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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Obviously I am new hear... just found this site. I have a 98 Accord 6 cyl. VTEC with 230K miles. It has been a great car with little to no problems. Recently the transmission has been slipping, RPMs reving some then catching gear. I have tried to stay on the ATF changes but it is old. Local trans shop, very honest and good reputation changed the fluid recently (I took it in for the slipping problem) and they said if the fluid change did not help then I could live with it and let it die peacefully or bring it in for them to rebuild it. Cost would be $1,400-$1,800. I have not made a payment on this car for 6 years and $1800 one time is better than $300/monthly for four or five years on a new car payment... but is it worth it at this age and mileage? I would probably only drive it for a year or so after the repair, but $1800 for a year or so ain't bad... right?

The motor seems sound, but yesterday i noticed a drip of oil. I thought drain plug, but it was running down the back of the motor to the plug. It appeared to be coming from a large bolt in the block immediately above the drain plug on the back side of the engine. Clean oil was forming on that bolt with the engine on. No drips with the engine off. The bold appeared to be holding something to the engine, but I could not get clearance to see what it was. May have even been a line of some kind coming from whatever it was attaching. Any ideas what that is or is it probably coming from the valve cover higher up? Oh yeah, I always used Castrol with no problems, but like an idiot I saved $4 dollars on my last oil change and used Penzoil... now the leak. I am changing the oil Friday morning back to Castrol.

Any thoughts on repairing the tranny and what the leak might be from are appreciated. Dang I hate to punt and get back into car payments.
BFA
 

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Are you on the original transmission? If so, wow!!! I am hopeful for mine to last that long! $1400-1800 I think is very fair for a rebuild. Maybe a little high on the 1800 but not awful and if you are planning on keeping the car for a little while longer probably worth it, but you are getting up there in miles...but as you say, $1800 at once (150/month) is much better than 300/monthly.

At 230k I am not surprised you are leaking a little bit of oil, maybe the oil pan is finally starting to drip some? 230k + 13 year old car leads to leaks and burns sometimes!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To Griffeycom

Yes. Original transmission. To date I have replaced the sensor that tells the car that you have depressed the brake and allows you to shift out of park and changed the timing belt. The bulb or wiring that lights the mid-dash clock burned out and there are a couple of vertical tears in the leather upholstery of the drivers seat near the corners-just normal wear... clear coat is gone. Otherwise, brakes, tires, and fluids. Wife and I bought it new when we found out we were going to have our first child (now a 6th grader). The '96 Camaro was not child-seat friendly. It has been an awesome car. I would hate to get rid of it now and buy something else to take my chances with. Heck, a friend of mine just bought a Dodge truck, lost the A/C, dealership said it was not covered even with the high-dollar extended warranty he bought. I will likely fix it and save for a new car. My trans shop fixed a Chevy truck that was barking the tires when it hit second gear (not normal for a Vortec V-6 4x4 :) cost me $70. Some kind of spring broke. I thanked them and told them they could have charged me anything and I would have known no better... they said they have to sleep at night and don't do business that way. Nothing but good reports about them.
bfa
 

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Hondaracer4vtec
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Are you on the original transmission? If so, wow!!! I am hopeful for mine to last that long! $1400-1800 I think is very fair for a rebuild. Maybe a little high on the 1800 but not awful and if you are planning on keeping the car for a little while longer probably worth it, but you are getting up there in miles...but as you say, $1800 at once (150/month) is much better than 300/monthly.

At 230k I am not surprised you are leaking a little bit of oil, maybe the oil pan is finally starting to drip some? 230k + 13 year old car leads to leaks and burns sometimes!
Mine is doing the same thing at 240k :( debating the same question as its the NYC daily driver car... new car gets beat up bad here in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To hondaracer4vtec

I'll bet NYC is tough on a new car. Is here also... but the problems are pebble chips from the roads, deer impacts and fat women at Wal-mart who ding your door because they can't heave their bulk out through a small door opening.
:D
 

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Hondaracer4vtec
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:lmao:
 

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Can you snap a pic of where you're seeing the oil leaking?
 

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I only can hope that mine will last that long. I would not only rebuild the transmission but I would get the leak fixed. If you are not burning oil and the rest of the car seems to work then keep driving it. The clear coat and the leather upholstery are just cosmetic. Can you find an equal car for what it will cost to repair this one?
 

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it may not be much, but you could take off the oil pan and the transmission fluid pan and clean them out and put new gaskets on it. it may extend the life of the tranny just a bit longer.

this shop may be reputable to you, but beware of extra costs. rebuilding a tranny aint easy and im sure theyll quote you $1800 but you cant take them to the grave with that..expect a little more

depending on your financial situation and if you have another car to rely on until you get the accord fixed, I'd buy a 2nd used car for cheap
 

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it may not be much, but you could take off the oil pan and the transmission fluid pan and clean them out and put new gaskets on it. it may extend the life of the tranny just a bit longer.
These Accord transmissions do not have a removable pan. Installing a Magnefine ATF filter is about all you can do to keep the fluid cleaner.
I am a believer in fixing up the car that is paid for vs buying new or newer, but that is because I do most all my own work. I dont look at trading cars until the chasis is rusted to the point it becomes a mojor problem.
 

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I'm no expert so someone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but I do read a lot and from what I've read no shop is going to rebuild your transmission properly for only 1800 dollars. I wouldn't trust it. I wish to be wrong because sooner or later I'm sure mine will need it too.

I also debate if it's time to spring for a new one or just keep on fixing the old one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
to Fredsvt

I have uploaded a diagram of the engine block. I think the seep is coming from bolt #13 on the back of the engine. I am not mechanically savvy... what is this bolt; is there a fix; or should I leave it alone? I did not mess with the bolt much, but it is snug. I might have used a lighter weight oil last oil change. Could this have caused the seep?

bfa
 

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The oil you're using should have no effect.

That bolt is a main bearing cap side bolt. If you choose to remove the bolt, loosen it slowly and take it out.

Clean the block, bolt and its washer very well with brake cleaner. Get some Hondabond HT and put a small bead on the block, and a small amount on the washer between it and the head of the bolt. install the bolt and torque it with an accurate torque wrench to 36 ft-lb.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
FredSVT

Thanks for the help FredSVT... I still could be totally off-base on main bearing cap side bolt being the origin of the leak. I thought it to be the problem since I found some oil on it and the drips are dropping off of the oil pan drain plug. I wonder though if 70 mph down the interstate is not spreading the oil and throwing me off. Here is the run-down:
1. Noticed a few drips on the concrete.
2. Does not leak unless under pressure. Find oil after 50 mile daily commute only. Only one or two drops.
3. I cleaned the engine. Looks clean and dry around valve covers. After running it I found some (very little) oil around the filter seal. Snugged filter thinking that was part of it. But more drips the next day. Drips are dropping from the pan drain plug, but it is not leaking and from the bottom center of the pan.
4. Noticed yesterday that the passenger SIDE of block is damp with oil and I cleaned this over the weekend. It is in the area where the spool valve assembly attaches (at least that is what it is called on the attached diagram). I guess I need to look into the solonoid and the oil pressure switch assembly.

This would account for the oil on the filter (I thought was loose), the oil running down to the drain bolt and the drips i have found on the bottom center of the pan. I guess it still could be the main bearing cap side bolt and the highway is blowing/pushing the oil to passenger side valve assembly. Thoughts? Which is more likely? Just looks like most of the dampness is on the passenger side.

I see on the net that leaks and seeps from the solenoid are not uncommon. If I isolate it to the solenoid, do I only need to pull the two small bolts (#34 on attached) to remove the solenoid to replace the o-ring or does the entire assembly have to come off by removing #35 & 36 on attached. Thanks for your replies. Ever use the UV dye and black light?
bfa
 

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The oil can and does blow all over the place as you drive down the road.

If you clean the area and get some white developer powder and coat the whole area with it, then start it you'll find where its coming from. The UV dye and light work just as good.

If it's coming from that area, take off the entire filter adapter, first take off the filter though. That is the "spool valve" housing too, the two long bolts hold it on. The gasket you'd need for that is 13, and the gasket for the solenoid itself is 15, also get the oring for the vtec pressure switch

I'd be careful to make sure the oil isn't coming out of the timing cover and running down the adapter.
 

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That's sort of it, it's available in a spray can. It's a developer powder used in crack checking for aluminum parts.

Here's a link to the kit, you only need the white developer powder. GM also used to sell a spray oil leak detection powder, but that was a long time ago.


http://www.irontite.com/PDF/CrackDetect-Catalog.pdf


The powder works great on cleaned dry parts as it immediately changes color as the oil runs onto it. The UV dye can work also, but you'll have to dye the oil, run it, then shut it down, completely clean everywhere near the leak and then go on to finding the leak.
 

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Well i found the leak this weekend. Developer powder is not something readily available in my general area so i did it the ******* way. I cleaned the underside of the engine with the motor clean at the spray wash (engine was cool). Then I painted the underside in the suspected areas with generic ($2.00) athletes foot powder spray from Wal-mart. It was cheaper than the powder spray deoderant :D. Ran the car for half an hour and climbed under. It showed up like a turd in the snow. There is a seep where the oil pump joins the block. This is above the bearing cap side bolt and the oil drain plug which is why they were always wet. VTEC solenoid and pressure switch all were fine. Plan is to take it to my transmission shop, probably next week, for a trans rebuild and let them address the oil leak while there. Thanks for all of the help and advice.

bfa
 
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