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#1046880 - 12/15/07 11:21 AM Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey
kgvickers Offline


Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Howdy, folks, newbie here to the forum, but not to turning wrenches and doing my own work. Anyway, my first BITOG post:

My 2003 Honda Odyssey temporarily developed a leak at the rear main seal a year ago when I was driving to visit my folks in Georgia. I called Dealer Alternative in Fort Worth, Tx (excellent Honda repair shop, BTW), and spoke to the owner. He stated that he'd seen many problems with the rear main seals on these Honda V6 engines. Repair runs about $700 total because that FWD tranny has to be dropped.

I was near a Wal-Mart and I got a few quarts of their SuperTech 10W-30 "high-mileage" oil and topped it off - it was down close to a quart when I discovered it. At the next gas fill-up, I checked the oil and it had not lost any more oil . . . Hmmm, did the seal mysteriously heal itself, I thought.

I was using the Wal-Mart branded SuperTech Synthetic 5W-30 at that time and the oil had around 6,300 miles on it when the leak started. I'd been using the SuperTech for a while and changing at about 6,000 miles. But on that trip I went over the 6,000. I decided to wait until I got to my parents' home to do the next change at around 6,500 miles. When I got there I changed the oil, again using the SuperTech synthetic because I'd brought exactly 4.6 quarts with me for the oil change.

Well, on the way back to Texas, no oil leak. So I decided to wait. I closely monitored the van for leaks, and a few months later it started leaking again - with about 6,200 miles on that oil. I changed it, again with SuperTech synthetic (had it already in the garage), and the leak stopped. I've since started changing my oil every 5,500 miles and I don't have any leak issues.

Recently I changed the oil and I've switched to Mobil 1 5W-30. I'm going to monitor the leak situation and change the oil at 8,000 miles or at the first sign of a leak, which ever comes first. Yes, I know this isn't exactly a scientific experiment but I want to see if the Mobil 1 is any better, at least from the leak perspective.

After lurking on this site and reading a few of the UAOs, I’m guessing that the SuperTech oil viscosity is breaking down and perhaps getting thin enough to slip past the seal. But, after learning that Mobil 1 5W-30 is more like a “thick” 5W-20, I’m waiting to see if it starts to leak before the 8K mark.

At the point of the oil change I’ll probably get a Blackstone analysis just for kicks.

Any comments?

Thanks,

Keith

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#1047016 - 12/15/07 04:47 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odys [Re: kgvickers]
IcebergS2000 Offline


Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 74
Loc: Southeast Texas
Just curious, where did you come to the conclusion that M1 5w-30 is like a “thick” 5W-20? The specs on their website show it as 11.3 cSt @ 100º C.
_________________________
The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred Soichiro Honda

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#1047020 - 12/15/07 04:54 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odys [Re: IcebergS2000]
Steve S Offline


Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 18449
Loc: East of IGO
Or maybe the high mileage oil has more seal swell additives in it.
_________________________
Why do people post I want the best for my car,,, When there isn't anything that is the best on the car to begin with.

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#1047081 - 12/15/07 06:27 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odys [Re: kgvickers]
Gary Allan Offline


Registered: 09/28/02
Posts: 39806
Loc: Pottstown, PA
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http://lube-direct.com/gallan/

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#1047094 - 12/15/07 06:51 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: kgvickers]
Merkava_4 Online   content


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9805
Loc: Clovis, CA
I'm trying to figure out why you switched to Mobil 1 5W-30 (which has no seal swell agents) if you already know you have a rear main seal leak.

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#1047099 - 12/15/07 06:59 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: Merkava_4]
kgvickers Offline


Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
 Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
I'm trying to figure out why you switched to Mobil 1 5W-30 (which has no seal swell agents) if you already know you have a rear main seal leak.


Don't forget, I'm a newbie here so I don't have much background on the oil details.

The M1 has been in there for about 2k miles now with no leaks, thus I don't think this problem had anything to do with seal swell additives.

It's probably worth pointing out that Honda's recommended oil is 5W-20. Based on my experience, perhaps this explains why many of these rear main seals leak - maybe the oil is too thin for the seal that Honda chose.

Again, I'm certainly no oil expert so this is all a guess on my part.

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#1047109 - 12/15/07 07:19 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: kgvickers]
Merkava_4 Online   content


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9805
Loc: Clovis, CA
I'm no oil expert either, but I think you were on the right path before when you were using the HM 10W-30 to treat that leaky rear main seal and the leak stopped.

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#1047126 - 12/15/07 07:48 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odys [Re: Steve S]
Forest Offline


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 279
Loc: WA, USA
Or maybe the high mileage oil has more seal swell additives in it.

You may be right. But with that mileage on a Honda he should'nt have a leak. It's not the oil it's the machining and assembly and Honda should fix it. He's going to be fighting that leak until it drives him nuts, repaired, or sold.

From a 6 time Honda owner.
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If you're afraid of wolves, don't go to the woods.
- Russian Proverb

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#1047128 - 12/15/07 07:52 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: kgvickers]
Forest Offline


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 279
Loc: WA, USA
Wait a minute. Is that Honda still under warranty? If so they have to fix it.
_________________________
If you're afraid of wolves, don't go to the woods.
- Russian Proverb

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#1047146 - 12/15/07 08:42 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: Forest]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17888
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Depending on how many miles you have on the vehicle, there's a good chance that Honda will pay for a portion (or all) of the repair. Honda has been fairly generous with assisting customers once out-of-warranty.

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#1047195 - 12/15/07 09:49 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: The Critic]
kgvickers Offline


Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 18
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
 Originally Posted By: The Critic
Depending on how many miles you have on the vehicle, there's a good chance that Honda will pay for a portion (or all) of the repair. Honda has been fairly generous with assisting customers once out-of-warranty.


Salvage title, thus no warranty. And the leak started at around 65,000 miles, so even it it weren't a salvage I doubt I'd have much luck. Besides, it's not leaking now. I'll be sure to let you guys know if the leak comes back before my intended 8k oil change.

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#1047199 - 12/15/07 10:08 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: kgvickers]
Forest Offline


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 279
Loc: WA, USA
Salvage title, thus no warranty. And the leak started at around 65,000 miles, so even it it weren't a salvage I doubt I'd have much luck. Besides, it's not leaking now. I'll be sure to let you guys know if the leak comes back before my intended 8k oil change.

If it's not leaking now use the same oil. If it ain't broke don't fix it. ;-)
_________________________
If you're afraid of wolves, don't go to the woods.
- Russian Proverb

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#1047202 - 12/15/07 10:13 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: Forest]
Forest Offline


Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 279
Loc: WA, USA
And if you have more leaks try the HM. Even you've drained the HM likely it's done it's job for a while.
_________________________
If you're afraid of wolves, don't go to the woods.
- Russian Proverb

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#1047209 - 12/15/07 10:34 PM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: Forest]
Merkava_4 Online   content


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9805
Loc: Clovis, CA
If it were my Honda under the circumstances, I'd stick with an HM 5W-30 or HM 10W-30 and be done with it.

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#1047320 - 12/16/07 07:58 AM Re: Newbie, First Post: Rear Main Seal Leak, Odyssey [Re: Merkava_4]
coffee Offline


Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 1116
Loc: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Yes, use the HM version and avoid the risk as it is bound to return and at least you would be proactive.
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Java Joe
1994 Volvo 945
Motorcraft 5w20

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