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1999 C-RV Honda Transmission (or Power Steering) Leak

Hey guys so I purchased this vehicle a few weeks ago and drove it roughly 500 miles before discovering a transmission (or power steering??) leak.

The main problem is I cannot tell where exactly the leak is coming from. The underside of the tranny (AWD vehicle) has many a drip of red/translucent fluid. HOWEVER the power steering lines are also coated in oil/fluid.

In this vehicle both power steering and tranny fluid are bright red and quite similar. I’ve checked beneath the cap of the steering reservoir and I can’t tell if its dropping or not… though it seems to be. The outside of the reservoir has a hatch mark for judging the level. It has always appeared near the upper mark from the outside, though I wonder about the properties of said fluid, perhaps the miniscus is quite deep due to hydrostatic tension?? I have no idea…

The drain plug on the vehicle is bone dry. No leaks there. However there are a few bolt heads that seem to be seeping or leaking or a least have fluid outside of them.

A local shop looked at it and told me the transmission housing had a “crack” however I haven’t seen any, all I’ve seen is a mating surface/gasket which could be seeping fluid… It seems too straight and thin to be a crack. They also said something about the CV axle wearing a groove in the housing… another thing I’m not sure is true. They did point out a JB weld on that crack area… which I saw that they removed.

If its the tranny leaking and/or not the power steering then I can tell you for certain it is coming from the transmission dipstick area, though from where is hard for myself to know.

I can post video/pictures if you’d like a better look.

Simple , get a second opinion from another shop and if they say the housing has crack it may be salvage yard time. Frankly I doubt if pictures would be of much use with all the dirt a fluids under there.

Take the vehicle to a shop that has a Tracer leak finder.

They should power wash all the leaking fluid from under the vehicle, add the product to either the transmission fluid or power steering fluid, but not both, and run the engine.

That’ll indicate which system is leaking.


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Do you have jack stands . . . ?

If so, get under the vehicle yourself

If not, are you in a position to doubt the diagnosis, regarding the crack . . . ?

The presence of JB weld is a little concerning. If all is well, there should be no need for it . . .

Pictures are better, preferably close-ups

Here’s a link to a YT video.

I will note that after a better examination it is indeed a crack in the transmission housing. -.-

Does anyone know of a place I could find a relatively decent transmission for this vehicle? Its AWD. I looked on the web but some websites are sketchy and have ridiculous prices, though I know they can cost upward of $750 (in the quadruple digits in most cases). One remanufactured transmission I found was $2250!

Frankly , I can’t see that putting 2000.00 or more into this old vehicle makes sense. Why not clean the crack area and see if you can use something to adhere a patch over the crack . Then drive till some other expensive problem shoes up.

Honestly those concerns are a bit overrated. $2,000 vs $5,000+ for a new car??

It has a great engine. No leaks. No oil consumption. It has some cosmetic problems but hey. I’d rather deal with cosmetic than mechanical.

I think too many people consider the worth of a vehicle more than the cost of a new or pre-owned one… what will it cost you to fix the current vehicle when the new-ish one costs 5x more? I’ll settle for something I know has a smallish chance of failing miserably vs a new-ish car the costs 5x more and depending on make could have just as many problems by e time you pay it off. My mom bought a F-150 a few years ago. Just a few months prior to her final payment the alternator went, and so did a few other expensive things…

I understand engineers can project/predict the general time frame that a vehicle component will fail. I think Ford at the very least designs their vehicle longevity for that…

Where can you get a new car for 5000.00 ? Tell me and I will buy a couple myself.

And the chance of stopping at 2000.00 on this neglected and abused vehicle is slim.


I don’t understand why the hell no one can give me a straight answer regarding this vehicle!

I took it to a transmission shop, they asked for a certain amount of $$ for a loan and then told me they couldn’t get parts for it. I found a rebuild kit online just today and it just pisses me off it feels like I’m dealing a cartel across the city. Nobody wants to work on it or give me a straight answer even if parts exist!!

If the transmission case is cracked you need to replace the transmission or the transmission case, a rebuild kit will not help.


Alright look. On my part I am guilty of being a bit frustrated with this situation.

The shop I took it to said they couldn’t find parts for it but it could be rebuilt. The one before it said it has a crack and a groove worn into it though I am not certain they knew what they were talking about. I’ve not seen any cracks in it other than ya know the areas where surfaces mate. They’re so such fine lines you can’t see them in the YT video, but you definitely see them in person.

The transmission is leaking in all 3 joints I’ve been told by the latest shop (its a transmission shop specializing in imports)… nothing about a crack or anything major like that.

They can rebuild it because rebuild kits are available but they can’t or are unwilling to get the other parts that are needed. What are the parts that are unavailable?

If you want a used one, try LKQ. For a remanufactured one, Jasper.

Nah. The shop I was working with won’t do it. I was just on the phone with them. They reiterated and explained a bit for me, I’m not good with generalities. They essentially aim for a 100% guarantee for their warranty which means they need trusted suppliers and a complete set of genuine parts because they rebuild the whole thing. I called another place and asked them they told me “parts for these vehicles are becoming unavailable” (his exact words). I wouldn’t be buying any 1999 Honda vehicles anytime now or later if I were you… I think they keep making parts up until about 20 years post product… which would have been end of last year.

I will see if anyone local is looking for parts. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Mom said something about asking the guy we bought it from if he wanted to take it back for a bit of our cash back… seems like a decent deal I guess.

I really think these shops have been pulling my leg the whole time… I located the source of the leak and its just a stupid gasket. I admire that the tranny shop refused to let me sink 150% of the cost of the vehicle into fixing it… and that they told a white lie to prevent that but honestly I want to DIY this with guidance from a mechanic friend of mine…

I just need to know what surfaces these are that mate where the gasket seal is… can you kind folks check out my latest post???