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Oil Pan & Suspension

I have 2 questions - I just took my car in for routine maintenance (120,000 miles) and they found a leak in the oil pan, $265 to fix, and the rear suspension tearing, $344 to fix - 1.) are these necessary repairs, and 2.) is this a fair price?

Rear suspension tearing?? The word “tearing” does not make much sense in this context. Are you sure that this is what you were told? Is it possible that you were told that the rear shocks/struts were leaking?

Anyway, without letting us know the make, model, model year, and engine type of this mystery vehicle, it is very difficult to give a substantive answer. When you post a question, it is very important to include this information.

You’re absolutley right - the information would be helpful. Sorry about that - it’s a 98 Honda Civic. As far as the tear - I didn’t think it made a lot of sense either, and it was secondhand information, so I can’t speak to the veracity of the statement. It’s a very good possibility that it’s wear, if that makes more sense. I’m a little ignorant in these things, so I can’t really speak intelligently about them.

Who found this leak-a Honda dealer, a Honda independent, or some kinda of auto repair chain/gas station place? The oil pan might have a leaky gasket or be damaged-we would sort of need to know that. If the car doesn’t seem to be losing oil when you check the level every week then I probably wouldn’t worry about it. If you have a puddle of oil under the car where you park it then it needs to be addressed.

As for the suspension if you need a new shock or strut that might be reasonable, althought he price seems high. However the term “suspension” encompasses lots of things. Tearing can involve many things as well. We just don’t have enough information to give good information here.

A Honda dealership found the problems. And the only terms I was given was the shockabsorbers/suspension - but I don’t what would be torn

So is the car leaking on the driveway or not? If it’s not-don’t worry about it for now. As for the suspension I’d imagine your struts and shock are probably toast at this point on a 98 civic with 120K, so it’s not unreasonable you may have some trouble. Ask them if you need to replace one shock or two shocks. Each rear wheel has its own shock and each front wheel has its own strut. They all serve the same purpose-keep the car from bouncing up and down, and making sure the car rides smoothly. Quite simply-they control motion and are important. They wear out eventually on all cars.

I am familiar with this car and its problems. The oil pan leaking is a notorious problem with the Civic line from 1996-2000. I bought one new in 2000. Mine leaked from from about 20,000 but nothing horrible. I informed the dealer about it because it was under the warranty they told me it was oil residue from changing the oil filter. I knew it wasn’t but it wasn’t bad I really didn’t care. As long as you check your oil regularly and are not adding oil every few hundered miles don’t worry about it. As far as my Civic the pan was damp no puddles were ever on the driveway or in the garage. For the rear suspension I would assume that the tearing is in the rubber control arm bushing. Most Civics’ that I’ve worked on had this problem. Yes it should be fixed, the rear control arm holds the rear wheel in it proper location. This torn bushing will allow the wheel to had play in it from front to back (caster) and allow to steer itself left and right at random (toe) It could eventually be bad enough to cause you to loose control of your car. As for the prices you were quoted the oil pan gasket is a job the price seems to be fair, myself a private shop owner would fix it for close to half the price, the rear contol arm bushing is a task as well for the dealer it is a fair price, I’d fall about $100 less. If you wanted to see for yourself if the bushing is torn look at the rear suspension and follow the control arm to the what is bolts on to the chassis nearest the rocker panel and look inside at the rubber cylinder it is about 3 inches round.

Hey, how come you don’t see this stuff in Consumer Reports?

Hey, how come you don’t see this stuff in Consumer Reports?

Because these don’t really become issues on most cars until they have aged, which is reasonable to expect. My 1998 Civic needed new struts at about eight years and 160,000 miles. That seems reasonable to me.

kirk2480, if you plan on keeping the Civic, I recommend replacement parts with a lifetime warranty so if you replace them again, you will only have to pay for labor and the parts will be free.

My oil pan seal didn’t show signs of seepage until after 100,000 miles, and at 180,000 miles, there are no oil spots on my driveway. It is important to make a distinction between seeping oil and an oil leak.

Where is the leak at???

This sounds like a dealer rip-off to me. Something they made up to extract money from their uninformed customers.

Yes oil pans can leak…Usually around the gasket…NOT the pan itself. And they usually don’t just start leaking.

I have no idea what rear suspension tearing is.

Find a independent mechanic and have them look at it.

Consumer Reports Sees Cars Differently Than You And I
I have a running subscription. I use them for help in choosing TV’s, Coffee Makers, Vacuum Cleaners, etcetera, but never for car purchases. Looking up some of the most fantastic domestic cars I have ever owned (or that anyone could ever own, for that matter) confirms there is something wrong with the infomation they give, in my opinion. They get their information from car owners, many of whom know virtually nothing about cars (no offense intended) and I believe the catergories of problems limits the reporting of problem severity (defective spark plug = seized engine) in the reliability index.
I think you’re onto something, Wha Who? !
America, what a country!