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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 2014 Pilot Touring that we purchased new and with only 60,000km been regularly dealer serviced. My wife drives it however I moved it on the driveway to clean out the garage and noticed a few dried droplets of what seemed to be oil.

I decided to take a look underneath and noticed some oil seeping on the transmission cases and on the frame.

The vehicle has been bulletproof with no issues so I’m surprised to find this issue. The transmission oil is below the “low” mark but no dash lights or unusual behaviour of the transmission. I’ll be topping it up but I want to ask advice if there is something I should check.

The weather is bad right now otherwise I would have put the front on stands to tried to find the source of the seeping. I’ve searched and read about issues with casings or cooler lines - not sure if they apply to my Vehicle.

I would sincerely appreciate any guidance.

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Are you sure it’s transmission fluid? If so, double check the transaxle shaft seal on the driver’s side going into the transmission. It also could be a power steering fliud leak come from the rack & pinion unit. I would check that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you sure it’s transmission fluid? If so, double check the transaxle shaft seal on the driver’s side going into the transmission. It also could be a power steering fliud leak come from the rack & pinion unit. I would check that too.
Thanks for your reply. The power steering fluid level seems fine however I will look in detail when the weather improves. In the mean time I will add Honda ATF DW-1 before I drive it. Some more photos from yesterday:

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I quickly went outside - we are having high winds - and took a flashlight and looked best I could around the top of the transmission and notched a very wet area. So it may or may not be transmission fluid but it seems like oil. What ever I’m seeing underneath is coming from abound the shaft seals. I’ll have to look closer with a mirror.
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I’ll have to continue to investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another photo from the top

I wondering there if there is an rubber oil line in the area that’s leaking ...

Oil is definitely coming from the upper area and making its way down around the transmission to underneath the car.

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My standard method in similar situations is to do a bunch of cleaning, then look carefully to see where the oil leak starts. I happen to like Gunk Foamy Engine Brite in the spray can for cleaning any mess bigger than Simple Green and the small pressure washer (or garden hose nozzle) will handle easily. The Gunk has a fragrance that takes a while to lose, and the runoff needs to be managed especially if you have an asphalt driveway. Regardless, you'll start with some cleaner surfaces, and finding the source will be a lot easier.

I subject the bottom of the car to "spring cleaning" every spring, and that includes cleaning the springs along with everything else. I was off on a project last year so no driving and no cleaning needed. This year, it's way due at this point. All the winter road crud, plus every drop of any fluid that was shed by any car ahead of me has ended up on the bottom of mine. I need an 80º afternoon, put the car up on the lift, and go after everything with Dawn and a sacrificial car wash sponge plus a brush, followed by the garden hose or the small pressure washer. Waiting on that 80º afternoon, everything else is ready. Much easier to find any leaks/seepage/etc when it's all bright and clean-as-new. I usually sacrifice at least one Tyvek coveralls PPE plus a head cover to this project, but those are in short supply right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My standard method in similar situations is to do a bunch of cleaning, then look carefully to see where the oil leak starts. I happen to like Gunk Foamy Engine Brite in the spray can for cleaning any mess bigger than Simple Green and the small pressure washer (or garden hose nozzle) will handle easily. The Gunk has a fragrance that takes a while to lose, and the runoff needs to be managed especially if you have an asphalt driveway. Regardless, you'll start with some cleaner surfaces, and finding the source will be a lot easier.

I subject the bottom of the car to "spring cleaning" every spring, and that includes cleaning the springs along with everything else. I was off on a project last year so no driving and no cleaning needed. This year, it's way due at this point. All the winter road crud, plus every drop of any fluid that was shed by any car ahead of me has ended up on the bottom of mine. I need an 80º afternoon, put the car up on the lift, and go after everything with Dawn and a sacrificial car wash sponge plus a brush, followed by the garden hose or the small pressure washer. Waiting on that 80º afternoon, everything else is ready. Much easier to find any leaks/seepage/etc when it's all bright and clean-as-new. I usually sacrifice at least one Tyvek coveralls PPE plus a head cover to this project, but those are in short supply right now.
Thank you for your advice.

I will clean it when it’s warmer - I’m surprised how dirty the engine compartment is.

One other item came to mind when I was investigating the oil seepage, I noticed the engine dipstick was not properly inserted. I cleaned it, inserted it - measured the oil and re-inserted it. It must have been this way since the last oil change.

I didn’t think this would have been the source of the oil leak as it’s on the other side of the engine compartment however I don’t know what impact it would have had on the crankcase ventilation.

just another piece of information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There was oil on the underside of this hose that I suspect was dripping down to where the soaked bolt is. I’ll have to take a mirror tomorrow and see what’s underneath if it’s damaged....
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I decided to review my service records and realized the transmission and transfer case were serviced in September 2018 @45,000km. So I’ve only put on ~15,000km.

I suspect the transmission fluid was not topped up properly ( this is on me a I should have verified the level after the service). I do not believe the leaking fluid is transmission oil as it seems yellow/brown. It might be engine oil or transfer case oil from a seal? I’ll top up the ATF later today and hopefully clean the areas with gunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I finally properly topped up the transmission fluid while hot and level. I was topping it up a little at a time as I didn’t want to overfill it - it took the whole ATF-DW1 container (~1 litre).

lesson learned - Always check fluid levels after service rather than trusting the dealer.

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The investigation continues as I do not believe the seeping oil is transmission oil.

as mentioned, I notice some oil pooling in a cavity on the top of the transmission (not far from the ATF filler bolt) and snapped this photo:

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
It was a hard area to reach however I have these large “Qtip” type things that I swabbed the oil and it does not appear to be transmission fluid (no red hue) - looks yellow. Would appreciate any feedback.

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You have an oil leak looks like the seal for the oil pump is leaking how many KM do you have on it now ?
 

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Compare the smell of the oil to the power steering, brake, and transfer case fluids. That will give you an idea what fluid it is.
 
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Since it's not a huge leak, it make be easily and inexpensively fixed by changing out the PCV valve, if it's never been done, and with a bottle of, you guessed it, AT-295. Worked for me. :)

Oil leak source help?
 

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only 60,000km.

Isn’t the oil pump in the opposite side of the engine? On the other side of the engine - not where the transmission mates?
Not exactly I stand corrected but you are definitely leaking oil .. also from the top too? looking again at your pics only 60kms that's only 38k ish miles check your valve covers to make sure they are not rotted or leaking . also in the pic the oil looks like it's coming from where i marked it . Did you have someone do an oil change recently ?

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not exactly I stand corrected but you are definitely leaking oil .. also from the top too? looking again at your pics only 60kms that's only 38k ish miles check your valve covers to make sure they are not rotted or leaking . also in the pic the oil looks like it's coming from where i marked it . Did you have someone do an oil change recently ?

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Thanks so much for your guidance. There has not been an oil change for over a year.

I suspect the source of the oil residue underneath is coming from the top.

That area you highlight, Particularly that bolt which is about an inch above the surface of the transmission case - it holding a black plastic bracket of some sort.

Ill keep looking for the source perhap try to video the area with my hand sweeping the area.

More to come.
 

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Expanding on my post #6 --

1) Clean Everything Thoroughly.
2) Drive The Car For A Day.
3) Check for residue.
... 3a) If Residue Found, Where Is It?
... 3b) if Residue Not Found, GOTO 2.

Folks can help you speculate on sources, but our speculation is only that. Yellow fluids under the hood include engine oil, sometimes power steering fluid. No power steering components or hoses in that area, so much more likely it's engine oil. Oil and other fluids flow downhill and down-wind (towards the rear of the car...) , so look above and forward of the current residue area as you search for a source.

Cleaning there is as easy as a spray bottle of Simple Green or Formula 409 cleaner, maybe a little agitation with a brush, let soak some, then rinse with a gentle spray from the garden hose. Repeat if needed, until the area can pass the white-paper-towel test for cleanliness. There are UV-visible dyes and such that can be added to fluids to help find leak sources. You get to do your searching in a dark garage with a black-light UV source, looking for the glow. You still get to perform steps 1 and 2 above before adding any dye. Or keep testing with the white paper towel until you can isolate and identify the source.


Good luck!
 
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