Cam Seal Leaking or VVTi Gear? - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Cam Seal Leaking or VVTi Gear?

Just throwing this out there to get some opinions.

My oil light came on about 1000 miles after my last oil change and it was only at that point did I realize I was leaking oil. There weren't any obvious oil spots on the ground but there were signs of oil leaking around the timing belt area, mainly when the car is in operation.

I automatically assumed that it was the camshaft seals leaking but upon closer inspection of the service history, I'm not so sure anymore. The car currently has 312,000 miles on it and according to the service history, the last timing belt was done at the dealership at 237,784 miles (74,126 miles ago). At the time the records also indicate that they swapped out the cam and crank seals due to leakages. While it's certainly possible it's the cam seals again, with this new information, I'm beginning to suspect the VVTi pulley gear.

Is there any talltale signs of VVTi gear leaking vs cam seal leaking, like cams = leaking outside of the timing belt covers? Or that the belt is completely dry while the inside casing and cover joints were covered in oil? When I touched the front side of the gear, it felt dry. Well, as dry as anything in there could be with oil being flung everywhere in the timing belt case.










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04 IS300 GGP|5-Spd

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like this guy had a similar problem. https://my.is/forums/f87/help-diagnose-oil-leak-566906/ Sadly, the thread is inconclusive. Mine just went from consuming around a quart every 5000 miles to over 2 quarts in 1000 miles. The leak looks substantial too.




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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:56 PM
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My situation was the same situation as yours. Mine came out to be the pulley gear. It happened recently right after 25k miles of driving since my most recent timing belt change. You'll also want to swap out the belt with a new one and reuse your timing belt again since your belt has probably absorbed some oil. I did my repair at the dealership (i work at a lexus dealership so i get employee pricing) The techs had to put in a Dye in the oil and had me drive around a few hundred miles before bringing it back to the shop because they couldn't tell where the oil was coming from directly at that moment. The belt sling oil everywhere so they had to clean it than they put a dye in the oil to find out where the leak was. But ultimately they were able to see it was my pulley.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 03:45 PM
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Stan you get it figured out?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 07:41 AM
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I'm having the same issue. subbed

Project: 2001 IS300 (800-1000whp goal)
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 08:50 AM
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This is a big bump from the dead, but I'll try to chime in since I had this issue as well.

My diagnosis, the face of my head/block was covered in oil and I was losing about 1.5 QT per 1000 mile. As any of you could have guessed, it could be the cam seals or the VVTI O-ring. I took the process of elimination route and changed out the VVTI O-ring since after reading around the forums, they tend to go bad/dry up after about 150K+ miles or so... Plus, it was the easier job since it's right there in your face. I went in, cleaned up the area as well as I could, took apart the VVTI cam cover, and noticed a lot of oil behind it (this is normal to have oil here since oil flows through it, however mine seemed to have a little more oil than expected). Cleaned it up, replaced the O-ring, put everything back together, but left the top plastic cam cover off to inspect it from time to time. So far I'm about 1500 miles in and I have NOT loss a drop of oil. I'll continue to monitor it until my next oil change/drain and see how much oil comes out at that point.

@themob, I would recommend doing the easier job first and just monitor the leakage. If you still have a leak coming from around that area, then it'll most likely be the cam seal(s).



In OP's case, which I'm sure he's probably already resolved over a year now, I would guess it's the VVTI O-ring since he just had the cam seals replaced at the dealership. They should be competent enough to get the job done correctly without it any issues.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 06:18 PM
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Thanks Tony
I’m dealing with a similar issue and I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
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