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Distributor

I drive a 1994 Honda Accord LX 4 door. It has 140,000 miles. Yesterday, all of a sudden the temperate gauge starting going towards red and I pulled over and opened the hood to see the coolant spilled all over under the hood. I got it towed to the Honda dealer. He told me that the distributor has a leak and it is leaking hot oil on the hoses which resulted in hoses getting weaker and ultimately giving way. He says we have to do 2 things:

1. replace distributor (about $550)

2. replace heater hose, upper and lower radiator hoses ($278).

The other option is to not replace distributor, but replace only the hoses. The distributor still keeps leaking and the hoses are going to give away after a year or so. This way you will buy 1 year of time before you spend about $550 on the distributor. What do you both say?

All hoses bad? That’s unusual - I’d have the dealer replace the one hose that let go, then find a mechanic you trust (use the Cartalk mechanic finder) for a second opinion. Have you noticed the leak before? Does it use much oil?

You would think the distributor oil leak is caused by a worn housing “O” ring, why do you need a complete distributor?.

I certainly like to fix things right but a “field expediant” fix could use some shielding to direct oil away.

Never saw a distributor leaking so heavily.

I would find a independant shop for this work, the Dealer is trying to sell to much for to much.

Ditto what’s been said. Get a second opinion. I’m not saying your dealer is doing something shady, but they may just be trying to kill a bunch of possible issues by replacing the distributor, rather than taking a little extra time to precisely diagnose what’s going on.

I’ve seen this before. The distributor slowly leaks internally and oil will drip out where the cap meets the distributor body. The distributor is horizontal, btw. The radiator hoses are right underneath so oil will drip onto them. The internal seal is difficult to get to and you’d have to disassemble most of the distributor to get to it if you could even buy the seal separately. I just replaced the distributor.

I would replace all the hoses (it’s time) and place a drip guard over the one that’s being damaged. I would NOT give them $550 for a distributer…

Agreed with the replies.

I have found that you can get good rebuilt distributors from foreign auto parts stores for about half of what you’d pay for a new distributor from a dealer.