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2007 Oil Leak - First Ever In a Honda

1100 Views 69 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mknmike
I think it’s the front valve cover gasket, and I was able to crank some valve cover bolts a tiny bit more. I was surprise how tight they were.

Is this a common issue? Might mine be over tightened from previous valve adjustment or timing belt service?

It’s got ~160,000 miles on this 2007 AWD EXL.

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I would switch to a full synthetic oil. You're getting a bit of sludge going on there from all that air that was getting in.
“Air that was getting in”? Are you saying you think that air was getting sucked in somewhere it should not have been? I would not think of the valve cover gasket allowing air in, assuming it’s generally under positive pressure especially with a clogged PCV.

Edit: I have switched to full synthetic too.
 

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In your pictures where you circled in Red, where you thought it was leaking, is that a port clogged with Carbon? I'd use a pick and clean that out. Make sure you clean the mating surfaces, either use scotch brite kitchen sponge, emory cloth, etc.

To get the tube seals out, 12:00 into the video is an example of how I did them. I have a set of different size prybars like that from HF. Don't worry about scuffing up the outside area of the tube seals, the new ones will seal it. You will need something that is wide enough, a normal screwdriver head will make a mess of it, as you already know.

 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
In your pictures where you circled in Red, where you thought it was leaking, is that a port clogged with Carbon? I'd use a pick and clean that out. Make sure you clean the mating surfaces, either use scotch brite kitchen sponge, emory cloth, etc.

To get the tube seals out, 12:00 into the video is an example of how I did them. I have a set of different size prybars like that from HF. Don't worry about scuffing up the outside area of the tube seals, the new ones will seal it. You will need something that is wide enough, a normal screwdriver head will make a mess of it, as you already know.

I really don’t like the way that guy pried on those potentially denying the internal surface using it as a fulcrum and also scratching his screwdriver along the sealing surface. As you can see I made a mess of part of the valve cover, but it’s a part that is completely external to the seal unlike what the dude did in the video.

I say “NO NO” to this guy’s method. If his seals were anywhere as tight and rigid as mine his method wouldn’t even work either because the method requires the seal come out at an angle.
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Sludge on the PCV head and valve cover is normal to an extent and there's really no action that should be taken for that. There will certainly be more sludge compared to the other non-PCV head.
 
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I really don’t like the way that guy pried on those potentially denying the internal surface using it as a fulcrum and also scratching his screwdriver along the sealing surface. As you can see I made a mess of part of the valve cover, but it’s a part that is completely external to the seal unlike what the dude did in the video.

I say “NO NO” to this guy’s method. If his seals were anywhere as tight and rigid as mine his method wouldn’t even work either because the method requires the seal come out at an angle.
I did this on both my Accords, my Pilot, and a coworkers Accord and CRV. Yes they were tight, but it was much easier using those prybars than my Lisle Seal puller. The sealing surface in on the inner ring, which goes around the spark plug tube. The outside sealing surfaces that the outer part of the tube seals mates against is not going to affect anything with a little marring. Now, if that were a crank or camshaft seal, you need to be VERY careful with what you are doing, as you mar the cam or crank, you are done, but the outside surfaces, not so much.

Exactly how much car wrenching experience do you have, and what type of tools do you have at your disposal? I don't want to throw you into the deep end if you have never done this kind of work before.
 
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I did this on both my Accords, my Pilot, and a coworkers Accord and CRV. Yes they were tight, but it was much easier using those prybars than my Lisle Seal puller. The sealing surface in on the inner ring, which goes around the spark plug tube. The outside sealing surfaces that the outer part of the tube seals mates against is not going to affect anything with a little marring. Now, if that were a crank or camshaft seal, you need to be VERY careful with what you are doing, as you mar the cam or crank, you are done, but the outside surfaces, not so much.

Exactly how much car wrenching experience do you have, and what type of tools do you have at your disposal? I don't want to throw you into the deep end if you have never done this kind of work before.
I haven’t done much on the inside of the motor of a car besides tearing down an old MB v8 (removing pistons and crank etc) just to get rid of it. I’ve done the intake manifold gaskets on am old MB, but that was for fun, not for a driver. Working on a daily driver is far more stressful, but parts are far more readily available.

Yeah. Maybe I should have gotten the metal bar that’s included with my plastic trim tool set, but I still would not have felt comfortable using the inside of the valve cover as a fulcrum. I would have used my same approach of prying against a part that has. I thing to do with the seal (like I did).
 

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What I was getting at was that the valve cover was no longer sealed, and air was allowed in. This brings moisture and mixes with the oil. Running or not. It does seem that the sludge and the valve cover gasket leaking may be related. As RonnieJ pointed out. You might have more clogged ports causing pressure then you would like. Hopefully the Synthetic oil helps, and don't go to long between oil changes. Especially if the synthetic is knocking lose sludge deposits. I would check your dipstick and if the fluid on it gets thick, you should do another oil change, and not wait for the next service interval.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I
Exactly how much car wrenching experience do you have, and what type of tools do you have at your disposal? I don't want to throw you into the deep end if you have never done this kind of work before.
TOOLS:
I believe I’ve got nearly endless tools at my disposal because one of my best friends has a 6000 sq ft shop with a two post lift and continues to invest in his arsenal. He’s just always got his own projects going, so I normally do stuff at home in my driveway. My garage is too full of crap to work on cars in there anymore. I’ve got an engine hoist of my own, compressor, impacts, etc, primarily for working on classic MB cars, most of which I’ve purchased under $1000, and saw value in their parts for projects in other MB.

PCV:
I remember seeing people with broken down cars that wouldn’t run and claiming it’s the PCV Valve and it would fix everything. “Just needs a new PCV valve”, and having experience with old Mercedes with valve covers that are very easy to remove and PCV that aren’t really valves, rather just cooled up wire that would catch the largest of chunks before sending the air back into the intake, I didn’t really get it. The PCV is causing all these problems? Really?

Well now that I have a Honda with over 150,000 miles, nearly 160,000, my first “newer” car with so many miles, I am now understanding the critical importance of changing the PCV valve. I’ve stopped taking our car to the mechanic because he’s too busy and I’ve also been economizing on the expenses on this vehicle that now has so little monetary value. On the other hand, this car is keeping us from spending probably $50,000 on a new vehicle. So breaking the PCV could have been a $50,000 mistake if I didn’t get the car back on the road the other night. My wife might have walked into the dealership yesterday morning and just bought a new car. So keeping this thing going has very high value to me. My wife doesn’t have any interest in driving an old MB, and she doesn’t know how to drive stick which is what most of my old MB are. I’ve never had her drive any of the sedans, don’t have any SUVs, and the convertibles and coupes are all incredibly low to the ground which she hates. She only wants to drive an SUV and be up high, yet my ridgeline is too big, and admittedly hard to back up with no back up camera.

I have been utterly disappointed in the local Honda dealership service. Their parts department is great, but the service center never suggested replacing the PCV. It’s been several years since I’ve taken the car to my brother’s brother-in-law who has an independent shop. He scaled back and doesn’t have any mechanics other than himself.

So getting on his schedule takes weeks, and most things I can do in my driveway quicker than I can get on his schedule. For example, when the AC compressor died on my Ridgeline, I replaced the compressor myself and then took my truck into my brother-in-law’s shop to use his vacuum pump/refrigerant machine to clear and fill the system. He didn’t have time to do it himself, but was able to give me access to his tools for a few hours.

I’m the same way with most home DIY projects. Usually I can get a job done myself in little more time than it takes to track down a contractor to do the job for me, and often, I find fault in the work of the professional. I can pay someone else to screw it up for the cost of parts + labor, or I can screw it up myself for just the cost of the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
What I was getting at was that the valve cover was no longer sealed, and air was allowed in. This brings moisture and mixes with the oil. Running or not. It does seem that the sludge and the valve cover gasket leaking may be related. As RonnieJ pointed out. You might have more clogged ports causing pressure then you would like. Hopefully the Synthetic oil helps, and don't go to long between oil changes. Especially if the synthetic is knocking lose sludge deposits. I would check your dipstick and if the fluid on it gets thick, you should do another oil change, and not wait for the next service interval.
Yeah. I’m a little worried that my oil pan seal is blown out too. Yesterday was a wash out. So I didn’t get a chance to check to see if I solved all my oil leak problems, and today my wife is gone with the car until late tonight. So maybe tomorrow I will discover if I’ve solved my leaks or not.

As far as the air goes, I’d think with a clogged PCV the valve cover would be under pressure, not vacuum. It might increase vacuum in the intake, but I wouldn’t expect the valve cover to be under vacuum with a clogged PCV, perhaps intermittently with the PCV clogging and unclogging pushing positive and negative pressure, maybe blowing out and then sucking in if it was going back and forth between clogging an unclogging.

Let me see if I can upload the video I took the other morning after the job where I had two tiny oil drips on the driveway after taking the kids to school, before I wiped down the oil pan.


 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
So what other areas of the engine are likely to clog up with schmootz?

I need to handle this on both the pilot and the 2006 ridgeline. I’m thinking that today I will go out and replace the PCV on the ridgeline with the PCV I originally bought for the pilot (arrived yesterday from Amazon, OEM Honda part).
 

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It's not a constant stream of pressure. More like oscillation, but more positive then negative. Remove your oil cap with the engine running and place a paper towel over the oil cap. You will see it bounce up and down. It doesn't just blow it up, it vibrates the paper towel, but it does it with more positive then negative force. You have to imagine the pressure is coming from up/down movement, from more then one source. Put the paper towel tight over the oil cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
EGR passages and ports, internal oil channels and ports, Throttle body.
I will have to study where the PCV sends the air. I guess it makes sense to go through the throttle body.

Internal oil channels are naturally a concern.

It seems like a short run with some solvent-like-oil would be the only way to clean internal oil channels. I understand this stuff is important with vtec.

The car does so many short drives around town. Maybe some good hot temps will help come summer time.

I will try to keep a good eye on the oil color. The synthetic doesn’t go black like the standard stuff though. Let me get some pics of the nasty broken PCV.

I may try to gather some knowledge on the ridgeline forum too and share anything I learn there back here. Time to head to the driveway for pics and to do the ridgeline PCV, being incredibly careful not to break it. I’d be driving an old MB to run the errands with the kids today if I do.
 

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I think you're probably overthinking it. With a new PCV valve it should be fine, I doubt any passages are clogged enough to cause an issue.
 
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EGR passages and ports, internal oil channels and ports, Throttle body.
Not the same with the 06-08 Pilots and the Ridgeline with the J35A9, than with the 03-05 Pilot engine.
I've seen the posts where people had clogged passages on the 03-05, and when I took off the intake plenum cover, it was a different design on my 07 than on the 03-05. Different grooves, not nearly as susceptible to gumming up with crud. Still wouldn't be that hard to check, but not as critical on his Pilot and Ridgeline with the J35A9.

NailGrease has a boilerplate list of things to do on these, especially for those that just purchased one, and also a good list, with intervals, to look after when doing your own work - ATF drain and fills, front transfer case, VTM drain and fill, brake fluid replacement, power steering flush (with updated O-ring), spark plugs, PCV, air filter and tube (if cracked), MAF/MAP cleaning (depending on year), always the TB every 100k along with waterpump and new coolant, leaks from rocker arm oil control solenoid assembly (replace the gasket), etc..
 
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Yeah. I’m a little worried that my oil pan seal is blown out too. Yesterday was a wash out. So I didn’t get a chance to check to see if I solved all my oil leak problems, and today my wife is gone with the car until late tonight. So maybe tomorrow I will discover if I’ve solved my leaks or not.
This video showing the leaks near the crank pulley/oil filter/oil pan could either be needing an oil pump reseal (essentially a TB replacement with a bunch of extra work to reseal the oil pump), or could be the rocker arm control solenoid assembly filter/gasket (easiest and likely first thing to check - what the oil filter is attached to).
 
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TOOLS:
I have been utterly disappointed in the local Honda dealership service. Their parts department is great, but the service center never suggested replacing the PCV. It’s been several years since I’ve taken the car to my brother’s brother-in-law who has an independent shop. He scaled back and doesn’t have any mechanics other than himself.
You should not be taking your vehicles of this age to a dealer for ANYTHING. If you aren't doing the work yourself with the help from these forums, then look for a reputable local INDY shop that specializes in Honda. Every area has them.
 
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Not the same with the 06-08 Pilots and the Ridgeline with the J35A9, than with the 03-05 Pilot engine.
I've seen the posts where people had clogged passages on the 03-05, and when I took off the intake plenum cover, it was a different design on my 07 than on the 03-05. Different grooves, not nearly as susceptible to gumming up with crud. Still wouldn't be that hard to check, but not as critical on his Pilot and Ridgeline with the J35A9.

NailGrease has a boilerplate list of things to do on these, especially for those that just purchased one, and also a good list, with intervals, to look after when doing your own work - ATF drain and fills, front transfer case, VTM drain and fill, brake fluid replacement, power steering flush (with updated O-ring), spark plugs, PCV, air filter and tube (if cracked), MAF/MAP cleaning (depending on year), always the TB every 100k along with waterpump and new coolant, leaks from rocker arm oil control solenoid assembly (replace the gasket), etc..
You looked at one piece of the puzzle on those EGR systems The channels on top were redesigned so they wouldn't build up with carbon, but the ports between the channels and the EGR still does. Many overlook it, and clean the channels and still have the problem, and can't figure out why. It is a circular system. Exhaust to EGR to intake, to cylinder, to exhaust again. Carbon usually builds up between the EGR and the Intake. It is less likely on the later models to clog on both though, but still clogs.
 

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I would try ATP AT-205 before ever replacing any seals. You should be using it no matter what as preventative maintenance for the other seals that are not leaking yet. I put it in my fluids regardless of leaks or not.
 
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