Deteriming neccessary repairs honda 1997 ac. ex

Honda dealer determined thru a TLC report I had a possible Oil Pan gasket leak, noting side cover gasket leaking,however, i have never observed any oil leaks in the driveway where car is parked. Also they said Lf rear Boot torn, upper balljoint seals cracked and rt. outer tie rod Boot cracked. i then took the car to another privately owned auto shop. The mechanic had me leave the car and TLC rept… He later called and said I did need to replace: side valve cover Gasket front and rear. Oil Filter housing ‘O’ ring and Front lft side Axle (XXLL) bringing the cost to $420. However, the auto shop mechanic said nothing about the upper balljoint seals being cracked. This auto shop had replc both lower lft and right balljoints in Apr. 2008. Since the Valve Cover Gasket was replcd in Mar of 2006 is it possible that it would need to be replaced again? I not sure if either of the two mechanics are giving me the true fact about the neede repairs. Help

The oil filter housing “O” ring gets changed with every oil filter change. It’s part and parcel of the oil filter.

Apparently you have a torn LF boot over the CV joint. Assuming it isn;t making any noise, ask the mechanic how much a “split boot” would cost to install. They don;t llast as long, but it’ll save lots of cash and should be good for the car’s remaining life.

How much of the cost is the “valve side cover gasket”? It’s not holding pressurized oil, so it really can’t leak much, and if you aren’t having oil dripping on the exhaust manifold and burning I’d recommend ignoring it and just checking your oil regularly as you should be doing anyway.

The other items are hard to guess without seeing them.

On a 12 year old car it’s normal to have dried and cracked elastomers. It’s also common to have oil leakage past long-compressed gaskets, especially if the crankcase pressure is elevated from normal engine wear. Shops can use these as revenue generators, even if not critical. The only one I’d personally worry about is the CV boot. And, again, on that car I’d consider a split boot installation.

In summary, I don’t think either is not giving you true facts, I just think the things they’re pointing out aren’t necessarily needed.

Thanks for the info. I just had an oil and filter change the same day I took my car to the independent auto shop, however the mechanic claims he had to replc. the filter housing ‘O’ ring and charged me $150 to do so. Does this sound reasonable?

No, it does not. Are you sure you’re not misunderstanding the “O” ring he replaced? What exactly does the shop order state?

The order of repairs states:
Replace oil filter housing ‘o’ ring $150.00
replace valve cover gasket front and rear $120.00

Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow.

Can any of you out there add anything that might enable this to make sense?

There are a lot of details missing on this complaint but odds are the O-ring mentioned has to do with the oil pump cover seal and not an oil filter seal. This is a bit of a job and the price could be about right.

The valve cover gaskets should not need to be replaced again so soon, but that’s assuming they were actually replaced the first time.
Valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket leaks are rare so it’s unknown whether this was needed or not.

Given this multitude of oil leaks (not counting the oil filter O-ring) maybe it’s possible the PCV valve is stuck. This will pressure up the crankcase and can cause oil leaks. Just my opinion, but anytime there’s an oil leak complaint the PCV should be inspected first thing. It’s easy and dirt cheap.

You state both lower ball joints were replaced in 4/08 but the report stated the UPPER ball joint dust boots were cracked.
There’s really too much conflicting info to be sure of much of anything from my perspective.