1993 Honda Accord - Oil Leaking - Estimate too high?

Discussion in 'Accord' started by Expalphalog, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Expalphalog

    Expalphalog Guest


    I drive a '93 Accord that just suddenly and unexpectedly crapped out o
    me today. I had it towed to a shop where I was told that I was leakin
    oil onto my spark plugs. He told me that I would need to have the spar
    plugs, distributor, and valve cover gaskets replaced, and quoted me
    price of nearly $900.

    Does this sound reasonable to you
    Expalphalog, Apr 3, 2009
  2. It sounds like it is leaking oil from the valve cover gaskets into the
    spark plug wells. This is a relatively minor problem which can be
    fixed by cleaning out the oil and replacing the gaskets. If the plugs
    are old, might as well replace them also. Figure $50 in parts and an
    hour labor. The distributor is expensive and some of this vintage are
    known to fail. You need to find out why he thinks you need a new
    Gordon McGrew, Apr 4, 2009
  3. Expalphalog

    Tegger Guest

    Depends. Why do you need a whole new distributor? Is it because they can't
    figure out if the igniter or the coil has failed?
    Tegger, Apr 4, 2009
  4. Expalphalog

    jim beam Guest

    not to me.

    oil in the plug holes doesn't kill spark so that's not the reason the
    car died. as said by others, more likely igniter or coil. a whole
    distributor can run maybe $500, new honda oem, but if it's just the coil
    or igniter, much cheaper. whole reconditioned distributors aren't too
    expensive either.

    the parts to fix the oil leak are about $25.
    jim beam, Apr 4, 2009
  5. Older Accord like yours are vulnerable to spark plug tube o-ring
    failure. It is a common seal failure on older Hondas. The four o-rings
    are between the top of the cylinder head and the rocker arm tower. The
    tubes fill with oil and the oil soaks through to the plugs. Repair of
    this alone would run a few hundred dollars in my estimation, mostly
    for labor.

    For more discussion and a drawing, see http://honda.lioness.googlepages.com/oilinthesparkplugtubes
    .. Tegger has a site that covers this, too. You can take the spark plug
    wires off and look in the tubes and see whether oil has accumulated
    there, yourself.

    As for the distributor, I suspect they are not 100% sure of their
    diagnosis and so are giving you a worst-case estimate. Forego any
    distributor work for now, unless they give you more reason to work on
    the dizzy. Report what they say here first.
    honda.lioness, Apr 4, 2009
  6. Expalphalog

    Expalphalog Guest

    I'll be sure to ask. Thanks
    Expalphalog, Apr 4, 2009
  7. To pop the valve cover off and stick four o-rings on it? Even with
    cleaning out the oil and replacing the plugs and wires it shouldn't
    take more than an hour.
    Gordon McGrew, Apr 7, 2009
  8. Expalphalog

    Tegger Guest

    I had somebody email me recently asking this question: While doing this
    repair, what's the best way of getting the oil out of the tubes?

    I've never had to do this myself, so I didn't know for sure.

    Tegger, Apr 7, 2009
  9. Expalphalog

    jim beam Guest

    i just take the plugs out and let it run into the pistons. sure, you
    get a puff of smoke when you restart, but it's gone in a moment and the
    job's done.
    jim beam, Apr 7, 2009
  10. Expalphalog

    E. Meyer Guest

    I just wrapped a paper towel around the end of a flat tipped screwdriver and
    wiped the holes out (with the plugs removed) the last time I did it.
    E. Meyer, Apr 7, 2009
  11. I think you are confusing the seals in the valve cover (not actually o-
    rings) with what are actual o-rings further down in the spark plug
    tubes. See the drawing at the top of the site I linked in my first
    post in this thread. The o-rings that are much further down can only
    be replaced by taking off the rocker arm assembly.
    honda.lioness, Apr 7, 2009
  12. Expalphalog

    Tegger Guest

    On 4/6/09 7:19 PM, in article [email protected],

    E. Meyer:
    jim beam:

    I figured it had to be pretty simple, but just wanted to check. Thanks.
    Tegger, Apr 7, 2009
  13. Expalphalog

    jim beam Guest

    don't over-do the thinking on the seals there elle. the lower o-rings
    rarely if ever leak. the upper ones do because the rocker cover comes
    off for maintenance. the lower ones remain undisturbed for the life of
    the vehicle most times and thus don't leak.
    jim beam, Apr 8, 2009
  14. I agree the upper ones fail more often than the lowers. But from
    reading reports on this here and at other Honda fora, ISTM one can
    expect those lower seals (= the o-rings) to fail between around 100k
    and 200k. Especially if the tubes have significant oil in them, the
    lower seals (o-rings) are highly suspect, IMO.

    Regardless, it is easy enough to just replace the upper seals (the
    ones in the valve cover) and then monitor the tubes for further
    honda.lioness, Apr 8, 2009
  15. Expalphalog

    fred Guest

    without them showing to you that these parts don't work? absolutely not.
    fred, Apr 9, 2009
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