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Old 01-28-08, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oil leak

Got my free oil change, filter, vacuum, and wash from the Acura dealer this morning and he reports that my 92 Vigor is "leaking oil very badly."

Well maybe it is and maybe it is not. It does use a little more oil each change and sometimes I can smell burnt oil after a drive but I have not seen any oil under the car leaking on the ground after parking for awhile.

The car has almost 200k miles, runs fine, looks good, and a pleasure to drive so don't mind spending a few bucks on it but not too many bucks.

Should I jack it up and look under the engine with a flashlight for the source of the leak? What should I specifically look for? Can I fix it myself? The dealer is very expensive!

I am thinking of buying a 2008 Honda Civic Coupe(better millage and low octane gas) so wonder if I should take it to the local Honda dealer to fix the oil leak? Honda is in walking distance so much more convenient than Acura and hopefully less expensive.

Thanks for the help. Dale
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Old 01-28-08, 10:44 PM   #2
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Well, if the dealership said it is leaking badly then it probably is, but I suppose they could be wrong, but probably not. You can look underneath for visible signs of where it is leaking, or you could bring it in and have them find the leak (which will cost $$ like you said). Probably needs a new gasket/pan but until then just make sure the oil level is topped off.

I would first suggest that you try oil "stop leak" products before putting $$ into it. Bardahl makes a good "stop smoke/ stop leak" product that I added to the oil in another car of mine and it worked well to stop the leak. However if it is really leaking badly like the dealership said, a stop leak product may not be very effective. Hope things work out, it would be a shame to lose the Vigor!
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Old 01-29-08, 10:26 PM   #3
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Dale,

Try to see where the leak is coming from.

Vigors have two common areas for oil leaks: (1) the distributor O-rings. Oil will leak past the O-rings and drip onto the exhaust manifold. You can see wisps of smoke and maybe smell burnt oil. (2) the oil cooler "figure-8" O-ring. If oil is dripping from the driver's side of the engine, this is probably the problem.
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Old 03-15-08, 01:38 AM   #4
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Honda Dealer found leaks at the cam seal, valve cover gasket, spark tubes, distribitor, and oil cooler. $1400 so far including many O-rings, oil seals, gaskets, a new distributor(because there is an interior non-replaceable seal), new timing belt(because it was soaked with oil), large belt, 10 hours of expensive labor(because it is not "easy" working on a Vigor), and I noticed after I got home it is still leaking at the distributor. Will keep you posted. Dale
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Old 03-15-08, 04:10 PM   #5
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Saturday morning the Honda Service department says the rear main seal is leaking. $600 estimate so I said OK. Maybe be finished Monday. Will keep you posted. Dale
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Old 03-18-08, 04:10 PM   #6
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Honda removed the clutch and transmission on Monday reporting that it is difficult to tell where the oil is coming from so they will be replacing three seals including the rear crankshaft seal. Also the clutch was down to the rivets so I will have a Vigor with a new clutch and no(keep your fingers crossed) oil leaks.

Will keep you posted. Dale
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Old 03-22-08, 04:16 PM   #7
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No leaks now and I have a new clutch all for less than 3 kilo buck$ The last two leaks were at the rear of the engine and the front of the transmission. Dale
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Old 03-31-08, 07:48 PM   #8
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Well I'm glad to hear you finally got it fixed, too bad it was so costly. I would say it's worth every penny for a Vigor though!!

That really is strange how so many leaks were found and how they all seemed to happen at once. The chances of all those leaks happening at the same time seems extremely low, must have had some seriously bad luck. Thanks for keeping us posted, your Vigor should be set for another 200K or so!!
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Old 04-29-08, 03:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Honda Dealer found leaks at the cam seal, valve cover gasket, spark tubes, distribitor, and oil cooler. $1400 so far including many O-rings, oil seals, gaskets, a new distributor(because there is an interior non-replaceable seal), new timing belt(because it was soaked with oil), large belt, 10 hours of expensive labor(because it is not "easy" working on a Vigor), and I noticed after I got home it is still leaking at the distributor. Will keep you posted. Dale
Dale,
Might be a little late, but the only expensive seal replacements here is the T-Belt. If the T-Belt has recently been replaced, then it would only need a wipe-down. The cam-seal could be replaced with the valve cover and T-Belt cover off. It's about a 1-2 HR job. The valve cover gasket and spark tube o-rings will cost you $20 in parts, and since the cover comes off for the cam seal anyway, it's not really "extra" labor. Distributor O-Rings and internal "non-replaceable seal" can be purchased at BearingDepot and other online sources now, I have 5 of them in stock for a rainy day. The seal, bearing and O-rings will set you back $30, shipped. The job is about a 1-2 HR job also.

I'll follow up on your other posts in a bit...
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Old 04-29-08, 03:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AcuraVigorOwner View Post
Well I'm glad to hear you finally got it fixed, too bad it was so costly. I would say it's worth every penny for a Vigor though!!

That really is strange how so many leaks were found and how they all seemed to happen at once. The chances of all those leaks happening at the same time seems extremely low, must have had some seriously bad luck. Thanks for keeping us posted, your Vigor should be set for another 200K or so!!
Most of the time, Vigor's leak oil, without the owner even knowing about it. After 14-16 years, the rubber O-rings get brittle and no longer hold in oil as well as it did when it was new. However, none of these O-rings or seals are tremendously difficult to replace, with the exception of the Rear Main Seal, which is between the tranny and the engine. That one requires removal of the tranny and flywheel to get to it.

In Dale's case, he needed a new clutch anyway, and would have been in there to do the job sooner than later. It's actually a good thing that the oil leak was spotted prior to his clutch failing. Most mechanics may have missed the fact that it's a 16 year old car running on the original seals, and Dale would be in there 2 months later for the Rear Main Seal, only to pay the same labor costs over again as the clutch job.

I just recently replaced both front cam and crank seals. The cam seal was leaking and the crank was replaced for one of those while-I'm-in-there practice.

One of the worse things you could do to a perfectly healthy engine is to use "stop-leak" products. That stuff will gum up everything internal in the engine and will cause problems. It's best always to find the leak, and stop it at the source. Out of the many Vigors that I've owned, worked on, seen, and know of, NONE have had oil pan leaks, but most have dizzy and oil cooler leaks.

Shawn
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Old 04-29-08, 11:24 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for comments on my Vig. It is about a month since the leaks were fixed and still not oil smell after a drive, no drops of oil on the ground when parked, and it is apparently not using any oil. At least not at low speeds in around town, I have not had it at highway speeds since it was fixed.

Was kinda expensive but the visibility is good in all directions especially to the rear, the engine is strong, it has a new clutch and tires, no rust(I live in Seattle), and as you Vig owners will empathize it brings a smile to my face when I look at it in all of its white beauty.

And that is not all. Acura still provides free oil changes, oil filters, inside vacuum, and washing outside every few months. I am good to go for another 200k miles. Thanks again for the encouragement. Dale
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Old 05-10-08, 01:59 AM   #12
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Shawnhu: I respect and appreciate your insight into oil "stop leak" products, however, I would like to point out that the case is not completely black and white.

I understand the potential damage it can do to seals by softening them up too much. The key is not to add to much; add the proper amount for the application, or even slightly less than recommended. Also, use a seal conditioner, not merely a thickener.

Also, if it's a gasket leak, not a metal-to-metal leak, then stop-leak products can sometimes help. For example a rear main or similar that is difficult to access and fix. The worst that will happen is you'll be out the $5-$10 you spent and you'll have to get the part(s) replaced anyway. I would say it's worth a try although some people disagree and say go straight to repair. In the end it's a matter of opinion. If you have the money for the repair go for it, but for people who want to potentially save $$, I would advise trying this first. Also, beware of "Do-it-All" or "All-in-One" products. In my experience, the more it CAN DO, the less it ACTUALLY DOES.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale View Post
Got my free oil change, filter, vacuum, and wash from the Acura dealer this morning and he reports that my 92 Vigor is "leaking oil very badly."

Well maybe it is and maybe it is not. It does use a little more oil each change and sometimes I can smell burnt oil after a drive but I have not seen any oil under the car leaking on the ground after parking for awhile.

The car has almost 200k miles, runs fine, looks good, and a pleasure to drive so don't mind spending a few bucks on it but not too many bucks.

Should I jack it up and look under the engine with a flashlight for the source of the leak? What should I specifically look for? Can I fix it myself? The dealer is very expensive!

I am thinking of buying a 2008 Honda Civic Coupe(better millage and low octane gas) so wonder if I should take it to the local Honda dealer to fix the oil leak? Honda is in walking distance so much more convenient than Acura and hopefully less expensive.

Thanks for the help. Dale
I'm glad there's a thread about this. Even though I'm sure my oil leak problem is going to take something different to fix than yours did. I haven't tried to investigate too much yet and don't really know a lot about cars, but I do know that there's a difference in the fact that my car is definitely showing oil on the ground after leaving it parked for a while. And I think it may be burning some oil as well.

I had my boyfriend, who enjoys working on cars as a hobby, look at my car when I bought it (in September of last year) and though he saw the oil leak then said it probably wasn't a big deal and that I should just check my oil every time I fill up at the gas station and taught me how to do that. Sometimes I have to add a quart or half a quart of oil, and in the past 8 months that I've had the car have probably added a quart a month (on average - not including the 1 oil change I've had).

It's about time for an oil change again, and I really think it's time to try to figure out what is causing the oil leak. I've been told about some kind of dye that can be used to help figure out where the oil is coming from - apparently the dye is (UV) blacklight sensitive or something - I'm not really sure because I won't even be the one doing the oil change but I think my bf is planning on doing it for me and maybe using that dye that he told me about. Does that sound like a good idea or does anyone else have any other possible suggestions? I really am clueless so I'm sorry if this seems vague, but my bf does know a little about cars so I'm basically just trying to get some more info/ideas to relay to him. He has experience working on cars but never a Vigor so that's where you guys might be able to help?! Thanks in advance! Apologies for the long first post. Haha
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Old 05-13-08, 02:13 AM   #14
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Sara,
Nice car. Let's ask a few questions before we can find your leak ok?

If your BF has some time, have him visit the forums and see for himself how much we can help him, instead of losing some translations through, translation.

At any given time, do you smell burned oil from inside the cabin? Perhaps when sitting at a red light, or a stop sign? How about any smoke that comes from under the hood? If any of this is true, have your BF peek around the "distributor" area for an oil leak. Have him pay close attention to the heatshield under the distributor, which is located next to the battery.

Are the oil drops on the ground closer to the driver's side, or passenger side? If it's close to the driver's side, then have your BF use a flashlight and look under the Oil Filter area for a leak. Also have him use the flashlight to look straight doen from the intake manifold to check for dark spots indicating an oil leak. If this is true, then you have a leak by the oil cooler.

These oil leaks are relatively easy to fix, and will cost under $10 in parts. Let us know what you find. Also, visit acuravigorclub.com and you'll find much much more Vigor owners that have gone through the same things that you have, and have done all the repairs themselves.

Shawn
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