Estimate to fix oil leak too high?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by techjohnny, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. techjohnny

    techjohnny Guest

    I was just quoted $1,500 to fix an oil leak, they claim, after
    dropping dye to locate leaks, I'm leaking from the following:

    Reseal oil pan,
    Replace Timing belt, water pump, and front engine seals,
    Replace rear main seal.

    OK, my car has close to 200K, but is it possible all spots are leaking
    at once?


    techjohnny, Sep 2, 2008
  2. How bad is the leak?

    At two bucks a quart, $1500 = 750 quarts. If you're adding a quart a week,
    your break even point on the repair is 15 years out. Bet you'll have a new
    car way before that ;-)
    Flatus Johnson, Sep 2, 2008
  3. techjohnny

    techjohnny Guest

    Supposedly, the mechanic said my timing belt might snapped causing
    more damage, or the oil pan could just fail, spilling out all the

    techjohnny, Sep 3, 2008
  4. techjohnny

    Tegger Guest


    At only 200k, your car should not be leaking from ANY of those spots. But
    that depends on your oil change regimen.
    Tegger, Sep 3, 2008
  5. techjohnny

    Tegger Guest

    Is there oil on the belt right now? Is it pooling in the lower timing belt

    Is it just the gasket leaking, or is oil seeping from rust holes in the
    pan? If the first, you can drive like this forever so long as the nuts are
    snug and you keep a sharp eye on the oil level. If the second, get that pan
    replaced now.
    Tegger, Sep 3, 2008
  6. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    and the oil.
    jim beam, Sep 3, 2008
  7. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    first things first - make sure there's not anything stupid and cheap to
    fix like a clogged pcv valve.

    then make sure all nuts and bolts are tight.

    then change the brand of oil to one with decent seal conditioners in it.

    google this group for my experiences and biased opinions on this subject.
    jim beam, Sep 3, 2008
  8. techjohnny

    techjohnny Guest

    What about the Timing Belt snapping?

    techjohnny, Sep 5, 2008
  9. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    what about it? is it past the mileage or age limits? is it saturated
    in oil and showing signs of fraying? is it genuine honda oem?
    jim beam, Sep 6, 2008
  10. techjohnny

    TomP Guest

    If all of those items are leaking that is probably not a bad price.
    Thing is, just how bad are the leaks?

    A local dealer told my sister-in-law that the auto transmission, power
    steering, and various engine seals and gaskets were leaking, on her '91
    Civic. And, that terrible thing would happen if the were not fixed

    I asked her this: do you have fluid of any kind leaking on the floor?

    Do you continue to "top off" the engine, auto/trans and p/s with

    Her answer: no

    Then continue driving until one of the two occurs.
    80K miles later she sold the car and there were still no leaks, or
    none bad enough to leak on the floor or add to between changes.

    So, I ask you the same:
    Do you continue to "top off" the engine, auto/trans and p/s with

    no: continue driving
    yes: get a second opinion for repair cost.


    -------- __o
    ----- -\<. -------- __o
    --- ( )/ ( ) ---- -\<.
    -------------------- ( )/ ( )
    TomP, Sep 6, 2008
  11. techjohnny

    johngdole Guest

    Honda interference engines can be damaged (valves bent) if the timing
    belt snaps.

    Parts-wise, timing belt needs to repalced at regular intervals, but if
    the front seal needs to be replaced then it's not unreasonable to
    replace the timing belt even before the interval is up (because you
    take all that apart to get to the front main seal). And every time you
    replace the timing belt, some do the water pump too, and cam seals,
    drive belts, idler pulleys. So doing those together sounds reasonable
    too. The rear main seal (made of more durable viton rubber) is a
    bugger requiring separating the engine/transmission. Is it leaking
    that badly?

    Do check the PCV valve. Or just get a new one with new grommet at that
    mileage. Use high mileage oil and see how things go if the rate is not
    too bad. Plugged PCV can cause oil leaks from pressurization of the

    If you have to do them, see if you can leave the viton rear main seal.
    That way you should be able to cut the price in half (doing only the
    comprehensive timing package: drive belts, timing belt, balancer belt,
    idler/tensioner pulleys, water pump, cam/crank seals, maybe valve
    clearance check/cover gasket set too) plus oil pan gasket.
    johngdole, Sep 7, 2008
  12. techjohnny

    Dillon Pyron Guest

    Original belt? Yes, replace. When belt goes away, pistons and valves
    come and play. But they don't play nice.

    Had a 84 Ford Escort GT throw its belt at about 10K miles. Two
    exhaust valves, one intake valve and two pistons. We went to court
    with FoMoCo. I can't discuss what came of it, but you can make
    inferences based on this statement.
    Dillon Pyron, Sep 10, 2008
  13. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    1984??? are you not outside the statute of limitations?

    besides - what you're alluding to is no secret.
    jim beam, Sep 10, 2008
  14. techjohnny

    Dillon Pyron Guest

    No. Sealed is sealed.
    The settlement, silly. The one I'm happy with. OTOH, the Escort,
    which we kept for another 4 years, was the last Big 3 car we bought.
    Carol's 96 Accord was a US built car, but that's not the same thing.
    Dillon Pyron, Sep 10, 2008
  15. techjohnny

    techjohnny Guest

    OK. Yesterday I brought the car into the shop to have the following
    work done:

    Replace Front Engine Seals
    Replace Timing Belts
    Replace Water Pump.
    Replace spark plugs

    The final bill was for $499 + tax

    The work was done in hopes to fix an oil leak, but the oil still
    leaks, just less. I was told by the mechanic that the leaks are still
    coming from the oil pan and the rear main seal, but there aren't as
    many leaks now, and the oil leaking on the timing belt, which was
    behind the distributor cap, has been fixed.

    The mechanic scared me into thinking the oil leaking on the timing
    belt could cause more wear and potentially cause it to snap.

    I guess I was due for a new timing belt and after 230K miles the seals
    are all probably bad, is this safe to assume, and does this sound like
    somebody that knows what he's talking about?


    techjohnny, Oct 18, 2008
  16. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    have you tried a different brand of oil yet to stop the leak like i
    suggested? different oils have different seal conditioners. some
    apparently have none judging by the way they make older oil seals leak.
    jim beam, Oct 18, 2008
  17. techjohnny

    Dillon Pyron Guest

    I don't have the receipts for that car, but it didn't cost much to
    replace the gasket for my 96 Civic's oil pan.

    Yeah, getting oil on the timing belt is normally considered "a bad

    Main seals are one of those fuzzy areas. I know folks with cars that
    have in excess of 250 K miles and no issues, others with 150 K who
    have had to replace them. Why?
    Dillon Pyron, Oct 19, 2008
  18. techjohnny

    Dillon Pyron Guest

    That's a patch, at best. He needs a solution.
    Dillon Pyron, Oct 19, 2008
  19. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    my 89 civic leaked oil from the main seal like a mfsob at only 105k
    miles. it was literally running out of there. long story short, i
    changed the brand of oil i was using, and it stopped a couple of weeks
    thereafter. here i am at 176k miles, and the seal i bought to make the
    repair is still in my parts box because that engine is simply hasn't
    started leaking again.

    the moral of the story is, before getting stressed about seal
    replacement, change to a brand of oil that has decent seal conditioners
    in it. my problem oil was motorcraft. the brand that stopped the leak
    was castrol gtx. i'm currently running mobil 1, and no leaks.
    jim beam, Oct 19, 2008
  20. techjohnny

    jim beam Guest

    read my other post. i don't call 70k miles and a totally dry underside
    a "patch". and it sure beats having the local wrench jockey screw up
    your exhaust manifold studs, bend your transmission input shaft
    splitting the box from the motor, stripping treads, using silicone
    sealant when they should be using non-hardening, etc., and then having
    the same problem again in 50k miles because you're still using crappy oil.
    jim beam, Oct 19, 2008
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.