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I recently replaced the clutch and flywheel on my 02 TDI Jetta and since the car had 275,000 miles on it I decided to replace the rear main seal. Big mistake. I was extremely careful installing the new seal dry and am pretty sure that I did it correctly. Today (after about 200 miles) I noticed a small puddle under the skidplate. Fearing the worst I took off the skidplate to have a look and the new rear main seal is leaking. I'm not looking forward to redoing this job but even worse, I can't imagine what I did wrong the last time. Someone posted that they had a new seal that was leaking and eventually stopped. Is this a realistic hope? If I postpone it for a while am I risking ruining my clutch plate by not changing it out immediately? Anyone have any tips on how to replace this correctly? Here is what I did, I left the white install piece in place, put liquid permatex on the bottom of the carrier where it meets the oil pan. I tightened the carrier bolts to push the install blank out. Perhaps I didn't use enough permatex on the bottom edge of the carrier?

Any thoughts?
 

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I was extremely careful installing the new seal dry and am pretty sure that I did it correctly.
I've just read the Jetta/GTI manual and it says Do not additionally lubricate the oil seal sealing lip which surprises me as I never fit dry seals. It also says they fit a PTFE seal

A PTFE seal (Teflon) is gradually being introduced instead of the inner coil spring type seal. This has a wider sealing lip. PTFE seals are fitted free of oil and grease. When a PTFE seal is installed, then only such a seal may be installed as a replacement part!

It could be leaking from somewhere else not the seal. ;)

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f8/free-service-manuals-4746/#post21441
 

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If it were just the oil pan area I would say that it might be possible to slide the transmission off an inch and see if smearing some more gasket maker will help. No it's not the right way to do it but it's better than removing the transmission and if it doesn't work you still have to remove the transmission anyways. Before removing the transmission I would remove the oil pan and try resealing that.

Perhaps the seal lip was folded? If you used the install guide it's difficult to mess it up. Did you overtighten the oil flange bolts? Do you have a torque wrench?

Also, the manual does say to not lube the teflon seals but elsewhere it does. So I don't know. I don't lube it because I've heard not to lube them.
 

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If it were just the oil pan area I would say that it might be possible to slide the transmission off an inch and see if smearing some more gasket maker will help. No it's not the right way to do it but it's better than removing the transmission and if it doesn't work you still have to remove the transmission anyways. Before removing the transmission I would remove the oil pan and try resealing that.

Perhaps the seal lip was folded? If you used the install guide it's difficult to mess it up. Did you overtighten the oil flange bolts? Do you have a torque wrench?

Also, the manual does say to not lube the teflon seals but elsewhere it does. So I don't know. I don't lube it because I've heard not to lube them.
Thanks for responding. The more I think about it, I believe I didn't use enough sealer between the flange and the oil pan. I also used Permatex #3 (the real thin stuff) Pretty stupid. I know I didn't turn the lip and I don't believe I over tightened the mounting bolts. I think I torqued them to 18lbs. I'm starting a timing belt change tomorrow so my plan at this point is to remove and reseal the pan using Reinzosil sealant and see what happens.
 

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Thanks for responding. The more I think about it, I believe I didn't use enough sealer between the flange and the oil pan. I also used Permatex #3 (the real thin stuff) Pretty stupid. I know I didn't turn the lip and I don't believe I over tightened the mounting bolts. I think I torqued them to 18lbs. I'm starting a timing belt change tomorrow so my plan at this point is to remove and reseal the pan using Reinzosil sealant and see what happens.
:D 2nd on removing the pan. That should fix the problem. If not, at least you already know how to fix it. The torque is fine. Unless you overtorque it, you shouldn't crack it.
 
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