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Help with Oil Leak Repairs

 
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:31 PM
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Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Hello - First I want to say that I'm disabled, so I must rely on a mechanic. I've taken the car to a local, recommended Honda Repair shop for evaluation of many oil leaks. The car doesn't leak a lot while not running, but on the highway, it's losing 5 quarts/1K miles. It's f'in ridiculous. The car is a 1994 Prelude SI (non-VTEC).

The shop says:
1) Needs V/C Gasket $60
2) Needs Dist. Housing $445
3) Needs Oil Pan Gasket $165
4) Frt. Seals leaking. Needs T/Belt Service $590
5) Rear Main Seal Leaking $650
6) Needs Oil Pressure Switch $45
7) Needs Oil Filter Base O-Ring $65
* Plus tax for all items

Things that seem fishy to me:
1) Item #2. Why would I need a new Distributor Housing? Isn't there a seal behind the housing that could be leaking?
2) Item #3. Seems like a lot to charge for replacing a gasket.
3) Item #4. Should I also get the water-pump replaced? The car has 160K miles but the pump was replaced at about 90K. What's a fair price for this since they'll already have the timing belt off?
4) Item #6. Is this standard?

Please enlighten me with all your wisdom, not just about the 4 concerns I listed. Thanks a lot!!
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:42 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Bump.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:59 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimmer View Post
Hello - First I want to say that I'm disabled, so I must rely on a mechanic. I've taken the car to a local, recommended Honda Repair shop for evaluation of many oil leaks. The car doesn't leak a lot while not running, but on the highway, it's losing 5 quarts/1K miles. It's f'in ridiculous. The car is a 1994 Prelude SI (non-VTEC).

The shop says:
1) Needs V/C Gasket $60
2) Needs Dist. Housing $445
3) Needs Oil Pan Gasket $165
4) Frt. Seals leaking. Needs T/Belt Service $590
5) Rear Main Seal Leaking $650
6) Needs Oil Pressure Switch $45
7) Needs Oil Filter Base O-Ring $65
* Plus tax for all items

Things that seem fishy to me:
1) Item #2. Why would I need a new Distributor Housing? Isn't there a seal behind the housing that could be leaking?
2) Item #3. Seems like a lot to charge for replacing a gasket.
3) Item #4. Should I also get the water-pump replaced? The car has 160K miles but the pump was replaced at about 90K. What's a fair price for this since they'll already have the timing belt off?
4) Item #6. Is this standard?

Please enlighten me with all your wisdom, not just about the 4 concerns I listed. Thanks a lot!!
Well the valve cover gasket set at advance auto is about $30 bucks
Never heard distributor housing, but it could be your cam seal or distributor o-ring and that's not expensive
The oil pan gasket is only $20 bucks
Rear main seal i saw for about $20 bucks
Timing belt for about $25 but you'll need a balance shaft belt too which is about the same price I think
New water pump for about $65 and a reman for about 45-50 (yes do the water pump any time you change the timing belt)
The oil filter base o-ring is the oil cooler o-ring and it's only about 2 or 3 bucks at a dealer
Oil pressure switch about 20 bucks at advance
So I wouldn't think you would be much over $250 bucks for parts from what I've found, you can find motors cheaper than what you're going to spend to fix up this one it sounds like. You can see from the prices i've found here how much they will be charging you for labor. It's alot of work but it sounds like a lot of money to me
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:09 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

How long have you had the car by the way? If you just got it then I would say that motor has been leaking for a good while and it might be time to just drop another one in it anyway, and if you have had it for a while how long has it been leaking this bad? thats alot of oil to go through, how many miles are on the motor? I'd be looking around for another engine if it were me, because the one in it may be hiding alot more problems you wont be able to see until it gets cracked open
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:12 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Hey - Thanks for the input. I bought the car with 20K miles on it and it's at 160K now. I get my oil changed at a Valvoline quick-lube business and they top up the oil for free between oil changes. I think I'm costing them money, lol. Otherwise, I think the car is in good shape.

Like I said, I can't do the work myself so I'll be stuck for labor. I don't know much about getting a new motor, but labor for that would also be a lot, I'm thinking.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:54 AM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

The prices for the front and rear main seals are about what most dealers will charge you. The front main seal is behind the crank pully/timing belt. The rear main seal requires the tranny to be removed so both are labor intensive jobs and will cost a lot at an hourly rate. I have a 94 and minor oil leaks at all the same locations, I have not started taking the engine apart yet but oil leaks are expected on a 17 year old car. 5 quarts every 1000 miles is definately a problem. Is your car smoking at all?
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:15 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Not in normal driving situations as far as I can tell. But, I passed a car the other night, revving to 5K or so and, in the headlights of the car behind me it looked like a good bit of smoke. It's hard to say though. I don't see anything in the daylight.

I'm really curious about the new Dist. Housing that the shop claims I need. Does that make any sense. It's a big ticket item.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:19 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

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Originally Posted by Skimmer View Post
Not in normal driving situations as far as I can tell. But, I passed a car the other night, revving to 5K or so and, in the headlights of the car behind me it looked like a good bit of smoke. It's hard to say though. I don't see anything in the daylight.

I'm really curious about the new Dist. Housing that the shop claims I need. Does that make any sense. It's a big ticket item.
I don't know what the distributor housing thing is all about either, but you can find a distributor for anywhere between 200-350 bucks
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:05 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

Agreed with all above, vtec9998 hit all the right points.

The distributor housing is killin' me though, distributor seal, sure. Heck even throw in a new rotor/cap/wires/plugs and you're still hundreds less than what they're quoting you! Definitely have them put in a new cam plug seal while they're doing this, or it'll be leaking the next week, lol! I'd take it somewhere else for a second opinion personally. Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:25 PM
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Re: Help with Oil Leak Repairs

It also sounds like your piston rings are a little worn :) I have low compression in 2 cylinders and i go through oil as well, only when i keep my foot in it. And like you i didn't notice the smoke until i down shifted and hit the gas (tail gaters) and noticed the pretty smoke in their head lights :) So it's about time to rebuild or replace.
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