Hardlymoving writes about do-it-yourself maintenance and repair of Japanese cars.
Corolla Crankshaft Seal
If a noticeable amount of black oily grime is forming by the passenger side of your engine near the accessory belt, or oil splatter is hitting the engine hood by the belt, the cause is more than likely a worn crankshaft seal. The oil seeping out of the seal will migrate to the crankshaft pulley and fling off—hitting everything within view of the pulley.
A new oil seal is less than $10 and takes approximately one hour to replace when following the procedures outlined in this article. These instructions are for the 1ZZ-FE engine type used in the Toyota Corolla, Celica, MR2, Matrix, Chevrolet Prism, and Pontiac Vibe.
If you decide to replace the accessory belt only, to get rid of a noise, keep in mind that the noise could be from worn bearings in the belt tensioner pulley, and you may need to replace the pulley too. After the belt has been removed, simply remove the protective plastic cap on the pulley with a screwdriver and remove the old pulley by turning the pulley bolt clockwise. Reverse the process to install the new pulley.
Step 1: Remove Front Passenger Wheel & Engine Splash Pan
Step 2: Remove the Accessory / Serpentine Belt
Approximately 60 - 70 foot pounds of torque will be need to relieve the tension on the pulley guide tensioner. Another pair of hands would be helpful in removing the belt while tension is being relieved on the pulley.
Step 3: Remove the Crankshaft Pulley Bolt and Crankshaft Pulley
The pulley bolt can be removed with a standard electric impact driver. They are usually not very tight. After the bolt has been removed, the crankshaft pulley should slide out will little effort.
Step 4: Remove the Crankshaft Seal
Using a screwdriver or a seal removal tool, gently apply pulling pressure around the inside of the seal and the seal will eventually give way and pop out. Clean the seal mount surface area with a rag and coat with grease in preparation for the new oil seal.
Step 5: Press Fit the New Seal and Set the Seal Flush With the Side Engine Cover
Seat the seal in place by using a socket wrench socket that is about the same size diameter of the seal. Gently tap the socket until the seal lays flush with the side engine cover. Be careful. This seal can recess into the engine cover beyond the flush point.
Step 5 - Reverse the Above Steps to Install the Pulley, Belt, and Splash Pan
Consider replacing the accessory / serpentine belt with a new one—the old belt is likely coated with oil. You may want to look into the Bando OEM Quality Serpentine Belt.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Al on October 31, 2019:
Very helpful! This is exactly the type of oil leak I had. Thanks for posting.
hardlymoving (author) from Memphis, TN on July 07, 2019:
89 Corollas did not have the 1ZZ-FE engine.
Arnie on July 06, 2019:
Is this apllicable to 89 corollas