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Discussion Starter #1
2002 ex-l with 146K

Have been having slow oil leak for a couple of months. At first dealer added dye and couldn't find source. Came back month later and was told that it was from oil pump and that oil was dripping on timing belt necessitating replacement of both at a cost of $1550. Sound high? Also, as aside have a leaky CV boot/band and that repair is quoted at $275. Considering replacing the entire vehicle as ~$2000 right now may not be the best investment. Quotes are from Honda service dealer. Would greatly appreciate opinion about cost as well as necessity to replace timing belt.
 

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I don't want to admit it, but that sounds about right. In order to access the oil pump (located behind the oil pan), they have to drop the exhaust (which runs under the oil pan). If oil is leaking onto the timing belt, it can break down the belt risking belt strength. Figure in the labor cost for a timing belt at a low est. of $90 per hour at 3 hours, plus 2 hours for the oil pump and the cost of parts.
You may find a better price from a reputable independent shop, but it all depends on the labor rates.
 

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That sounds about right for dealer repair costs. I would expect it to be lower with an independent mechanic but still around $1200-1500 for everything you listed.
 

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So a little follow up. I asked around the office if anyone knew of an independent mechanic and several people swore about this guy who has an independent "shop" on what could only be described as "skid row". So I take the Ody to him, he jacks it up and crawls under the van for a couple of minutes, ask me to start the vehicle, and then hangs out under the vehicle for five more minutes. He then tells me to turn off the car. He gets up and says he sees nothing wrong. He sees a bit of "old" oil that likely is a result of doing sloppy oil changes, but no leak. Also, he says my leaky CV boots/bands(?) are "tight" and just fine...no leaks. To be extra careful, he cleaned all the areas where there was old oil and said to come back in a couple of days and he'd have another look. Just for interest I attached IMAG0152.jpg a pic of my new repair shop...I'm not holding my breath for a courtesy van...
 

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That place is baaad!! I'm not sure I would leave my van there overnight. Seriously though, did he see any oil contamination on the timing belt?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know...I didn't get a response to that question. When I told him that the dealer said the timing belt was contaminated with oil and would have to be replaced, he replied, "That's weird...you have to remove the timing belt to fix the problem they claim exists (oil pump leak), so why would it even be an issue, you'd replace it anyway.." (Disclaimer: I'm a car technology newb...I think that's what he said)

That place is totally bad. When I first saw it, I thought to myself, "NO @#%-ing way!" But all my work colleagues said the guy is as honest as the day is long and is a wizard of a mechanic. FWIW, if you call and he says bring it in at 9 on Thursday, he gets everything done the same day. Apparently, many of the junkers on his lot are junkers of customers who have either not paid him or come back for their vehicles, or cars that the owner said need new engines and if he finds one cheap he'll throw them in. He gets to 'em when he gets to 'em. To add to the quaintness, the low trailer at the right-most aspect of the photo is his home.
 

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He's right about having to pull the timing belt to get to the oil pump. Mine started leaking a while after I had the timing belt changed and my mechanic had to tear it all apart again. Never over look a hole in the wall mechanic's shop, some times they don't make a ton of money because they are actually honest.
 

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I would just continue to drive it as is and just make sure my AAA towing coverage is up-to-date. The owner of the dealership probably needs to make a "yacht payment" and told his service mgrs to be aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Follow-up. Brought car back to my new favorite mechanic so he could take another look for oil. He said there was a tiny bit of seepage that he couldn't tell where it was coming from. He checked the timing belt and saw that it was totally dry which was the most important thing. He told me to buy a quart bottle of Lucas Oil Treatment (stop Leak) , throw it in the tank, and just keep an eye on it.
 

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If I were in your shoes, I would avoid Lucas and would do oil change with good quality HM oil.

Besides, throwing that in the "tank" would be very very bad!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I were in your shoes, I would avoid Lucas and would do oil change with good quality HM oil.

Besides, throwing that in the "tank" would be very very bad!!
What do you call the thing you put oil in? What's HM? Why would you avoid Lucas? Price? Quality? Unsupported claim(s)?
 

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What do you call the thing you put oil in? What's HM? Why would you avoid Lucas? Price? Quality? Unsupported claim(s)?
Valve cover/oil filler, tank sounds like fuel tank. HM is high mileage oil, it has additives to expand seals a bit. Worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Valve cover/oil filler, tank sounds like fuel tank. HM is high mileage oil, it has additives to expand seals a bit. Worth a try.
Ahh. Thanks. I get free oil changes from the dreaded dealer for the life of my car, although now I'm afraid to bring the Ody back to them. How would one go about switching to a HM oil of one's choice but have the dealer do the messy work? Bring own oil and say, "Use this."?
 

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Yup, that's what I used to do. "Oil and filter are in the back". They only charged for labor and the oil plug gasket.
 

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Walmart will be your best bet to pick up high mileage oil. Penzoil, Mobile, QS all make good quality HM oil. I presume yours should be taking 5W-30 and 5qt jug should be more than enough.

Lucas is just an oil thickener and that is not the right thing to do in this situation. It will lead to more problems.

Dealer should have the filter, so just take your own oil to them.

- Vikas
 

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2011 Odyssey LX, 120k miles
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If you're now talking about "seepage" vs. "leak" and the cost of the proposed repair is close to the value of the car (as you say), it sounds like you probably don't need to do the repair.

One thing I would recommend, in addition to all the good advice you've been getting above, is to carefully monitor your oil level. Like once a week, check the dipstick (engine off, cold, level ground) and monitor how much oil you are losing. Once you quantify how fast you're losing oil, it may confirm that you have nothing to worry about, or it may help you decide how to address the problem.
 

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If you're now talking about "seepage" vs. "leak" and the cost of the proposed repair is close to the value of the car (as you say), it sounds like you probably don't need to do the repair.

One thing I would recommend, in addition to all the good advice you've been getting above, is to carefully monitor your oil level. Like once a week, check the dipstick (engine off, cold, level ground) and monitor how much oil you are losing. Once you quantify how fast you're losing oil, it may confirm that you have nothing to worry about, or it may help you decide how to address the problem.
Actually, with an older car, the engine could be burning the oil much faster than the worst leak.
The cylinder walls get looser and oil will slip past the piston rings and get burnt with the gas.
It can burn a quart every 1000 miles and you still won't see it smoking out of the exhaust pipe.

The garage floor (or where you park the car) is a much better test. See how much of a puddle
of oil is coming out overnight after a good run. If it's just a drop or 2, not to worry.
Still, it's good advice to check the oil dipstick level every time you fill up with gas.
 

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So a little follow up. I asked around the office if anyone knew of an independent mechanic and several people swore about this guy who has an independent "shop" on what could only be described as "skid row". So I take the Ody to him, he jacks it up and crawls under the van for a couple of minutes, ask me to start the vehicle, and then hangs out under the vehicle for five more minutes. He then tells me to turn off the car. He gets up and says he sees nothing wrong. He sees a bit of "old" oil that likely is a result of doing sloppy oil changes, but no leak. Also, he says my leaky CV boots/bands(?) are "tight" and just fine...no leaks. To be extra careful, he cleaned all the areas where there was old oil and said to come back in a couple of days and he'd have another look. Just for interest I attached View attachment 11366 a pic of my new repair shop...I'm not holding my breath for a courtesy van...
Just a joke but is this why all those cars on photo look like they stuck there for ever?
 
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