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Having the timing belt, idlers & tensioners, and water pump replaced on '98 Avalon with about 110k miles. The conventional wisdom I've heard on replacing the cam seal is inspect and replace if it's leaking. Is this correct? What's the danger if it begins to leak later? Is there any wisdom in just doing it along with the Timing belt, etc. Shop said it would be an additional 2 hrs of labor to do. Any input would be much appreciated.
 

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The conventional wisdom I've heard on replacing the cam seal is inspect and replace if it's leaking. Is this correct?
Yes, in my opinion. When the t-belt was replaced on my Camry at 2xx,xxx miles, they were leaking and were replaced. Crankshaft seal too. It wasn't very bad, so the timing belt wasn't all oily. But it WAS running down onto the lower control arm's front rubber bushing and swelling it up.

What's the danger if it begins to leak later?
The leaking oil can get on the timing belt and break it down quicker than normal. It can also mess up the aforementioned suspension bushing.
 

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Avarollin?
1996 Avalon XLS
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I've experienced what BMR described. I had bad cam seals and replaced the timing belt along with it. When those cam seals started to leak, it evolved from a slow leak to a fast one QUICK. Like in the course of a week it went from drips to puddles! About a quart every 2-4 weeks S:
 

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The usual billing for a timing belt job that replaces all belts and seals and the water pump and thermostat is 4-5 hours.
 

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The cam seal can be replaced in about 15 minutes, not 2 hours.
Yet Chilton's shows a cam seal job taking 2 hours longer than a TB swap, so most shops will quote and charge two hours extra. Chilton's serves as justification for much time overstatement.
 

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Your not gonna be back into the timing cover for scheduled maintenance for another 90k if its done as a package (T-belt, front seals and water pump), Toss on the drive belts as well and it all should be good for another 90k. If you don't do the seals or w/p your taking the chance that these items will make it another 90k ( not likely) and you will be paying the labor to R&R the T belt to get to the failed seal or w/p again.
As for the labor, Most Dealers and Ind shops in my area charge about 6-7 hours for a V6 T belt package. 2 hours lab for 1 seal would be outrageous, all 3 seals should be about 1- 1.5 hr more labor to the base T belt replacement.
 
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