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Neglecting an oil leak

 
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:13 PM
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Neglecting an oil leak

My 97 Prelude leaks about 1 quart every 600 miles. I keep a close eye on the dip stick every trip to the gas station and every other fill up its missing about a quart.

When I got the car it had about 150k miles and it had the leak so I'm not sure how long its been leaking but the engine is pretty dirty with oil. The car was using conventional motor oil up to 170k miles at which point I switched to Mobil 1 synthetic in hopes a heavier oil would slow the leak. I'm not sure but I think its leaking more rapidly now with synthetic.

Would switching to synthetic so late in the engine's life be a mistake? If so would switching back to conventional motor oil be the right thing to do?

The dealer said the leak was near the timing belt and tried to get me to pay $1800 to fix the leak and do the timing belt/water pump job.

To get to the point, would neglecting the oil leak and just topping off the oil when needed be a stupid thing to do? If I can't afford to fix the engine is there really any damage done if I make sure the oil always topped off?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:06 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

Oil Information and Myths busted.


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Old 01-16-2009, 05:28 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

its sounds like your cam seals..i had the same problem and i also changed the timing belt because it was saturated with oil, and did the water pump only because i was in there and my 5th gen had over 100 thou on it. the parts cost me under 200 bucks (seals pump and belt) and should only be about 5 to 6 hours of labor. but yes i would get it taken care of, even if your keeping up on the level, if that level is low and you drive on it your gonna scratch up the inside or your timing belt could break with the oil breaking it down and could lead to a new engine.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:02 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

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Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
Thanks, after reading it it seems that switching from mineral oil to synthetic *may* cause the mineral soaked gaskets to leak but thats not %100 guaranteed. Also, since switching to synthetic there could be some sludged broken loose which is fine since the first 5k miles with synthetic I did an oil change every 1100 miles and do oil changes every 3k since.

So what is all you guys opinion on what I did? Changing to synthetic after 150k miles of mineral.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

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Originally Posted by cleanbb6 View Post
its sounds like your cam seals..i had the same problem and i also changed the timing belt because it was saturated with oil, and did the water pump only because i was in there and my 5th gen had over 100 thou on it. the parts cost me under 200 bucks (seals pump and belt) and should only be about 5 to 6 hours of labor. but yes i would get it taken care of, even if your keeping up on the level, if that level is low and you drive on it your gonna scratch up the inside or your timing belt could break with the oil breaking it down and could lead to a new engine.

The cam seal is on the left right?
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:35 AM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

^^ Yup. Do the t-belt, and all that good stuff. You will thank yourself when you pistons dont slap.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:07 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

Ya fix it all man I neglected an oil leak for a while, and ended up blowing a cam seal...not a fun night. Si96Lude has got it right youll thank yourself later.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:04 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

I use regular oil in mine because that is what it was designed for. And yea you should get it fixed or end up like the one I'm parting out now because I neglected the timing belt.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

I was planning on doing the timing belt/water pump when I get to 200k miles. I don't have a garage so the dealership is my only choice.

Does anyone think I should switch back to mineral oil on the next oil change? Would there be any reason I can't switch from mineral to synthetic back to mineral oil?

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:41 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

sounds similar to my problem, i just completed doing my whole head with a complete gasket kit i bought. check by your oil filter too between the oil cooler and engine block. i had a broken seal there and used 15L of oil in about 650 km (i know its bad). also check all your seals around the oil pump (behind the timing belt), these are relatively easy to get to and replace. I was also burning oil and replaced the valve seals and head gasket too (clean up your pistons and valves at this point). give yourself a good weekend to do this if you think its a problem. i got a complete gasket kit off of ebay for about 80 bucks or so. better then what the dealership wanted!
ps a tip for you, i will probably get criticized for this, but our cars have auto tensioners for the timing belt, i didn't have the special holder for it so i used a larger hose clamp and it worked great.
good luck
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:51 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

Well it seems the oil leak is all over the top of where the transmission and the engine meet. I checked out the cam seal and it could be a source of the leak but there is a lot more oil residue on the transmission itself than sliding down from under the cam seal.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:54 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

might be the rear main seal (pretty sure thats the one) which is underneath the clutch and flywheel. is there oil seeping out all around from where the tranny meets the block? like sides and bottom as well.
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1995 Honda Prelude SE Turbo; 250whp, 275wtq @ 10psi Soldddd!!!

2000 Acura TL; DD
2005 Stage2.5+ Subaru WRB STi : RzKar!
Ivey Tuned - Advan - Cobb - Rallispec - CP - Perrin - ACT - KillerB - Carillo - TurboXS - Defi - Innovate - Walbro - DeatschWerks - Feal - H&R - Alpine - Infiniti - Curt

2001 Kawasaki STX1100 D.I. - Sold!
2007 Sea-Doo RXT 215; ET 127 +3 S/C impeller, DIY 3" intake, DIY resonator delete/free flow exhaust, DIY oil catch can, Rule 500gph bilge pump


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Old 01-25-2009, 08:15 PM
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Re: Neglecting an oil leak

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Originally Posted by twokexlv6coupe View Post
might be the rear main seal (pretty sure thats the one) which is underneath the clutch and flywheel. is there oil seeping out all around from where the tranny meets the block? like sides and bottom as well.

Yes thats exactly where 90% of the oil residue is. When I do my oil changes I can see the tranny above and below is covered in oil. This can't be good for the clutch and flywheel right?
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