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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08 Feb 2010, 01:25 pm
Zorro_2k
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Default '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
transmission casing front and rear side.

A Honda dealership mechanic showed me the leak using dye in the oil
and ultra-violet light..we had to use an inspection mirror to see into
this hard to reach area.

Another private mechanic recommended trying some un-named stop-leak
chemical before getting into what may be a $1000+ repair. I've never
hear of a gasket repair chemical to be added to oil, and so I'm kind
of sceptical of this. Is there such stuff ?

The car otherwise runs great, with no indications of oil in the
cooling syste. I'd like to get another 100,000 miles on this car, but
would the cheap stop-leak chemical solution hold for so long ?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08 Feb 2010, 02:19 pm
Tegger
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Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

Zorro_2k <Chief_Billy@hotmail.com> wrote in news:6ae927e1-95ca-4214-984d-
abaefed0cef7@j1g2000vbl.googlegroups.com:

> My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
> head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
> right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
> minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
> transmission casing front and rear side.




DO NOT put that stop-leak goop into your engine. That would be /very/
foolish.

This sounds more like a simple valve cover gasket leak. If it were truly
the head gasket, you'd be more likely to lose coolant than oil.

Check out the valve cover gasket, then make sure the leak's not actually
coming from the oil filter or oil cooler.

I'm not sure what you mean by the leak being "behind the water-jacket".
The water jacket is below the head, and it surrounds the entire block. Any
leaks will be ABOVE the jacket, not "behind" it.


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08 Feb 2010, 09:09 pm
jim beam
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Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On 02/08/2010 11:25 AM, Zorro_2k wrote:
> My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
> head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
> right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
> minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
> transmission casing front and rear side.


that sounds like a v-tec solenoid leak, not head gasket. very common.


>
> A Honda dealership mechanic showed me the leak using dye in the oil
> and ultra-violet light..we had to use an inspection mirror to see into
> this hard to reach area.


i would question the logic of a dye test in this situation - the source
of the oil should be obvious. you only use dye in oil when trying to
distinguish /which/ oil is leaking, like in a gooey mass, whether it's
transmission, steering or engine, but even then, oils are colored
differently to aid identification.


>
> Another private mechanic recommended trying some un-named stop-leak
> chemical before getting into what may be a $1000+ repair. I've never
> hear of a gasket repair chemical to be added to oil, and so I'm kind
> of sceptical of this. Is there such stuff ?


sure, if you don't mind gumming up your lubrication channels also. it's
the kind of thing you use if you're a sociopath trying to ditch a car
you know to be a dud and get some sucker to pay a "good car" price for it.


>
> The car otherwise runs great, with no indications of oil in the
> cooling syste. I'd like to get another 100,000 miles on this car, but
> would the cheap stop-leak chemical solution hold for so long ?


in addition to fixing the solenoid, i would consider a change of the
brand of oil you're using. my old car used to leak furiously, then
stopped after i changed brand to one that had better seal conditioners
in it. mobil 1 and castrol gtx work well for me in that regard.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2010, 02:51 pm
Zorro_2k
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Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On Feb 8, 3:19*pm, Tegger <inva...@invalid.inv> wrote:
> Zorro_2k <Chief_Bi...@hotmail.com> wrote in news:6ae927e1-95ca-4214-984d-
> abaefed0c...@j1g2000vbl.googlegroups.com:
>
> > My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
> > head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
> > right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
> > minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
> > transmission casing front and rear side.

>
> DO NOT put that stop-leak goop into your engine. That would be /very/
> foolish.
>
> This sounds more like a simple valve cover gasket leak. If it were truly
> the head gasket, you'd be more likely to lose coolant than oil.
>
> Check out the valve cover gasket, then make sure the leak's not actually
> coming from the oil filter or oil cooler.
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by the leak being "behind the water-jacket". *
> The water jacket is below the head, and it surrounds the entire block. Any
> leaks will be ABOVE the jacket, not "behind" it.
>
> --
> Tegger
>
> The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQwww.tegger.com/hondafaq/


Thanks for your comments. The leak appears to be at the head gasket,
on the passenger (starboard) side of the engine. If you follow the
transmission/engine block interface up to the top (90-degrees), you'll
be in the leak area. There is a water jacket (my lingo) attached to
the head which the radiator hoses couple that makes access/visibility
to this area nearly impossible.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2010, 02:55 pm
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

Zorro_2k <Chief_Billy@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:78574971-8adf-4f40-9a7b-2a6df1e69331@j1g2000vbl.googlegroups.com:

> There is a water jacket (my lingo) attached to
> the head which the radiator hoses couple that makes access/visibility
> to this area nearly impossible.
>



Would this be the upper rad hose inlet stub and its two mounting bolts?

If so, is the leak from ABOVE the stub or BELOW the stub?


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2010, 03:00 pm
Zorro_2k
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On Feb 8, 10:09*pm, jim beam <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
> On 02/08/2010 11:25 AM, Zorro_2k wrote:
>
> > My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
> > head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
> > right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
> > minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
> > transmission casing front and rear side.

>
> that sounds like a v-tec solenoid leak, not head gasket. *very common.
>
>
>
> > A Honda dealership mechanic showed me the leak using dye in the oil
> > and ultra-violet light..we had to use an inspection mirror to see into
> > this hard to reach area.

>
> i would question the logic of a dye test in this situation - the source
> of the oil should be obvious. *you only use dye in oil when trying to
> distinguish /which/ oil is leaking, like in a gooey mass, whether it's
> transmission, steering or engine, but even then, oils are colored
> differently to aid identification.
>
>
>
> > Another private mechanic recommended trying some un-named stop-leak
> > chemical before getting into what may be a $1000+ repair. I've never
> > hear of a gasket repair chemical to be added to oil, and so I'm kind
> > of sceptical of this. Is there such stuff ?

>
> sure, if you don't mind gumming up your lubrication channels also. *it's
> the kind of thing you use if you're a sociopath trying to ditch a car
> you know to be a dud and get some sucker to pay a "good car" price for it..
>
>
>
> > The car otherwise runs great, with no indications of oil in the
> > cooling syste. I'd like to get another 100,000 miles on this car, but
> > would the cheap stop-leak chemical solution hold for so long *?

>
> in addition to fixing the solenoid, i would consider a change of the
> brand of oil you're using. *my old car used to leak furiously, then
> stopped after i changed brand to one that had better seal conditioners
> in it. *mobil 1 and castrol gtx work well for me in that regard.


I use Pennzoil 5W-20...have since I got it in Jan 2001, 294500 miles
ago.

I've replaced the V-Tec spool valve gasket, but not the solenoid
gasket (between the triangular shaped surfaces on top of the spool
valve). and I do see some slight leakage from that area but certainly
not as much as I get under strong accelleration. Valve cover gasket
was just replaced in december when I had a leaking cam-plug and also
leaking spark plug tube grommets (those o-ring type gaskets) replaced
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2010, 09:36 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On 02/09/2010 01:00 PM, Zorro_2k wrote:
> On Feb 8, 10:09�pm, jim beam<m...@privacy.net> wrote:
>> On 02/08/2010 11:25 AM, Zorro_2k wrote:
>>
>>> My '01 Civic EX commuter car (294,000 mi @ 110 mi/day) has developed a
>>> head gasket oil leak on the passenger side of the engine, in the area
>>> right behind the water-jacket. If I stay below 3000 rpm, the leak is
>>> minimal, but if I drive it hard I quickly get oil all over the
>>> transmission casing front and rear side.

>>
>> that sounds like a v-tec solenoid leak, not head gasket. �very common.
>>
>>
>>
>>> A Honda dealership mechanic showed me the leak using dye in the oil
>>> and ultra-violet light..we had to use an inspection mirror to see into
>>> this hard to reach area.

>>
>> i would question the logic of a dye test in this situation - the source
>> of the oil should be obvious. �you only use dye in oil when trying to
>> distinguish /which/ oil is leaking, like in a gooey mass, whether it's
>> transmission, steering or engine, but even then, oils are colored
>> differently to aid identification.
>>
>>
>>
>>> Another private mechanic recommended trying some un-named stop-leak
>>> chemical before getting into what may be a $1000+ repair. I've never
>>> hear of a gasket repair chemical to be added to oil, and so I'm kind
>>> of sceptical of this. Is there such stuff ?

>>
>> sure, if you don't mind gumming up your lubrication channels also. �it's
>> the kind of thing you use if you're a sociopath trying to ditch a car
>> you know to be a dud and get some sucker to pay a "good car" price for it.
>>
>>
>>
>>> The car otherwise runs great, with no indications of oil in the
>>> cooling syste. I'd like to get another 100,000 miles on this car, but
>>> would the cheap stop-leak chemical solution hold for so long �?

>>
>> in addition to fixing the solenoid, i would consider a change of the
>> brand of oil you're using. �my old car used to leak furiously, then
>> stopped after i changed brand to one that had better seal conditioners
>> in it. �mobil 1 and castrol gtx work well for me in that regard.

>
> I use Pennzoil 5W-20...have since I got it in Jan 2001, 294500 miles
> ago.


so try a different brand that has better seal conditioners!


>
> I've replaced the V-Tec spool valve gasket, but not the solenoid
> gasket (between the triangular shaped surfaces on top of the spool
> valve). and I do see some slight leakage from that area but certainly
> not as much as I get under strong accelleration. Valve cover gasket
> was just replaced in december when I had a leaking cam-plug and also
> leaking spark plug tube grommets (those o-ring type gaskets) replaced


logically, the only thing that's going to leak more "under strong
acceleration" is something in the v-tec circuit. check to make sure
this is the case vs simply leaking more in the ordinary cam circuit at
higher revs, which you would expect because oil pressure rises with rpms.

one more thing - a very small leak can pass an astonishing quantity of
oil if not fixed. and even a few drops of oil can look like a whole lot
spread thin over a hot engine. i say check into your "slight leak"
before bothering with anything else.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10 Feb 2010, 01:31 pm
Zorro_2k
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Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On Feb 9, 10:36*pm, jim beam <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
> On 02/09/2010 01:00 PM, Zorro_2k wrote:
>
>


>
> > I use Pennzoil 5W-20...have since I got it in Jan 2001, 294500 miles
> > ago.

>
> so try a different brand that has better seal conditioners!




Jim, can you be more SPECIFIC as to WHICH brand has better seal
conditioners (a factor I have
never heard taken into account when selecting and oil to use).
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10 Feb 2010, 11:09 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On 02/10/2010 11:31 AM, Zorro_2k wrote:
> On Feb 9, 10:36�pm, jim beam<m...@privacy.net> wrote:
>> On 02/09/2010 01:00 PM, Zorro_2k wrote:
>>
>>

>
>>
>>> I use Pennzoil 5W-20...have since I got it in Jan 2001, 294500 miles
>>> ago.

>>
>> so try a different brand that has better seal conditioners!

>
>
>
> Jim, can you be more SPECIFIC as to WHICH brand has better seal
> conditioners (a factor I have
> never heard taken into account when selecting and oil to use).


i already have, but you snipped it. google this group for more details
- this topic has been discussed a number of times.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11 Feb 2010, 07:12 am
Zorro_2k
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '01 Civic EX Head Gasket Oil Leak

On Feb 11, 12:09*am, jim beam <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
> On 02/10/2010 11:31 AM, Zorro_2k wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 9, 10:36 pm, jim beam<m...@privacy.net> *wrote:
> >> On 02/09/2010 01:00 PM, Zorro_2k wrote:

>
> >>> I use Pennzoil 5W-20...have since I got it in Jan 2001, 294500 miles
> >>> ago.

>
> >> so try a different brand that has better seal conditioners!

>
> > Jim, can you be more SPECIFIC as to WHICH brand has better seal
> > conditioners (a factor I have
> > never heard taken into account when selecting and oil to use).

>
> i already have, but you snipped it. *google this group for more details
> - this topic has been discussed a number of times.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -


Ah...I found it in your previous post...mobil 1 or gtx. Well, I'll try
some gtx at the next oil change, as in my experience mobil 1 would be
even MORE prone to leakage/use in high mileage engines, and go to
10W-30 vs. the 5W-20 as the engine has considerable mileage (about
295K). I don't need 5W in Florida anyway.
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