Seals ensure that your automobile’s driveline components function as closed lubricated systems, thus retaining your fluids within these components to maintain proper lubrication. Primary examples of common seals include rubber camshaft oil seals, rear main seals, and output shaft seals on your rear differential. Seals are exposed to thousands of cumulative hours of significant heat produced during operation. Over time, seals break down due to old age, lack of use, exposure to outside elements and chemicals, corrosion, and heat cycling at extreme operating temperatures. Oil and grease can then leak out from the compromised section of the seal, which reduces the lubrication of your driveline components and leads to increased friction when the engine is running. In the worst case, if you lose a significant amount of fluids before becoming aware of a damaged seal, this prolonged friction can result in serious engine damage. Following the diagnostics that are used to locate a leaky seal, the seal must be removed and replaced. The appropriate tool for this job is known as a seal puller. One may be tempted to try and pry a seal out with a flat head screwdriver, but the risk of damaging the seal cover or housing is very real, and can compromise the integrity of the sealing surface as well. The net result could be an even more costly repair.
Experience, love of tools, and, more than anything, the love of doing a job well, requires considering the best tool for the job. In this case, the best tool is a seal puller. Seal pullers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs, and prices. The hooked tip seal puller presents an effective tried-and-true mechanical concept of gentle angled prying, with controlled lever force to remove a seal.
The Best Seal Puller
Meet the OTC 4508 Professional Style Seal Puller! The OTC 4508 is built to remove engine oil and grease seals for cars, light trucks, and SUVs. It is constructed with two hooks tips, which are standardized for the majority of automobiles in the United States, including domestic and imported cars. That means it should work well on everything from a Ford F150 to a BMW M3. The shaft is 12 inches long, sports a 2-inch diameter, and weighs approximately one pound. The hooks are secured by two Phillips head screws, and a replacement 5-inch hook is included. After deciding which hook is the best fit, the blade is applied beneath the seal surface, with the top corner resting against the inner seal housing. The operator can then secure and leverage the puller against the inner cylinder to extract the old seal from the housing.
The OTC 4508 is the best seal puller for number of key reasons related to its engineering. First, the professional design, in terms of length and width, supplies opportune and sufficient force to remove worn seals, which may prove difficult to pry loose using other tools. In addition, the double security of the blade hooks mimics the design of a single piece system, which affords ease of tool and force application. While it is extremely durable, the OTC 4508 seal puller is also lightweight, so it doesn’t require much in terms of arm strength to get the job done. As well, the handle design is much like that of a well-crafted screwdriver, which in turn increases the variety of hand positions that can be comfortably used when working with this tool. In terms of accessing hard to reach seals and applying force to remove the gasket, this specific handle design is well suited to the career mechanic, auto enthusiast, and the weekend warrior alike.
As far as where to buy, Amazon’s free shipping deal makes their price tough to beat and as such, we’d recommend starting your search there. Overall, the OTC 4508 Seal Puller is a great all around tool and we think you’ll be very satisfied. Happy wrenching!