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not sure where to start with this? total noob.

 
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:16 PM
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not sure where to start with this? total noob.

Okay so I've read the really good oil leak thread. It was helpful. But I just fixed my head gasket seal and thought everything was good. I'm new to working on cars and refuse to go to rip-off mechanics around here. It seems to be coming out of my where my heater hose connects but the weird thing is, I'm not overheating. I smell burning though. I noticed the leak from driving about 30 miles on the freeway then getting off to smell something burning. No smoke. I checked the oil right after driving and only had a drop, now that it's cool, it seems I have more than plenty of oil. Gonna need to drop some out but waiting to figure out the leak. I'm guessing from what the other thread said it could be the distributor seal or the vtech solenoid gasket or my worst fear, a cracked head. But somewhere online I saw someone with what sounded like the same problem replace the heater hose and somehow just doing that fixed it, but he was having an overheating problem. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I just want to know the best place to start.


My dad's done an oil change and got a new filter a little while back. So far I've replaced sparkplugs, starter, and just dealt with the power steering. Flushed the old fluid and replaced an o-ring in the pump (solved a huge problem with that. dealership wanted to charge $52 for just putting the o-ring on). I have a master-brake cylinder and booster problem, a bad battery, and need a new pcv valve. Oh and can't forget the compressor problem. Horrible summer without A/C.

-If that makes any difference in whatever the issue may be. The previous owner obviously didn't love the car. I've only been driving it for a year. 146,000 miles or so. should be running great still if properly taken care of.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:04 AM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

When you park the car, where does the oil leak out from? Get a dye tester kit, theyre like 10 bucks. And another thing, when you check the oil, do it when the engine is cold and on a flat surface. If the car is still hot, not all the oil has drained down into the pan and you'll get a horribly inaccurate reading. Best of luck and keep us updated.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:05 AM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

What is the "it" that's coming from where the heater hose connects? Coolant smoke (which makes looking at oil pointless)? Oil smoke? And where the heater hose connects to what -- there are two heater hoses (supply and return), and they each have two ends. These engines will take quite a bit of abuse, so it's worth exhausting the easy options (pinhole leak in a hose, rotted clamp) before moving on to the high dollar problems.

Skilled mechanics are $60/hr and up in most places -- factory techs are higher. That's just the price of playing if they do good work that you can't...the trick is finding a good one.

Cheap A/C: roll the windows down, open the roof, depress your right foot. :)
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:08 AM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

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Cheap A/C: roll the windows down, open the roof, depress your right foot. :)
Thats getting sigged haha.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:12 PM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

Welcome to the wonders of driving an old car. Great stuff if you like skinned knuckles, greasy finger nails and a sore back. But the rewards are certainly worth the hassles to most of those here.

Maybe you could take pic from 2-3' away showing the general area from not too far, not too close. An arrow pasted to the pic pointing to offending hose would really help.

If you haven't already, go to the diy section and download the service manual for your car.

Sometimes the cam seal leaks too. It's near the area with the distributor etc.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:59 PM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

I had pictures, really good ones. But for some reason the site wouldn't allow me to put them up with the thread. The leak is the passenger side, but not significantly towards that side. I haven't been having anything smoke since I fixed the valve cover gasket. It's just the smell of burning oil after taking a half hour drive going 80. There's no overheating and my gauge works. The green colored sensor thing next to the distributor is coated in old looking oil, along with everything above my heater hose where it connects to the engine, underneath my distributor. That general area has gunky oil all over along with some fresh oil up underneath where my vTech solenoid thingy hooks up to the engine. So after reading the helms manual and looking closely at the area I've decided to start with the vTech solenoid gasket and spool valve, pretty much everything you can replace inside of that which seems easy enough for me to do. Also gonna replace the distributor o-ring and gasket because it's cheap and might as well since everything replaceable in that area is old and I'm still not %100 sure of the location of the oil leak. Gonna do the cam seal plug cap while I'm at it too, might be the only thing I'll have a hard time with. Have to get a new heater hose because the oil dripping down onto it is causing it to bulge.

I'm hoping I've targeted it with the vTech solenoid seals/filter. Slightly concerned I may have other issues as well though. One repair at a time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:27 PM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

Prelude engines (all of 'em) seem to have special catch pockets for oil leaks or spills -- you fix the problem, but there's residual oil trapped somewhere, and it takes forever to burn off. Even a simple oil change is good for a day's worth of oil-scented driving.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:48 PM
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Re: not sure where to start with this? total noob.

I thought that too. I put pictures up on my profile of where I think its leaking. Maybe I'll give it a good degreasing wash down to see if anything new leaks before I buy any of the seals.
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