VIDEO: The Importance Of Valve Stem Seals

VIDEO: The Importance Of Valve Stem Seals

Doug Kaufman explains what it means when a valve stem seal is damaged. Sponsored by MAHLE.

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That tiny lip of the valve stem seal is one of the most important seals protecting the engine from carbon deposits and the catalytic converter from being contaminated. The valve stem seal can fail two ways. First, it can wear out due to the movement of the valve and tough conditions inside the engine. Second, installation errors can cause the lip of the seal to be damaged.

Doug Kaufman explains what this means if a valve stem seal is damaged. Sponsored by MAHLE.

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Let's take a trip. It's 1974. You're in Denver, Colorado. You're in your car that has a carburetor, and you're getting ready to go over those rocky mountains to go to California. You've noticed that you're halfway up the mountain, the engine's starting to struggle. You go a little bit further. You notice that you start misfiring and the plugs are fouled. So what's going on here? Well, essentially with this, you have the blue, which represents oxygen, and the red represents fuel, and this is the perfect ratio. But you're taking away this oxygen, and when you take away the oxygen, you should take away the fuel. Carburetor can't do that because it has fixed jets, and the metering stays constant no matter what altitude you're at. This is why certain shops in Colorado specialized in carburetor tuning. Let's fast forward 50 years, and you're in a modern vehicle.

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