2004 Honda Civic Sdn - Leaking after new gasket

My 2004 Honda Civic is still leaking oil after I just got a oil pan gasket replaced

Take it back to whoever replaced it and let them fix it.

They said that it’s the front main seal that’s leaking and that they have to replace the timing belt and water pump.

The car is 16 yr’s old and probably overdue for timing belt replacment which would include water pump and seal.


Would buying a cylinder head plug fix the problem

Not if it is the main seal. When was the timing belt last rep[laced, and who did it? They might have skipped replacing the seal.


I don’t know and if I don’t get it fix will it start a fire

If it is the main seal then it is a different problem and more time consuming to fix. No, you don’t have to replace the timing belt and water pump to replace the seal.

However, it doesn’t take a whole lot more work to replace the timing belt and water pump. These two things are usually replaced together and if it hasn’t been done in the past it would be a good idea to do so now.

Not likely to start a fire, but it could happen as oil keeps dripping/spraying onto the hot engine. The leak will get worse over time. You should also monitor your oil level if the leak is significant.

The Civic engine is of the “interference” design, which means that when the belt snaps, the resulting engine damage could cost more to repair than the car is worth–depending on its overall condition. Unless you can confirm through hard copy maintenance records that the timing belt was replaced within the last 90k miles, then it is overdue for replacement.

A leak from the front main seal is merely annoying, although it requires that you carefully monitor the oil level. On the other hand, a broken timing belt may spell the practical end of the car.


The timing belt isn’t broken he’s suggesting putting in a new timing belt and water pump to eliminate the orange leaking

Please re read @VDCdriver 's message. IF the belt breaks the engine will be ruined.

If you do not have records that show it has been replaced you are gambling with a very expensive repair and risk breaking down when you least can afford it.

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It would be very wise to heed the advice given about replacing the timing belt kit. Oil or coolant leaks inside the belt case will saturate the timing belt and cause it to break. This is true of even a new belt.

If you have owned the car since new or have owned it for quite a while then it’s a miracle the timing belt has not already broken and left you with a damaged engine. When a belt breaks it will be instantly with zero warning.

There’s also the safety factor to consider. When a timing belt breaks it may happen at the worst time; say while pulling out in front of traffic or with a semi tailgating you.

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Unfortunately, even when people are warned about that type of catastrophic engine failure and its consequences, many folks seem to think that it will happen in their driveway, or some other safe/convenient location.

Many decades ago my girlfriend and I were headed to OK City to see a Grand Funk Railroad concert and came upon an accident on I-35 in north OKC. Traffic was barely at a crawl.

A semi had plowed into the back of a late 60s Nova and pushed the rear bumper clean up to the back seat. City cops and troopers were everywhere.

While stopped by an OHP trooper I asked if the car had pulled out in front of the truck. The trooper said the preliminary story he was getting was that the Nova stalled for some reason at highway speed and the truck which was following too close had rammed it from behind. When asked about fatalities he said the young couple apparently only suffered some back and neck pain although it was never known to me if those injuries turned out to be minor or lifelong. Hopefully the former.

There was no timing belt involved in this but goes to show what can happen when a car stalls at speed.
The couple was lucky the car did not overturn or get shoved through the median into oncoming traffic.
No 3 point harness, crumple zones, or airbags in those days.

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If I remember the Civic, you do have to remove the crankshaft pulley to access the front main seal. At that point you’ve done more than half the work to replace the timing belt. Honda recommends replacing the water pump whenever the timing belt is replaced to avoid duplicate labor charges if the pump goes bad. I think about everyone here is right–unless you know when the belt was replaced, the shop is giving you the best advice it can.

But what is “the orange leaking?” Please tell me you are not using DexCool.

I’m guessing it was a typo, and they meant “oil leaking”.

OP: you’ve gotten some good advice here, but it would be more helpful to start from the beginning, as it sounds like we’re getting about Step #4 onwards in the breakdown of events.

What prompted the original oil pan gasket change? Did you take it to the garage and say “hey it’s leaking oil”? If so, then it sounds more like they’re just guessing at the source of the leak. If, however, you took it in and said “replace the oil pan gasket”, rather than let the garage do the actual diagnosis, then I’d be more inclined to trust that they know what they’re talking about now when they say it’s the front main seal.

I’m having several leaks and now I’m going to get a uv dye test done to see exactly where they are coming from and I’m wondering how expensive it is

They said to replace the oil pan gasket and so I did but I went somewhere else to get the oil pan gasket done there they said that it’s leaking from somewhere else and now I’m going to have to open up the crankshaft to see where it’s leaking and also replace the timing belt and water pump.


You need to have somebody carefully explain the engine’s problems and their solutions to you, because you are obviously not understanding what you are being told


Yes, those jobs undoubtedly need to be done.

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