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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 98 prelude a few months ago. I noticed an oil leak that is dripping a couple drops of oil over night from the passenger side of the block, I have done my research and have changed my vtech solenoid gasket, cam cap seal (after market one) and my distributor o ring. My valve cover is not leaking either and the leak seems to be coming from above the oil pan (not oil pan gasket or rear main seal) is there something I may have missed?
 

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leak could be coming from anywhere. try to lay some cardboard down on the ground and determine a general location from the where the drops are. after you have a generalized location you may have to get under the car and see where it may be coming from.

if its really dirty then you may have to put in some elbow grease to clean it up some, then eventually you will find where the leak will be coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've cleaned the oil up really well with carb cleaner and have been under the car multiple times and the leak seems to be coming from up above on the passenger side of the engine that's why I change out the cam cap seal, vtec solenoid and distributor o ring but it still seems to be leaking from that general area, did I miss anything in that area that can be leaking all the way down to the back side of the engine near the transmission? (I can see the trail of oil leading down but can't find it from up above if that makes sense?)
 

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Did you use OEM Honda seals to fix the leaks? I know some of the aftermarket seals aren't as tight as the OE stuff is.

You definitely hit all the high points for leaks, I can't think of anything that would be leaking besides what you touched on. Are you SURE your valve cover isn't leaking?
 

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Opinionated Bastard
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Another thing is, where are you finding the oil accumulating below? On the back of the oil pan, back of the block, etc.? The only other big things I can think of are the oil pressure sender or the oil cooler o-ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I used an after market cam seal but made sure to use beads of RTV where directed in a few of the write ups I found online and the leak trail is coming from behind the engine on the passage her side of the block. I checked if the oil cooler was leaking and it's dry. I can see the trail going down but when I check for any leaks up top I can't seem to find any? Is there any way the old residual that was build up that I can't reach to clean is making it seem like I still have the leak?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The vtech solenoid is OE the distributor o ring is not, something I picked up at a local parts store but it was definitely a tight fit
 

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Opinionated Bastard
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well, it might be residual oil if you didn't clean off all the old oil that leaked out. Brake cleaner should be able to clean off the block safely.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So the oil leak seems to have been cut down alot... but still there. It seems to only leak when I'm driving because once I stop I see no leakage. I got under the car again and it is coming down from the passanger side of the block because I can see the trail of oil. Weird thing is I don't see any sign of a leak up top?? Another thing my oil level is perfect and I have not added any oil in a while (last time I added was 1/4 of a quart in about 2000 miles) I did clean with brake cleaner again. Am I worried about nothing?
 

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I would get in the habit of checking your oil on a weekly basis.

If you're not leaking enough to cause drips on the pavement when you park, then I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds like the rear main seal, will be a PITA to change out. Have to drop the transmission to get to it.

i would add that to the list to change out for next time if need to change the clutch, if you have an AT i wish you good luck.


How can I tell if it's an oil pan gasket leak or rear main seal? Could the oil pan gasket be the problem? I know to fix the rear main seal is really pricey
 

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if you remove your engine stiffener and get up in there with a light, you should be able to get an idea if there is oil coming from the rear main or not. if it's original chances are its bad.

if you've got the skills or a connection to fix it have at it... if you're paying retail, its an old car I'd let it leak.

the oil pan is easy to reseal with basic tools in an hour or so.
 

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I'm gonna go ahead and guess Oil cooler o-ring or from the filter itself. It's the only other thing short of the pan gasket, which, if you have an aluminum pan as most 5th gens do (from the factory at least), is 90% Hondabond.

Speaking of aluminum, it's also possible to crack an aluminum oil pan (I did it once, god how many oil pans have I been through?)... It'll cause an infuriatingly hard to spot oil leak. If you have the AL pan, clean it off REALLY good. Then let the car sit for a few hours and come back.
 
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