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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
168k miles. During last recent oil change, dealer noted leaks in oil pan area and possibly
1) Intermediate Shaft Bearing Leaking,
2) Right steering Boot Leaking.

Just 2 weeks later today, I smelled some burning/smoke inside the car while driving. Stopped to look under hood to see plumes of smoke coming out of just under the engine. In this Video you can see smoke coming out from under the engine area. Concerned if it was safe to drive short-distance due to the amount of smoke.

A photo of the same area at shows oil right near the front side of the engine. Is that normal?

Last year during oil change another mechanic had mentioned
1) left axle seal leak,
2) slight pump inlet o-ring leak.
3) bank1 camshaft end plug

Question

  1. Are left-axle-seal leak/pump inlet o-ring leak the same things as Intermediate-shaft bearing leaking/Right steering Boot leaking?
  2. What could this oil leak be? Is it safe/harmless to drive short distance?
 

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Don't drink and drive
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Can you confirm that the power steering high pressure hose isn't leaking? Was the recall done for it?
 

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That is the valve cover gasket leaking. I see oil sitting on top of the front cat meeting the head. And this has nothing to with what the dealer identified. When the cat heats up, it starts burning off the oil that's why you see the fumes. The oil the dealer identified in the oil pan area if it's toward the passenger side would be the oil pump leaking, not the oil pan. The power steering pump leak does not get onto the cat converter, it does flow all the way down to the oil pan also. For the steering boot, or the inner tie rod boot, that means the power steering rack end seal is leaking. Consider changing the power steering fluid first and that leak might stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is the valve cover gasket leaking. I see oil sitting on top of the front cat meeting the head. And this has nothing to with what the dealer identified. When the cat heats up, it starts burning off the oil that's why you see the fumes. The oil the dealer identified in the oil pan area if it's toward the passenger side would be the oil pump leaking, not the oil pan. The power steering pump leak does not get onto the cat converter, it does flow all the way down to the oil pan also. For the steering boot, or the inner tie rod boot, that means the power steering rack end seal is leaking. Consider changing the power steering fluid first and that leak might stop.
Is the "valve cover gasket leaking" is the main issue? How is it related to power-steering leak or replacement of PS fluid?

Can you confirm that the power steering high pressure hose isn't leaking? Was the recall done for it?
Could it be the cause of leak shown above? Are they supposed to replace it as part of recall?

The PS o-ring was replaced as part of recall due to ServiceBulletin-07-086.
There was a "PS feed hose" part inspected at ~75K related to recall. Looks like the recall was just to INSPECT it not REPLACE so they inspected it as OK.

That is the valve cover gasket leaking. I see oil sitting on top of the front cat meeting the head. And this has nothing to with what the dealer identified. When the cat heats up, it starts burning off the oil that's why you see the fumes. The oil the dealer identified in the oil pan area if it's toward the passenger side would be the oil pump leaking, not the oil pan. The power steering pump leak does not get onto the cat converter, it does flow all the way down to the oil pan also. For the steering boot, or the inner tie rod boot, that means the power steering rack end seal is leaking. Consider changing the power steering fluid first and that leak might stop.
what's "front cat"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
He's talking about the front "bank" cat VS the rear bank cat.
Ah ok. Most of the spill is "not" over the front-bank catalytic converter though, right? What's the part called whose top is covered in oil right next to the front cat?

Got estimate from nearby mechanic.
Says Valve cover VC gaskets need to be replaced to fix leak and estimates 3-3.5 hr labor: $151 part, $590 total, $715 total (if also do valve adjust while gasket replacement to save repeat labor)
Front engine mount replacement (a different issue unrelated to leak and related to a shuffling noise when car begin moving): $540 total (parts + labor)
All parts OEM.
  • Is $590 for VC gaskets replacment and labor of 3+ hr expected? Does it make sense to add valve adjustment while at it for $125 extra?
  • Are front engine mount replacement this expensive at $540?
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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As @t-rd noted, it's obviously valve cover gasket( & grommet/tube seal).
$151 for parts is just outrageous. OEM gaskets are about 1/2 of that price. Fel-Pro is like $30-ish. But factoring the labor, that's nothing. The labor rate is quite high, you might want to shop around.
Frankly, I don't trust any random grease monkey to mess around the engine, unless he is a Honda master technician.

I did valve cover gasket myself, cost less than $50. It shouldn't take more than 2 hours if I have to do it again. I also adjusted the valve clearance and found that after 150K miles, the clearances were all within specs, absolutely nothing noticed after I did the adjustment by the books.

You are complaining about engine oil leak, and they quote you about engine mount? How's that even remotely related to the problem?

BTW, what engine oil do you currently have in there? Prior to replacing the valve cover gaskets, my 07V6 had some oil seeping out from the gasket/grommet when I used 0W20 oil. After I changed to 5W20 high mileage oil, the seeping was substantially better. Maybe using 5W20 high mileage oil (conventional) can get you by for a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
As @t-rd noted, it's obviously valve cover gasket( & grommet/tube seal).
$151 for parts is just outrageous. OEM gaskets are about 1/2 of that price. Fel-Pro is like $30-ish. But factoring the labor, that's nothing. The labor rate is quite high, you might want to shop around.
Frankly, I don't trust any random grease monkey to mess around the engine, unless he is a Honda master technician.

I did valve cover gasket myself, cost less than $50. It shouldn't take more than 2 hours if I have to do it again. I also adjusted the valve clearance and found that after 150K miles, the clearances were all within specs, absolutely nothing noticed after I did the adjustment by the books.

You are complaining about engine oil leak, and they quote you about engine mount? How's that even remotely related to the problem?

BTW, what engine oil do you currently have in there? Prior to replacing the valve cover gaskets, my 07V6 had some oil seeping out from the gasket/grommet when I used 0W20 oil. After I changed to 5W20 high mileage oil, the seeping was substantially better. Maybe using 5W20 high mileage oil (conventional) can get you by for a few years.
This seems related, Just checked oil-change receipt and the dealer's-service-adviser so stupidly used 0W20 (full-synthetic) even though I "explicitly" told him several times that I want conventional 5W20 (conventional aka synthetic-blend) as that is what I always get. How stupid.. he confirmed that it'd be conventional and still used 0W20 when I look at the final receipt. No wonder all of a sudden I see this leak! Now I'm having to spend about ~$715 for fixing this issue. Feel really angry at their stupidity..

Is change from 5W to 0W sole cause?

doesn't VC gasket still needs replaced as even though 0W it shouldn't leak, or is that wrong?

Should both front/back VC gasket be replaced, or just front?


(ps: updated last post to clarify about the front engine mount which is a different issue.)
 

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Not likely going from 5W to 0W is going to make that leak...you could have a vehicle that's spec'd out with 10W-40 in the crankcase, and you'll still have a leak..
Like @t-rd said it's the valve cover gasket, and then it's dripping down on the cat.
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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This seems related, Just checked oil-change receipt and the dealer's-service-adviser so stupidly used 0W20 even though I "explicitly" told him several times that I want conventional 5W20 as that is what I always get. How stupid.. he confirmed that it'd be conventional and still used 0W20 when I look at the final receipt. No wonder all of a sudden I see this leak! Now I'm having to spend about ~$715 for fixing this issue. Feel really angry at their stupidity..

Is change from 5W to 0W sole cause?

doesn't VC gasket still needs replaced as even though 0W it shouldn't leak, or is that wrong?

Should both front/back VC gasket be replaced, or just front?


(ps: updated last post to clarify about the front engine mount which is a different issue.)
I have the impression that 0W20 is synthetic.

Here is my experience with the 07v6:
With 5W20 conventional oil, I could notice a little oil seeping around the valve cover gaskets.
After I changed to 0W20 synthetic, I immediately noticed much more obvious oil leaks, not just the valve cover, but somewhere else as well, to the point that it concerned me.
Then I changed to 5W20 High Mileage oil (synthetic), the leaks were substantially better, very noticeable difference.

As I said, changing to high mileage 5W20 (conventional) may not totally getting rid of the leak, but maybe just enough to solve the smoking issue (which is a fire hazard) for a few years.

0W oil is obviously thinner/waterier than 5W. You can even tell the difference by pouring them side by side. Thinner oil gets through small imperfections easier. Yes, 0W can get through where 5W can't (or not as much). High mileage oil has gasket conditioner (sweller).

V6 engine has two sets of identical gaskets (front and back). Both need to be to replaced, together with the grommets and tube seals (all come within a set).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not likely going from 5W to 0W is going to make that leak...you could have a vehicle that's spec'd out with 10W-40 in the crankcase, and you'll still have a leak..
Like @t-rd said it's the valve cover gasket, and then it's dripping down on the cat.
So 5W20->0W20 wasn't the only cause, and the VC replacement was going to be needed anyhow?

Somehow there was no leak before this oil-change (always used 5W20 before) except for some grime in the same area. Nothing like the soaking metallic area next to front cat rightnow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have the impression that 0W20 is synthetic.

Here is my experience with the 07v6:
With 5W20 conventional oil, I could notice a little oil seeping around the valve cover gaskets.
After I changed to 0W20 synthetic, I immediately noticed much more obvious oil leaks, not just the valve cover, but somewhere else as well.
Then I changed to 5W20 High Mileage oil (synthetic), the leaks were substantially better, very noticeble.

As I said, changing to high mileage 5W20 (conventional) may not totally getting rid of the leak, but maybe just enough to solve the smoking issue (which is a fire hazard) for a few years.

Do you think probably good to address the root-cause VC gasket replacement issue now it's going to occur anyhow later even though it's not that visible with 5W20?

I assume "5W20 High Mileage oil (synthetic), leaks were substantially better, very noticeble", you mean leaks reduced noticeably.

0W20 = full-synthetic
5W20 = conventional aka synthetic-blend
 

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So 5W20->0W20 wasn't the only cause, and the VC replacement was going to be needed anyhow?

Somehow there was no leak before this oil-change (always used 5W20 before) except for some grime in the same area. Nothing like the soaking metallic area next to front cat rightnow.
Well, unless the guy made a mess of the oil change and what you see smoking is what he leaked around the filler, then yes, it's the gasket..
Has it stopped smoking??
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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Do you think probably good to address the root-cause VC gasket replacement issue now it's going to occur anyhow later even though it's not that visible with 5W20?

I assume "5W20 High Mileage oil (synthetic), leaks were substantially better, very noticeble", you mean leaks reduced noticeably.

0W20 = full-synthetic
5W20 = conventional aka synthetic-blend
Ideally, you should fix anything once you notice a problem. When I had 3rd gen Accord, the valve cover gasket was seeping oil for ages, but never caused a problem. As long as it's not dripping or causing smokes, it's good and no immediate replacement necessary.

Yes, there is substantial difference between 0W20 and 5W20 high mileage, and could be the difference between smoking and a little seeping.

My suggestions: Goto Walmart, get a 5l jar of 5W20 conventional high mileage for about $20. Go back to the dealer and ask them to drain out the 0W20 oil and use your oil. The chances are that you maybe able to avoid having to replace the gasket in short term. When I replaced the valve cover gaskets, the motivation was not oil leaks, but the valve clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, unless the guy made a mess of the oil change and what you see smoking is what he leaked around the filler, then yes, it's the gasket..
Has it stopped smoking??
Still smoking when I drive more than 2-3 miles. Interesting to see this big difference just going from 5W->0W.

Do both VC gaskets (front+back) + spark plugs need to be done together or should only do front VC gasket no spark plugs?
$590 for VC gaskets total (OEM parts) high?
 

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Still smoking when I drive more than 2-3 miles. Interesting to see this big difference just going from 5W->0W.

Do both VC gaskets (front+back) + spark plugs need to be done together or should only do front VC gasket no spark plugs?
$590 for VC gaskets total (OEM parts) high?
It's not the oil, buddy...you've got a leak, I don't know why you don't understand this.
The car is 14 years old....it happens.
It's not that high if YOU cannot do it..what's your skill level?
and yes, you should do plugs if you're at 168K and they've never been done.
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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It's not the oil, buddy...you've got a leak, I don't know why you don't understand this.
The car is 14 years old....it happens.
It's not that high if YOU cannot do it..what's your skill level?
and yes, you should do plugs if you're at 168K and they've never been done.
Want to place a $20 bet? On my 07V6, the oil did make an obvious difference.

There are many oil seals in the engine. Yes, they WILL leak over time, but replacing every single one of them would cost thousands, and there is no guarantee that there won't be additional problem caused by a careless mechanic. Keeping the car forever or just a few more years? The decision could be very different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Ideally, you should fix anything once you notice a problem. When I had 3rd gen Accord, the valve cover gasket was seeping oil for ages, but never caused a problem. As long as it's not dripping or causing smokes, it's good and no immediate replacement necessary.
Not averse to maintaining/fixing if the problem is noticed is genuine.
Will call the mechanic who gave quote of $590 to find if it's just gaskets. Even with front+back and OEM that seems high. Thought OEM VC gaskets were ~$20 each or may be not.

Which of 0W or 5W oil is "officially" Honda-recommended for 07V6?
 

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07V6 EX-L Chicago
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5w20 on the oil cap. Our cars have so many places for oil leaks: Vtech, oil pump seal, crank shaft seal, rear main seal...valve cover gaskets... 0W oil exacerbates oil leaks, and a big no no for 07V6 at this age.

OEM VC is about $10 each, or $20 for 2. The more expensive parts are the 10 grommets and 6 tube seals, quickly adds up to $80+.
 

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Want to place a $20 bet? On my 07V6, the oil did make an obvious difference.
It might...but not by any scientific standard, as the operating temp is the 20 number which is where the car typically will leak.
A 5W-20 and a 0W-20 have the same flow rate... at operating temperature.
 
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