How to Replace O Rings

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An o-ring acts as a seal to prevent lubricants, water, fuel or air from leaking. An o-ring is designed as a round rubber or plastic seal. Most o-rings are also designed to seat inside of a groove and act as a seal to keep the lubricants or air inside of a component. O-rings can withstand high amounts of pressure. Over time, excessive use can deteriorate the o-ring and cause the o-ring equipped part to leak. Replace the o-ring at the first sign of a leak.

Things You'll Need

  • O-ring pick kit
  • Clean rags
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Lubricant
  • Remove all of the necessary parts needed to expose the o-ring that is in need of replacement. Generally, an o-ring will be seated inside of a shaft or rod groove.

  • Slide the end of the o-ring pick underneath the o-ring and pull a section of the o-ring up high enough to grab it with your fingers.

  • Hold the section of the o-ring with your fingers and move the o-ring pick to another section of the o-ring. Slide the end of the pick under the o-ring and around the bottom of the o-ring. Pry up and out on the o-ring with the pick while pulling up on the o-ring with your fingers at the same time. Once the o-ring is out of the groove, slide the o-ring away from the groove to prevent it from slipping back into the groove.

  • Discard the old o-ring. Wipe the o-ring groove with a clean rag to remove any liquid or debris. Use a flathead screwdriver if needed to push the rag into the groove.

  • Lubricate the new o-ring to make sure it slides into the groove easier. Hydraulic oil or motor oil can be used to lubricate the o-ring. Slide the entire o-ring over the end of the shaft or rod with your fingers until the o-ring slips into the groove. Use the o-ring pick as needed to pry the o-ring into and around the o-ring seat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that the o-ring is completely seated all the way around the entire groove.
  • An o-ring pick kit can be bought at most all auto parts stores.

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