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Whats happening with my Honda?

I have a 2002 Honda Accord SE with 228K miles. Leaking oil (oil spots on garage floor). My mechanic, where I get my oil change, said it looks like it is leaking oil and transmission fluid- he referred me to a reputable auto repair shop. The auto repair shop put some kind of dye in my car and told be to bring it back after driving 50 miles. Two days later I took my car back. They said I was not leaking transmission fluid but oil. They said my valve gasket, and my cam, crank, and balance shaft seals are bad. They replaced the gasket and seals. I also had them to replace my timing belt and water pump since it was last changed at 113K miles. I continued to find fresh oil spots on my garage floor. I returned to the auto repair shop. They inspected my car and said I need to replace the VTEC gasket. I had them to replace the VTEC gasket. A few days later, I noticed some more oil drops on my garage floor. I returned to the auto repair shop and told them to keep it until they discover where the leak is coming from. My car is currently at the auto repair shop two days later. What do you think is the problem? My car is valued at around $2,500. What do you think the problem is? Do you think this oil leak problem mean that the end of my car is near? Is it worth repairing?

If you still have a distributor, then the distributor O ring would be the culprit. The distributor will leak oil onto both the engine and the transmission so it looks like both are leaking. It also leaks onto the heater hose just under it and that will cause the hose to swell and leak coolant eventually. BTW, you only need the O ring, not a new distributor, but the labor to replace the O ring is the same as the labor to replace the distributor. Should be about $100 or less for the O ring where a new distributor would run you about $400.

You might get that heater hose replaced to if it shows any signs of swelling because this engine does not like to be overheated. It will blow the head gasket.

How much oil are you losing? @ 11 years and 228k miles, some leaks are bound to appear. But, if you are not having to add a quart of oil between oil changes, a few drops of oil overnight is a mere nuisance. I personally believe you’ve already spent too much money chasing this pest. It is not worth the expensive cost of a rear main seal, and I’d try ‘high-mileage’ oil before spending another dime on this.

How much oil are you using (miles/quart)? Small leaks are usually not worth pursuing in 200k+ mile cars.

oil “SPOTS” on garage floor

At some time after perhaps @keith 's good advice if things don’t change too much…With a car with that many miles I would and have, put newspaper down under the car, check the fluid levels frequently. If it’s something I can live with by adding or not between changes, I live with it. At sometime VERY soon perhaps, this car could self destruct and have nothing to do with the SPOTS. You could spend too much $$$$$$ on a $2500 car to get to that point.

Also check the oil pan drain plug, since it seems no one’s done that yet. But my money is on @keith’s answer- Dizzy o-ring.

When we have oil spots on the garage floor, it’s because oil ran down onto the suspension when the oil filter was changed. Then it drips off the suspension onto the garage floor. Where do you see the drips with respect to the oil filter? If you aren’t using much oil but don’t like the spots, you could park the car in the driveway.

oil-absorbant mats also work pretty well. Or if you don’t want to spend the money, a plastic tray full of kitty litter/oil dri works too.

Cardboard works good too.

@WD didn’t you post your oil loss problem several days ago?

Your story sounds EXTREMELY familiar.

Sometimes leaks in the valve cover can be a bit tricky. With the 4afe Toyota engine, besides the new gasket, you have to put some rtv is a couple of spots, otherwise you’ll get a leak, even with a new gasket. The service manual explains where to do this. First off: Ask you service tech if he/she has reviewed the shop manual for the exact procedure recommended by Honda to replace the valve cover gaskets.

If it isn’t that, your techs will keep looking as long as you pay them to look, but I expect you’ll find either the oil that is now leaking is simply leftover from the prior leak, and it will take a few weeks for it all to go away, or that the rear main seal is leaking. If the latter, well, me, I’d put an oil pan to protect the cement where I park the car, and wait until a new clutch or xmission rebuild is needed. At that time, when the xmission is out, it will be inexpensive to replace the rear main seal.