95 Honda Oil Pan Removal

My 95 Accord loses about a qt every 1,000 miles from a loose oil pan. I leave a little mess everywhere I park.
I want to replace the pan gasket but can’t reach the heads of two 10mm bolts that are partially covered by part of the transmission. How do I get them off? Are those babies actually holding on the pan, or are they not related?

They hold the pan but the pan is not likely the source of your leak. I would suggest that you just replace all the bolts and torque down all the ones you can get to to about 10 ft/lbs of torque, no more.

The next timing belt service, have all the front oil seals replaced. it doesn’t cost much more to get this done at that time. Have it done at a Honda dealer, they often include most of the seals in the timing belt service. The only one not included is the oil pump seal, but that is only an extra $10.

If you don’t have a torque wrench that goes down this low, and most people don’t, use the nut driver handle from a 1/4" socket set and go down hand tight. If you don’t have a nut driver set, just use a long extension form a 1/2" socket set, use a 1/2 to 3/8 adapter if needed or put a 1/2 to 3/8 adapter on the end of a long 3/8 extension. It will give you about the right amount of torque.

BTW, I think you can get to the last two bolts with a wobble extension, 1/4" drive works the best for this.

Yeah I wonder if one of those ratchet box wrenches would get in there if there is room to get the bolt out once its loose and get it back in again. On one of our cars I wondered how to get at a couple of the bolts-maybe the kids Acura, but never had to do it. Yep clean everything off and make sure you know where the leak is coming from first.

You’ll probably have to remove flywheel cover (if manual) or drive plate cover (if automatic) to remove the oil pan.

BTW, just b/c oil is dripping from the oil pan, that doesn’t necessarily mean the oil pan gasket is the source of the leak. The wind is really strong under there when driving down the freeway and oil dripping from above or anywhere (like either the front and rear crankshaft seals) can easily seem to be dripping from the oil pan. Maybe clean everything in above the leak area off with some engine degreaser/degunker and start from a fresh palette, see if you can actually verify where the oil leak is coming from. There are special UV dye kits available to assist with this job. Valve cover gaskets are a very common source of oil leaks. That would be my first suspicion for the source, not the oil pan. Unless you know you’ve noticeably bumped the oil pan on something like a curb or big rock.

Here’s a photo of one of the “hidden” bolts. The tranny is the silver stuff. The pan bolt I want to tighten is a little right of center, peaking out from under the curved black thing that is bolted to the tranny. I suspect I need to remove that black thing. Anybody have any input?

I appreciate your comments on other leak sources.
I cleaned the whole engine with my pressure washer top to bottom, and under the chassis too. Initially all the pan bolts were super loose and it was the obvious source of most of the leakage. One of them was about to fall off. I torqued all the ones I could reach to below the torque specified in the Chilton manual. No leakage from anywhere but the bottom of the engine-side of the tranny. I was worried about the crank shaft seal, and still suspect it may be the cause, but was encouraged when the leakage decreased after tightening the bolts I could reach.

I’ve not been underneath of a '95 Accord, and that picture doesn’t give me enough context to really give specific ideas. But the black thing is probably a dust shield for the flexplate / flywheel. These often have to be removed to access the oil pan bolts at the rear of the engine. If you’re just trying to retorque the pan bolts, loosening it may do.

Sorry about the mystery photo. You got it right, Cigroller. I will try it.

BTW this is my first time on forum and the experience has been rewarding. Thanks to all.

Have you looked under the distributor for oil? Honda’s of this generation are bad about the distributor O ring leaking. The oil drips down onto the heater hose just under the distributor, then around the transmission and onto the ground.

Besides losing a lot of oil, it also causes the heater hose to swell and eventually leak coolant, possibly overheating the engine.

This is an easy fix, at least the distributor o ring is. The distributor has a very short shaft and is keyed to the camshaft so it can’t go in wrong. It houses the crankshaft position sensor and the camshaft position sensor, the timing is set by the computer, not the distributor.

But still, I mark the position of the bolt holding the distributor on the slotted hole of the distributor, remove the bolt, pull the distributor straight out, take off the O-ring, go to parts store to find a match and reinstall everything, lining up the bolt to the original position on the slot.

About the only place that still sells open stock O-rings is O’Rielly’s. Most other stores sell a selection of O rings and there is always the chance that the one you need may not be in the selection. You could get one in advance from the Honda dealer and if there is one nearby, it would be worth it just to save the hassle.

If the heater hose is swelled up, good luck. If you can just cut an inch or so off the end and put it back on, that will save you a lot of work, removing the heater hose form the heater core at the firewall is very difficult, no room to move about. I had toe remove the top half of the intake manifold to change mine, if you do that, replace both hoses and the heater control valve while you are there.

Until all the oil pan bolts are torqued down, I’d leave that distributor alone

@keith, I’m curious as to why you seem skeptical of the oil pan leak even after the FloydFlames says he washed down the engine and verified loose oil pan bolts and oil leakage.

Cig, its not that it couldn’t be the pan gasket, it just that usually I find the real leak is elsewhere. But in this situation, I often give the pan bolts a little snugging too, can’t hurt as long as you don’t over do it. I find the pan bolts to be a little loose on almost every car I check even if it isn’t loosing oil.

db4690, what’s the harm in looking. My intent here was to help the OP, not to get him to abandon snugging down the pan bolts. Up until last month, I had an almost identical 97 Accord that I’ve owned since new so I have a little experience with this specific model and engine.


OP straight said the oil pan bolts were loose

OP also said the leakage decreased after tightening the bolts they could reach

Doesn’t it make sense to correct the obvious problem first, before messing around with the distributor?

BTW . . . I work on hundreds, maybe thousands of vehicles every year, and most of them don’t have loose oil pan bolts. And that’s including diesel rigs and 4x4s

Kind of makes me wonder what you’re working on

DB, I never said to not tighten the pan bolts, all I said was to check under the distributor. Obviously I would finish the job at hand first. I think he is going to find that the actual source of all that oil is the distributor though. It only takes a few seconds to look. Why do you not want him to look?

Do you see where the shift cable enters the transaxle? There’s a removable cover that exposes where the shift cable attaches to the shift lever. Remove that cover and see if that allows access to the pan bolt.


@keith, gotcha. I was just curious as you do know these cars. To me they’re generic. At the age, I’m sure its leaking or seeping from about everyplace.