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91 Honda Accord - oil leak


Moles's Avatar
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02-08-04, 12:01 AM   #1  
Moles
91 Honda Accord - oil leak

Hi, I have a 91 Honda Accord wagon, automatic with 184,000 K on it. It ran into some problems the other day...
When I started her up, it had real trouble turning over which I didn't think too much of, since we were right in the middle of a cold spell. I also noticed right away a bit of an burning oil smell, but again because of the cold, I didn't really notice anything coming out of the tailpipe because of all the ice fog. When I got to where I was going I noticed it was leaking oil, and after it had been parked for around 2 minutes tops, there was at least 1 1/2 cups dumped on the ground. It took me another 2 minutes to get home, and by that time the oil light was on.

I put some oil in (about 2 litres I think) and checked the garage floor etc. and figured out that a) it wasn't leaking until I started the engine that day, b) it was leaking oil at a rather alarming rate, and c) it basically doesn't leak anything if the engine is off.

It has recently had the alternator replaced, and a winter tuneup, plugs and hoses changed etc.
I'm not even thinking of messing with this one myself, unless it turns out to be something dead simple. (It never does though...)
I'm just wondering what the possible problems might be, if it could have anything to do with the tuneup, and is it a bad idea to drive it the 5 blocks to the shop?

Thanks, long one, I know...

 
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02-08-04, 12:09 AM   #2  
mike from nj
get a flashlight and look under the car while it's running, you will see something dripping. just follow that up to it's highest point

it's even easier if you have the drive-up style ramps.

hopefully it's just an oil pressure switch, but it can be literally anything, including a cheap oil filter.

do NOT drive it longer than one second with the oil light on, if you have to shut it down at 55mph and coast to the side of the road, DO IT.


let us know what you find

 
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02-29-04, 03:38 PM   #3  
Moles
....

Sorry about the time lapse...I've been a little busy to look into it. Actually, that's not true - it was just too bleedin' cold to get onto the garage floor!

But I got underneath it today, and with the engine running took a peek. The oil is coming from the join where the oil filter screws in. I was just able to see from topside that it isn't dripping from somewhere higher and simply hitting the filter on the way down.

Questions:

I imagine the filter is probably cacked outright, but could it just have loosened because of the cold spell?

What would cause this to happen, ie what else should I be concerned with getting checked out.

The mechanic's I usually go to is less than 5 minutes away, I know it'll get there without dumping ALL the oil out, but is it still okay to run the engine like this?


Again sorry for the delay on this - any help on this is greatly appreciated.

 
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02-29-04, 03:45 PM   #4  
Running an engine with that serious of a leak is a bad idea. Why don't you just go get a new oil filter and replace it. Be very carefull that the old rubber gasket is removed before installing the new filter. Top off the oil and try it. If you still end up with a leak, spring for a tow truck. It's not worth losing an engine over.

 
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02-29-04, 03:57 PM   #5  
Maybe its just loose, try tightening it. Maybe it wasn't tightened properly.

 
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02-29-04, 04:01 PM   #6  
good advice

Good advice just buy a new filter check to see it is on correct make sure there is only one rubber gasket not two or none,top it off with new oul probbably one quart.Dont drive with a big oil leak it is not worth it.

 
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02-29-04, 08:17 PM   #7  
Moles
Thanks

Thanks for the speedy replies.
Why don't you just go get a new oil filter and replace it

I was actually going to do that today, ran out of time.

Just curious about not running the engine - as long I don't run out of oil, everything should be okay, right? Or is all that oil spilling out supposed to be going to the engine?

If it's a bad idea to drive it, I won't. I just want to understand the process a little better.

 
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03-01-04, 03:39 AM   #8  
Re: Thanks

Originally posted by Moles
Just curious about not running the engine - as long I don't run out of oil, everything should be okay, right? Or is all that oil spilling out supposed to be going to the engine?

If it's a bad idea to drive it, I won't. I just want to understand the process a little better.
The oil level in your car is critical. It wasn't built with a reserve. It needs all of it all the time. You have a severe leak under pressure that came on suddenly and could get worse suddenly also. Every time that car is run LOW on oil, it take thousands of miles off it's ultimate life. Not to mention the fact that oil eats rubber and all that oil that has leaked all over your suspension bushings will destroy them ultimately. Spring for the tow truck and play it safe. I've replaced many an engine due to a customer's refusal to pay a tow truck.

 
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03-01-04, 03:54 AM   #9  
Silicone
I think you have a bad oil sending unit. The little gizmo that oil is rammed into to show the guage the pressure of the oil being pumped.. I think it's about a $20 part.... do a search on it.

 
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03-07-04, 01:47 PM   #10  
Moles
Quick update: The O-ring behind the oil cooler was the culprit. I guess it snapped because it was just too dang cold out. I love winter....whatever, it was less than 150$ to fix it, clean off the engine block, and do an oil change.

Thanks again.

 
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03-15-04, 06:12 PM   #11  
pugsly
Is your accord an ex, or se. If it is the seal around the oil cooler is to blame. The oil filter screws to the cooler and the cooler to the block. I see these at work all the time especially in the cold weather.

 
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