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Old 02-19-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Hey all,

My 2001 LX has an oil leak from somewhere on the bottom end of the engine. It runs down from somewhere on the timing belt side of the engine and underneath the oil pan. My mechanic (Honda dealer) who has worked on the car since it was new, thought it was the oil pan gasket - so he replaced that. Kept leaking... Then he redid the crankshaft seal. Still leaking... Then he took everything off from the timing belt change from nearly a year ago, cleaned every bit of oil off (in a vague hope that the leak was just some hidden residual oil getting hot and running off). Still leaking...

He now thinks that the seal ($1.40) between the oil pump and engine block is leaking. Of course, due to the invasive nature of the repair, labor is going to be over like $600. He said this is common in the Odysseys, but not in Civics. Taking it tomorrow for him to check it out some more.

Anyone else heard of a leak like this? Thanks...
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Old 02-19-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Seals can go bad. You can see if he can do an oil leak dye test to get a better idea of where it's coming from.
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Old 02-26-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

I have the same problem on my 2001 civic ex. I noticed the oil leak a few months ago before I changed the timing belt. At that time I also change the crankshaft seal and water pump. The leak did not go away, so last week I dropped the oil pan and applied new sealant. The leak is still there. At this point I'm am 99% sure it is the oil pump or o-ring behind the oil pump. Since I just changed the oil, I am going to try and wait 5000 miles for the next oil change before changing the oil pump and o-ring. It depends on how bad the leak gets. It's not too bad now. I do nearly all of my own maintenance so I only have to pay for the parts. The bad thing is that it takes a lot of time to do the job.
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Old 02-26-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Sounds like I might have that issue too. I hope not after paying to change the timing belt 20k miles ago...Tell me if what you guys have looks like what I got in my thread.

Oil leakage w/pics**
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Old 02-26-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

It's hard to say. The pictures of the bottom of the oil pan and chassis look a lot like mine. The oil leaks out while driving and the air blows it all over the place making it difficult to pinpoint the source. What I did was I wiped everything down and cleaned it up and then drove a little while and rechecked before it had time to get on everything. Then I could clearly see that it was coming from directly below the crankshaft area (pulley end) where the bottom of the oil pump meets the half circle part of the oil pan.
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Old 02-27-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Looks like the cam plug (or cylinder head plug) is leaking. If the leak is closer to the bottom and you still can't find it never rule out the head gasket.
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Old 02-27-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

The more I look at my leak, the more it looks like its fresh underneath the intake resonator. But it drips of my car from the oil pan and chassis. Im going to buy some some cleaner, and see if I can get a better idea.
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Old 09-03-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

I know this thread is 7 months old, but I thought I'd throw my .02 cents in on this issue and say I'm about to do double work tomorrow on my 2002 civic EX sedan after first suspecting the crank seal was leaking after I did the timing belt, seals and water pump myself 8 months ago.

Went in and replaced the crank and cam seals again 3 weeks ago and still leaking oil. Did the oil pan gaseket 2 weeks ago. Still leaking. Coming out bottom of timing belt cover. 99% sure it's the oil pump seal to block. When I did the crank seal change 3 weeks ago, initially I noticed oil on the crank sensor and bolt, but did not put 2 and 2 together. Thought oil might have been whipped up on to the crank sensor by the timing belt, but I'm 99% sure that is not the case. The quarter size output flow from the oil pump is directly behind the crank sensor and wiring.

I think this is or will become more common in our 01-05 civics than people or Honda would like to believe.

A little painful on the double work, but I know it's getting done right.

I'll follow up on this post in a few days to let anyone who's interested know if it did or did not fix the oil leaking through the lower timing belt cover.
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Old 09-03-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Yeah, that is what it ended up being for my '01: the tiny o-ring between the oil pump and engine block. The ring cost less than $2, but the labor to get to it and replace it cost over $600. But at least that's what fixed it. A plus side is that so much clean oil was run through my engine with multiple oil pan gasket replacements and other fix attempts that the engine internals should be as clean as new now.
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Old 09-03-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Sorry, thread jack.

["Honda was started by one man with an engineering vision while Toyota was started by a committee to make Japan rich. Subarus, for God’s sake, are made by Fuji Heavy Industries."

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Don't forget Mitsubishi used American slave labor in WWII. That is, until they were all worked to death.
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Old 09-11-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Just a follow up to my original post. I wanted to wait a week before I revealed my results to ensure some accuracy.

And the results are excellent. The inner oil pump o-ring was indeed the ultimate culprit of my oil leak out of the lower timing belt cover and on to the back of the engine on the timing belt side, which ran down along the first four bolts on the oil pan.

NO LEAKS!!!! Woohoo!!!!

Changed to Amsoil 10w-30 SSO and Amsoil Ea15k13 absolute efficiency filter yesterday. I live in Hawaii so thicker is better since my lowest starting temp at the coldest point of the year is about 68F.

02 civic ex 4dr 78k
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Old 09-11-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

^^ Nice. Thanks for posting results. I don't think it's been under 80F for the last 3 months here.
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Old 09-11-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

maybe someone should post a diy for this just in case this starts to become more common...
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Old 09-11-2011   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by wade623 View Post
maybe someone should post a diy for this just in case this starts to become more common...
Yeah I thought about logging this when I was getting ready to do the job, but then I was like f*** it, I just want to get this s*** done.

The Chilton manual does a pretty good job of explaining it with the exception of not telling you to disconnect the shift cable, if you have an automatic, so you can get to the flywheel cover plate and remove it to get to the last two oil pan bolts on the rear of the block.
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Old 04-24-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by Matt_75 View Post
Yeah I thought about logging this when I was getting ready to do the job, but then I was like f*** it, I just want to get this s*** done.

The Chilton manual does a pretty good job of explaining it with the exception of not telling you to disconnect the shift cable, if you have an automatic, so you can get to the flywheel cover plate and remove it to get to the last two oil pan bolts on the rear of the block.
So I think I have this same problem now. 03 LX 112,000 milles.

It leaks from somewhere behind the crank pulley and gets blown all over the lower control arm and the back of the oil pan after driving it. I'm going to pull the timing belt covers to do a visual before digging any deeper. If there is oil on the crank sensor bolt is it safe to assume it's the oil pump o-ring? How can i tell if it's the front crank seal?

I replaced the timing belt at 80K and did not do the crank seal as everything was dry in that area back then.
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Old 04-25-2012   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by scooty View Post
So I think I have this same problem now. 03 LX 112,000 milles.

It leaks from somewhere behind the crank pulley and gets blown all over the lower control arm and the back of the oil pan after driving it. I'm going to pull the timing belt covers to do a visual before digging any deeper. If there is oil on the crank sensor bolt is it safe to assume it's the oil pump o-ring? How can i tell if it's the front crank seal?

I replaced the timing belt at 80K and did not do the crank seal as everything was dry in that area back then.
If you see a black area underneath the crank seal, then it's that seal most likely. If you have any oil coming out above the crank seal or the crank sensor and connector have oil on them, then it's probably that internal oil pump o-ring.

It could still be your oil pan gasket leaking as well. You just really have to do a close inspection once you're under there. The LX comes with a gasket, where as my EX has an aluminum oil pan and uses honda bond or ultra flange seal, which is some super sticky sealing stuff, to reseal it. I used the ultra flange seal on mine.

On a side note, if you still have that car the next time you do the timing belt, you might as well do the crank and cam seals as well since you're already there. I did mine when I did the timing belt even though nothing appeared wrong with them. I think that's why they call it preventive maintenance, so as to prevent a leak before it happens.

Good luck on finding your leak.
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Old 04-25-2012   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by Matt_75 View Post
If you see a black area underneath the crank seal, then it's that seal most likely. If you have any oil coming out above the crank seal or the crank sensor and connector have oil on them, then it's probably that internal oil pump o-ring.

It could still be your oil pan gasket leaking as well. You just really have to do a close inspection once you're under there. The LX comes with a gasket, where as my EX has an aluminum oil pan and uses honda bond or ultra flange seal, which is some super sticky sealing stuff, to reseal it. I used the ultra flange seal on mine.

On a side note, if you still have that car the next time you do the timing belt, you might as well do the crank and cam seals as well since you're already there. I did mine when I did the timing belt even though nothing appeared wrong with them. I think that's why they call it preventive maintenance, so as to prevent a leak before it happens.

Good luck on finding your leak.
Took some pictures of the crank pulley area today. You can see a dark patch where the oil appears to be leaking from behind the crank pulley. You can also see the oil spray on the sub-frame.

I really hope it's just the crank seal. I'll take some more pictures when I get the timing belt covers off. Now I'm wondering if I should just do the timing belt as well while I'm in there, but it only has like 25K on it since I last replaced it.
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Old 04-26-2012   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Took some pictures of the crank pulley area today. You can see a dark patch where the oil appears to be leaking from behind the crank pulley. You can also see the oil spray on the sub-frame.

I really hope it's just the crank seal. I'll take some more pictures when I get the timing belt covers off. Now I'm wondering if I should just do the timing belt as well while I'm in there, but it only has like 25K on it since I last replaced it.
Unfortunately, that second picture looks like there's oil above the back of the oil pan. I know what you're saying about it could be slinging oil up, but that looks almost exactly how mine looked like when it was the internal oil pump o-ring. That allen looking screw at the top on the second picture is actually the tensioning bolt for the oil pressure in the oil pump. The o-ring is pretty close to that. It looks like it's covered with oil.

The fact that the back area above the oil pan has oil tells me its that internal o-ring. It's hard for it to get slung where a lot of that oil is located.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if I were a betting man, I'd say it was the internal oil pump o-ring. And based on how dry it looks above that allen, I would say it's not your oil pressure sensor or your valve cover gasket.

In fact the more I look at that picture, the more I'm convinced it's the internal o-ring.

If you decide to pursue the internal o-ring, I would replace the oil pan gasket, oil pick-up gasket, cam and crank seal, water pump (if you didn't replace it on the first timing belt change) and I would personally just do the timing belt again in case it soaked up a bunch of oil. JMHO

Feel free to ask as many questions as you want concerning this issue.

Good luck.

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Old 04-26-2012   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by Matt_75 View Post
Unfortunately, that second picture looks like there's oil above the back of the oil pan. I know what you're saying about it could be slinging oil up, but that looks almost exactly how mine looked like when it was the internal oil pump o-ring. That allen looking screw at the top on the second picture is actually the tensioning bolt for the oil pressure in the oil pump. The o-ring is pretty close to that. It looks like it's covered with oil.

Good luck.
Oh man, that's not what I wanted to hear. Oh well, at least now I can get mentally prepared for the challenge. I drive about 150 miles a week and have started checking the oil every other day for the past 2 days. I haven't yet noticed any significant decrease at all. So I don't think it's too critical yet.

Based on what you said, I'm not even going to bother with pulling the crank pulley and timing covers off for a closer look. I'm just going to gather all the parts and dive right in. Thanks for your help, I'm sure I'll have some questions later on.
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Old 04-27-2012   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooty View Post
Oh man, that's not what I wanted to hear. Oh well, at least now I can get mentally prepared for the challenge. I drive about 150 miles a week and have started checking the oil every other day for the past 2 days. I haven't yet noticed any significant decrease at all. So I don't think it's too critical yet.

Based on what you said, I'm not even going to bother with pulling the crank pulley and timing covers off for a closer look. I'm just going to gather all the parts and dive right in. Thanks for your help, I'm sure I'll have some questions later on.
The leak is small in the big scheme of things. You won't really notice on the dipstick unless you go for an excessive time between oil changes. It's just one of those things that is annoying because you know it's there and it's leaking.

Good luck on this project. I strongly recommend torque wrenches and torquing all bolts to spec. That's just me because I'm **** like that.

Below are some pics of what you're dealing with:



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Last edited by Matt_75; 04-27-2012 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Hi there,

I was doing a search in "Google" and came across this thread. I am also having the same problem. I have a Honda Civic 2001 LX Sedan and the same "leaking" problem. Last year, I went to a mechanic to fix and change the water pump, oil pump, and timing belt and spent over $1k and still having the same problem. I think the mechanic didn't know what he was doing and "robbed" me for $1k.

How is your Honda running now? Are you getting any more leaks?
What parts did you replaced? Hope to hear and get some feedback...

Appreciate it...

Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2012   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by jdawgzcivic View Post
How is your Honda running now? Are you getting any more leaks?What parts did you replaced?
My Honda's running great. I have zero leaks after I replaced that internal small o-ring on the oil pump.

I did the normal timing belt stuff (water pump, cam seal, crank seal, timing belt) that a dealership would do. I'm sure most dealerships and local mechanics don't take the oil pump off, which involves dropping the oil pan, to change the smaller o-ring on the oil pump.

I also replaced the valve cover gasket, spark plug tube seals and the plastic plug o-ring where the distributor went on old engines before ignition coils.

Recently I also replaced the v-tec solenoid gaskets as well because I could see a little bit of weapage.
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Last edited by Matt_75; 10-08-2012 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Thanks for the reply... Appreciate it... My civic is also making this "weird" sound. It's like a "clapping" sound when the engine is cold an last for a minute or two. Once the engine has warmed up, it goes away. The mechanic say might as well change the OIL PUMP? Did you change your OIL PUMP? The "Stealership" charges a lot and get robbed. Found another mechanic for a better price and hopefully don't get "robbed" and my "leaking" and "weird" noise will be fixed.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-07-2012   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

OP how were you able to 100% find out it was the oil pump o-rings?
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Old 10-07-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Originally Posted by Civicnoobie View Post
OP how were you able to 100% find out it was the oil pump o-rings?
I don't know if the OP is going to post since it was from Feb. of last year, but I'll tell you how I knew.

I had just done all the timing belt work and replaced both the cam and crank seals. I put everything back together and made sure everything was nice and clean. A couple weeks after I noticed oil on the oil pan. When I took a closer look there was oil on the lip of the oil pan. I wrongfully assumed it was coming from the oil pan gasket. Went through and replaced the oil pan gasket (remade using Honda ultra flange II sealant...super duper sticky stuff when dry) and cleaned the inside and outside of the oil pan really well. Put everything back together. I checked the very next day and saw oil coming out from under the lower timing belt cover. The only thing I could see on component drawings, mainly the oil pump, was the little outlet oil pump o-ring. So now I had to repeat both the timing belt removal stuff and remove the oil pan to get to the oil pump since the pick-up has to come off to the oil pump off.

Even when I called Honda service to ask their opinion based on what I was telling them then, they told me it was likely the crank seal or the oil pan gasket. I would've wasted a LOT of money on labor if I them do the work and find out it was that internal oil pump o-ring.

Everything single bolt got torqued to the service manual specification.

Painful lessons learned, but I'm leak free now.
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Old 10-08-2012   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Now tell him just how oily your timing belt got because of that leak.
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Old 10-08-2012   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Now tell him just how oily your timing belt got because of that leak.
Yes, drops of oil were on the timing belt. I think I was back in the timing belt stuff twice and the oil pan once, but I changed my timing belt 3 times with a new OEM one, the final time being after I changed the internal oil pump o-ring. I wasn't taking any chances. The belt was cheap considering how much I would have paid for labor every time I went back in to it. Well worth a new belt each time.
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Old 10-08-2012   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

And a timing belt is still under $25 MSRP (USD)

I said in his other thread that I hadn't noticed oil on the ones I had seen, but I haven't seen many with the problem either.
Nobody has wanted to buy the repair when it was suggested either.
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Old 10-08-2012   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

Yes, I think I saw a drop on one and nothing on the second, but opted to changed it anyway because I'm "Mr. excessive maintenance guy".
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Old 10-08-2012   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Oil Pump Seal Leak?

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Nobody has wanted to buy the repair when it was suggested either.
Why do you think nobody wanted to buy the repair?
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Old 10-08-2012
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