaks. These kinds of leaks are usually characterized by brown drops or puddles forming under the front end area of your car.
You can detect a leak of this type by raising the front end of your MINI using a jack and getting under it with a flashlight in hand. Use the flashlight to shine light onto the front part on which the engine sits. Focus on the area around the front seal and the timing chain cover. Ensure that you cover up any leaks that you notice using your hand in order to check if there is more than one leaking spot.
How to Deal with Crank Seal Oil Leaks
There are no temporary solutions to leaking crank seal oil leaks. The only sure way to handle the problem is to replace the faulty crank seal with a new one. While the task can easily be achieved by following instructions, these tasks are quite difficult, and not everyone has that kind of patience and interest in DIYs. This is why visiting an professional auto-repair shop is the best course of action. A qualified mechanic will ensure that the replacement is done correctly the first time without you having to break a sweat.
Going for a mechanic with experience in dealing with MINI Coopers will also be to your advantage as they will know exactly how to go about it without upsetting any other part in the engine compartment. Germany’s Best, Inc. has vast experience in dealing with foreign models, including the MINI, in and around Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Oakland, CA. We are only a phone call away if your MINI is showing signs of crank seal oil leak. Make an appointment with us and we’ll ensure you are back on the road in the shortest time possible.