Volvo 850 Made from 1993 to 1997, this Volvo line was available in both a wagon and a sedan, both with were graced with several trim levels.

Rear main seal temp fix?

  #1  
Old 07-31-2018, 11:41 AM
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Default Rear main seal temp fix?

The reason I'm asking is I have a 96 850 GLT N/A and the rear main has been leaking a small amount of oil for three years . After having a new Dr. way poured I thought I'd bite the bullet and have the seal replaced for $1023.00. The tech called and said surprise it's the cam seal...and by the way you need the timing belt changed and new rotor for a total of $1325.00. Well ok go ahead and do it. It's always an upcharge. Anyway he calls and says it's still leaking he thinks the seal popped out. The next day he calls and says I have some news it is the rear main seal! No charge though, two days later I picked up the car and the leak is now stopped. Now I don't trust them to have fixed the RMS at no charge. Is there any kind of quick fix for a RMS?
 
  #2  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:06 PM
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You probably had a leaking cam seal and a leaking rear main seal. On a 22+ year old car, that would not be uncommon. The rear cam seals rarely ever get changed since they are not with the timing belt service.

Those rear main seals leaked on 8 year old Volvos of that vintage. The later cars had better seal material.
 
  #3  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:49 PM
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So Tony, in your opinion would there be a way for them to have fixed the RMS without dropping the trans? We are talking about 9 hrs. labor at no charge.
 
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:38 PM
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first thing I'd do is make sure you don't have a clogged PCV issue which can push oil out the seals - even new ones. If that's in good shape, then you can try using a "high mileage" oil which contains seal softeners, and if you are using sythetic oil, go back to using an old school dino oil of the proper weight (ie 10W40) to see if that helps hold off the need to drop the tranny. If the PCV is clogged, then you have more work to do like replacing the PCV parts, rodding out the ports, dropping the oil pan to degunk etc... See the sticky on PCV system Tony1963 posted for details.
 
  #5  
Old 07-31-2018, 04:49 PM
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No, there is no way of changing the rear main seal without separating the transmission from the engine. If there were, there would be a lot of happy people around all brands of cars!

They probably did change the rear main seal. The whole job can be done in half that time so my guess is that they didn't want to charge you for both jobs.
 
  #6  
Old 08-01-2018, 07:21 AM
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These cars are very prone to the leaking cam seals, and they are very easy to access and replace on the rear of the cam (where a leak would be mistaken for the rear main seal). They might have removed the engine before they called you asking to do a timing belt. Who knows.

There is definitely no quick fix for a RMS.
 
  #7  
Old 08-05-2018, 09:31 PM
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I have seen mechanics replace the RMS in about 4 hours. So they probably felt bad that they had you do the other services figuring that you had a $1,100 budget.
 
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