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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2000 Astro. Leaking oil from the crankshaft seal, according to the shop. It's a small leak right now, a few drops here and there. They say they need to drop the timing cover to do this replacement. Most of the labor comes from that. They quoted me $2000 for the repair, which also includes new water pump, cuz it's rusted to sht. I'm googling the prices for crankshaft seal, most people seem to be paying a fraction of this. I live in MI where mechanics are typically $70-$100/hr(or cheaper when you find the right guy), but I'm in Arizona now and the prices mechanics charge are nuts... this shop charges $155 an hour, and I recently paid the same at another shop in Vegas. Makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it.

My questions:

1. Does the timing cover need to be removed when replacing the crankshaft seal on a 2000 Astro?
2. Think I can wait 2 months/5k miles, or might the leak get too bad? If it can wait, I'll have my mechanic in MI take care of it for half price when I go back home.
3. Anyone happen to know of a much more reasonably priced mechanic in the Phoenix area? I'd rather take care of this here if possible.

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I think it can wait if its just a few drops here or there. Just keep an eye on the oil level and keep it topped up.

Looks like you don't need to remove the timing cover. If you got the right tools.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for that info. Maybe I'll try another shop. I'm not too worried about a few drops here and there, I was more concerned about the potential for a more catastrophic type failure, like when a rear main seal goes, how they could be a bad leak. This is a camper van, I just don't want to get stuck way down some dirt road with no service and have a few drops turn into quarts!

I think it can wait if its just a few drops here or there. Just keep an eye on the oil level and keep it topped up.

Looks like you don't need to remove the timing cover. If you got the right tools.
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2003 Safari AWD
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Is it possible to determine if the leak is the main seal or from the timing cover?

Is replacing the timing cover gasket a significant amount of extra work when doing the main seal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it possible to determine if the leak is the main seal or from the timing cover?

Is replacing the timing cover gasket a significant amount of extra work when doing the main seal?
It sounded like doing the timing cover was the most labor intensive part of the whole job. I just recently replaced the oil pan and gasket, and that would need to come off to do the timing cover, so it does sound like a fairly significant amount of extra work to tackle the timing cover, not to mention replacing the $84 oil pan gasket again, when it's already new.

But they told me it was leaking from the front crankshaft seal, so I was wondering why the timing cover needs to come off at all. They didn't mention the timing cover leaking, or that that was a possible cause of my leak. Not that it couldn't be leaking leaking from the timing cover, just that they didn't mention that.

I just watched a few youtube videos on the front crank seal replacement. Looks easy enough. I'm thinking I'll have that done first, because it's the fastest, easiest and cheapest thing to do. If it still leaks, I'll go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It sounded like doing the timing cover was the most labor intensive part of the whole job. I just recently replaced the oil pan and gasket, and that would need to come off to do the timing cover, so it does sound like a fairly significant amount of extra work to tackle the timing cover, not to mention replacing the $84 oil pan gasket again, when it's already new.

But they told me it was leaking from the front crankshaft seal, so I was wondering why the timing cover needs to come off at all. They didn't mention the timing cover leaking, or that that was a possible cause of my leak. Not that it couldn't be leaking leaking from the timing cover, just that they didn't mention that.

I just watched a few youtube videos on the front crank seal replacement. Looks easy enough. I'm thinking I'll have that done first, because it's the fastest, easiest and cheapest thing to do. If it still leaks, I'll go from there. I have a feeling they just wanted to replace the crank seal, timing cover and oil pan gasket to cover their bases, replace anything that COULD be causing a leak. But at the cost of $2000, I'll try just the crank seal first.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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I was more concerned about the potential for a more catastrophic type failure, like when a rear main seal goes, how they could be a bad leak.
NO LIKELY CHANCE OF "CATASTROPHIC FAILURE".
Live with the drips.. not worth the trouble or expense to fix.
The leak "could" potentially get worse with time.. but it would still be minimal. Live with it.

Also be aware oil leaks can come from numerous places.

Certainly take it to another mechanic. Unless they are hungry for money, they may also tell you it's not worth the trouble or worry.
 

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A drip here and there is nothing that is going to stop you from finishing your trip. Keep an eye on the leak and your oil level and pay half price when you get home. I would not be worried about doing it while out on the road.
I mean, I would wait until I was home.

I thought that all of the timing covers included the seal, even the GM one. (89017259) Cover Kit,Engine Front - Genuine GM

Timing cover is 6.6hrs.



Just replacing the seal is 1.4hrs (10128316) Seal,Crankshaft Front Oil - Genuine GM
Which would be the cheapest option, I mean the seal is $15, and you can get a used driver tool for $20.
 

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Not sure, but a plugged PCV can cause extra crankcase pressure, maybe resulting is more leaking than normal.. That is a relatively simple thing to check/change ...maybe before heading home.
Rod J
Issaquah, Wa
 

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2000 Astro. Leaking oil from the crankshaft seal, according to the shop. It's a small leak right now, a few drops here and there. They say they need to drop the timing cover to do this replacement. Most of the labor comes from that. They quoted me $2000 for the repair, which also includes new water pump, cuz it's rusted to sht. I'm googling the prices for crankshaft seal, most people seem to be paying a fraction of this. I live in MI where mechanics are typically $70-$100/hr(or cheaper when you find the right guy), but I'm in Arizona now and the prices mechanics charge are nuts... this shop charges $155 an hour, and I recently paid the same at another shop in Vegas. Makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it.

My questions:

1. Does the timing cover need to be removed when replacing the crankshaft seal on a 2000 Astro?
2. Think I can wait 2 months/5k miles, or might the leak get too bad? If it can wait, I'll have my mechanic in MI take care of it for half price when I go back home.
3. Anyone happen to know of a much more reasonably priced mechanic in the Phoenix area? I'd rather take care of this here if possible.

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I have the 2000 Safari and mine has been leaking for over 40k miles. Now it leaks a qt every 2000 miles. My mechanic said don't worry about it. I would say you are good for a long time. The cover is a composite plastic material that warps. They all do this. The front seal will usually come with the cover, as well as gaskets. The oil pan does not have to be pulled to replace the timing cover short gasket. I would try to get a metal cover replacement. For 5000 mi don't worry. Carry some extra oil and check from time to time. Cheers, and have a good trip. Wavelength. 😊
 

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I was pretty sure they all came with the seal, but then why would they be charging twice for it, and probably added that labor as well.
 

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05 Astro AWD
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They don't make a metal replacement cover. The composite cover is one-time use only and the replacement will dome with the gasket.

However, I'd look pretty closely at the oil cooler lines first. They leak at the crimps and oil gets sprayed EVERYWHERE by the fan.
 

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My van has been leaking Oil for the past 8 years lol. First the oil cooler lines and then oil pan gasket. Just did the Oil pan gasket last summer as it eventually got pretty bad after 7 years of leaking and my being an AWD that was a PITA but if its RWD It would be an easy job.
 
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