Dear Click and Clack,
My 2000 Honda Accord V6 recently developed an oil leak at the rear main seal. It has only 125k miles. Is this too soon for a leak? Could using synthetic oil all its life have led to the seal’s early demise? What have you noticed at your shop?
Broke and disappointed,
Phil from Portland, OR
Dear Click and Clack,
This is NOT Tom and Ray…Just a people like you who have questions about cars or people willing to help.
It’s NOT synthetic oil that has caused this problem. How often have you been changing your oil??? Are you sure it’s the rear main seal?? I know this is not a easy fix job…so I’d get a second opinion before spending that kind of money.
This is also very unusual for this vehicle and engine. Wife has owned a couple accords with well over 200k miles on each and never had this problem. I know at least 20 people who own Accords and they are all trouble free. So I’m pretty sure this is just a very rare occurance.
Some people have the idea that every little leak just HAS to be stopped. It doesn’t. Monitor the engine oil, and transmission fluid levels. A little bit added weekly won’t hurt. To help you to remember to do the checks, attach a note pad to the dash, initial and date it each time you do the checks.
I’ve owned 4 Hondas and they all seeped a little oil around the seals. I had a front seal replaced on my '88 Accord at 207K and 18 years old because it was getting on the timing belt. If you don’t have to add oil between changes you’re OK.
The severity of oil leaks and the range of notice and acceptance of them is the critical issue here. I have strongly encouraged would be customers to find other shops based on their extreme obsessions (my opinion) of leaks of no consequence(my opinion). If a normal car or truck burns three tanks of fuel before needing oil added and no puddles appear under the vehicle THERE ISN’T REALLY A PROBLEM (again, in my opinion). I would make sure that the PCV system and compression are in order as part of normal maintenance and if the leak is less than noted above live with it (in my opinion).
It would NOT be funny if, after a lot of work and repair, the NEWLY repaired area seeped a tiny bit, would it? The customer would complain that it wasn’t “PERFECT”! Who can argue with “perfection”? I agree with Rod Knox, “Let it be”.