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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second time I have discovered an oil leak at the filter after an oil change. The first was done by a dealer and the second by a Mobil 1 express lube. One change in between seemed ok. Anyone else have this issue? 2019 MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Essentially that it was likely the tech and they fixed it. Didn’t say much. Was my first oil change. I will go back to Mobil 1 for the same. Hopefully they fix as well. Odd that it has happened twice. Hope the threads aren’t stripped in some way.
 

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Did they say how they fixed it?
Did it just need tightening, was the oil filter defective or did the previous oil filter gasket get pulled off and stuck to the engine?
 

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Weird.

I always DIY my oil changes and have never had a leak from the filter or drain plug in over 50 years of doing changes. On the MDX the oil filter is easy to change (from the right wheel well) and the filter just needs to be hand tightened.

About the only way it could leak is if they didn't hand tighten it, or if the gasket came off the last filter and stuck to the block fitting (which has never happened to me through all my changes), or they didn't make sure the mating surface was clean, or maybe they neglected to lube with motor oil the gasket on the new filter first. It's very difficult to cross thread an oil filter.

I agree with Krauthawk - find out from them why it leaked. There's a reason why. Also keep in mind that I don't doubt dealers put many of their beginner techs on oil change jobs and reserve the experienced more qualified techs for the more technical jobs so you can't expect to have the ace mechanic doing your oil change. The kwikee lube places are worse - they can put totally unqualified and untrained people they hired a week ago on the oil change job. I'd never take a vehicle to one of those places for an oil change. I'd also skip that dealer from now on as well - hopefully you have another dealer in the area you can use. Better yet, find a 'good' independent mechanic to do the change where you know it'll be the experienced mechanic doing the change. Best - do the oil change as a DIY so you know for certain it was done right (but not everyone can or wants to do this).

Don't forget to make sure they put the oil filler cap back on as well - something fairly easy to forget but that can cause real problems if left off. You should also check the oil level after getting it back to make sure they really filled it properly, and if there's a leak the oil level can be low.

An oil change is a simple easy job but it's critical to get right since a bad leak can destroy an engine and strand you somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you. Would love to diy but I think I would need some sort of Jack stands to get under correct? Unfortunately I didn’t get a thorough brief on how it was fixed or what the issue really was. I too am surprised it would leak around the filter. I reached under and tried to hand turn the filter but it is on tight. Will let u know what I learned. Btw where do you get your filters?
 

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Thank you. Would love to diy but I think I would need some sort of Jack stands to get under correct? Unfortunately I didn’t get a thorough brief on how it was fixed or what the issue really was. I too am surprised it would leak around the filter. I reached under and tried to hand turn the filter but it is on tight. Will let u know what I learned. Btw where do you get your filters?
Surprised it was leaking when you said it was tight.
I do not use jack stands when changing both the oil and filter on my 20. Many people do though and they do allow for more room.
I turn the wheels as far to the right as possible before turning off the car. Makes it easier to access the oil filter. And I am small enough to access the oil drain plug from the underneath front of the vehicle w/o jack stands. Been doing this method for years on two prior Pilots and one prior MDX.
If you decide to try changing your own oil and filter and do not want to buy jack stands, make sure you can fit comfortable underneath the front of the vehicle first.
Oil filters. …… you can buy an OE from a Honda or Acura dealer, go to Walmart (or an auto parts store) for an aftermarket filter or get one from Amazon. Most filter brands are good. I use a Fram Ultra. I get it from Amazon for less than $8. I recommend staying away from the Fram basic (orange color), though.
Oil …. most brands are fine. Make sure it’s synthetic blend or full synthetic 0W-20. I use Mobil 1 AFE Full Synthetic 0W-20.
And Google how to change your own oil .… lots of videos out there.

Good luck and let us know what the Mobil 1 quick oil change place says was the reason for the leak. Like Mdxstang, I’ve been changing my own oil and filter for over 50 yrs now and have never experienced a leaking oil filter. I have see a couple of gaskets getting pull off and stuck to the engine block, though. You have to look closely for that.
 

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Thank you. Would love to diy but I think I would need some sort of Jack stands to get under correct? Unfortunately I didn’t get a thorough brief on how it was fixed or what the issue really was. I too am surprised it would leak around the filter. I reached under and tried to hand turn the filter but it is on tight. Will let u know what I learned. Btw where do you get your filters?
On the MDX you can change the oil and filter safely without a jack stand because you can do it without putting body parts under the lifted vehicle but I'd get a jack stand anyway and do what I did today- rotate the tires at the same time you do an oil change. This only takes one jack stand. You can remove the pan bolt and drain the oil without lifting the vehicle. I change the oil filter from the right wheel well after removing the right front tire, which still doesn't need a jack stand, but since I rotate the tires at the same time I place a jack stand there and then move that wheel to the rear then cross the rears to the fronts. The lift also helps to put the torque wrench on the oils drain bolt for tightening and since I then have my body under there I use the jack stand plus the jack. I use a form-a-funnel to make removing the oil filter clean - it catches and routes any oil from the filter removal to a drain pan. Some people use a paper plate or bag but I find the form-a-funnel handy. It's on Amazon and in some auto parts stores.

I use OEM filters I buy from either an Acura or Honda dealer. Be sure to get a new crush washer for the oil drain bolt. I use Mobil 1 full syn Advanced Fuel Economy 0w-20 oil I buy from Walmart or Costco (usually Walmart because Costco often doesn't have it) but I think a full syn in the correct weight from any of the major brands would be fine. A 5 qt jug is about $25 from Walmart. I buy it online and they deliver it within a couple of days so I don't actually go to the store. I also have soe 1qt bottles so I can get to the 5.7qt or so spec.

I wonder if they neglected to put oil on the new filter gasket and thus it seemed tight but wasn't tight enough. It's weird it'd happen twice to you though.
 

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Earlier in this thread someone mentioned a situation where the old gasket stuck to the block and it could therefore cause a leak with 2 gaskets. Well, back in the 70's when I was first starting to change my own oil in high school, I made the mistake of not checking for that old gasket - and mounted the new filter on top of the old gasket. I can tell you that, without a doubt, you'll know immediately when you do that. Once you start the car, you get this geyser-style gushing of fluid around the gaskets. :) Of course this was one of those flat-style gaskets vs the more contoured type you see on Honda OEM filters. But nonetheless, you won't get a good seal with multiple gaskets, especially given the pressure right there at the filter. That was a mess to clean up....
 

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Thank you both for the feedback. Great forum. Curious if you take your vehicles to the dealership for any service?
I have a 15, 6 sped, super easy to service, I just changed the transmission fluid, transfer case, and the rear diff, it's as easy as doing the oil change, when all the oil costs me around $80, but dealer might charge you $300-400.
 

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Curious if you take your vehicles to the dealership for any service?
My 2014 hasn't been to the dealer in about 8 years and that was for a bolt recall. I've done my own service on the tranny fluid, transfer case fluid, rear diff fluid, brake fluid changes in addition to the oil change, tire rotations, and also replaced the brake pads/rotors. I'll probably have the dealer do the timing belt when I decide to have that done soon simply because I don't feel like doing that work.

All of the items I mentioned I've done are pretty easy to do on the 2014.
 

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Thank you both for the feedback. Great forum. Curious if you take your vehicles to the dealership for any service?
No … but just recently went to a local shop to rotate the tires. Do all the other required maintenance myself. My 20 MDX hasn’t been back to the dealer since I purchased it.
My 15 Accord V6 Coupe (60k + miles) has been back to the dealer once …. to replace a front wheel bearing under warranty and a recall. That’s it.
My 15 235i (purchased used in 17) has also not been back to the dealer.
Hopefully I can keep this up for awhile longer.
 

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On the MDX you can change the oil and filter safely without a jack stand because you can do it without putting body parts under the lifted vehicle but I'd get a jack stand anyway and do what I did today- rotate the tires at the same time you do an oil change. This only takes one jack stand. You can remove the pan bolt and drain the oil without lifting the vehicle. I change the oil filter from the right wheel well after removing the right front tire, which still doesn't need a jack stand, but since I rotate the tires at the same time I place a jack stand there and then move that wheel to the rear then cross the rears to the fronts. The lift also helps to put the torque wrench on the oils drain bolt for tightening and since I then have my body under there I use the jack stand plus the jack. I use a form-a-funnel to make removing the oil filter clean - it catches and routes any oil from the filter removal to a drain pan. Some people use a paper plate or bag but I find the form-a-funnel handy. It's on Amazon and in some auto parts stores.

I use OEM filters I buy from either an Acura or Honda dealer. Be sure to get a new crush washer for the oil drain bolt. I use Mobil 1 full syn Advanced Fuel Economy 0w-20 oil I buy from Walmart or Costco (usually Walmart because Costco often doesn't have it) but I think a full syn in the correct weight from any of the major brands would be fine. A 5 qt jug is about $25 from Walmart. I buy it online and they deliver it within a couple of days so I don't actually go to the store. I also have soe 1qt bottles so I can get to the 5.7qt or so spec.

I wonder if they neglected to put oil on the new filter gasket and thus it seemed tight but wasn't tight enough. It's weird it'd happen twice to you though.
For our Pilot I just turn the steering wheel hard right and can get to the filter without jacking or removing anything. I bet you could get there with the MDX too. Also might be able to suck the oil out from the top with an oil extractor rather than draining it. I’ve done A LOT of oil changes that way especially on cars where you can get the filter from above. Prevents you from even having to get on the ground. There have been comparisons and you really don’t miss much if anything extracting vs draining… so whatever is most convenient is a good option.

Also on oil filters some tear-downs have the Honda OEM looking a lot like the Fram Orange Can on the inside. I go with the Fram Ultra Synthetic filter which seems to get universal praise. Personally I don’t need the best, but I do question if the orange can is just barely “good enough”.
 

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For our Pilot I just turn the steering wheel hard right and can get to the filter without jacking or removing anything.
Yes - there are lots of ways to achieve the same goal.

I've read on this site where some others were able to reach the oil filter by turning the wheel so it likely can be done that way on the MDX but I always rotate the tires at the same time as I change the oil since on the MDX the timing just aligns quite well so I need to take the tire off anyway so I basically kill two birds with one stone that way - rotate the tires plus have wide open access to the filter.

So far removing the drain bolt is easy enough for me to do and I can easily slide under there and remove it without lifting the vehicle although a slight lift (which I do anyway for the filter removal and tire rotation) helps to get the long handled torque wrench on the bolt for tightening (29 ft lbs) - so I drain it with no lift but torque it with the right wheel lift (carefully, with both a jack and a jack stand for safety). Using a shorter handled torque wrench would solve this problem and I have one but usually just don't bother to use it since I have the thing lifted already and I use the long handled one also for tightening the lug nuts so it's out anyway.

I've heard of others use the suck method and I expect either method is fine - as long as the suck hose reaches to a reasonable depth of the pan and one is careful to not overfill it in the event they didn't drain as much as they thought they did but that's easy enough to verify.

Also on oil filters some tear-downs have the Honda OEM looking a lot like the Fram Orange Can on the inside. I go with the Fram Ultra Synthetic filter which seems to get universal praise. Personally I don’t need the best, but I do question if the orange can is just barely “good enough”.
There are endless threads and sites on oil filters and their teardowns with some posters swearing one way and others another way. My experience has been that any I've used are fine. My 'any' has been mostly Fram 'normal' (orange can - no 'extra', 'tough', 'synthetic', grips, etc.) olden day Fram filters before they came out with so many specialized marketing variants (I'm convinced much of it's for marketing) plus the Fram orange can with the black grip. I've never experienced an issue with any of them and they've been used on engines I've put hundreds of thousands of miles on with the engines still doing fine. My Durango I donated at 235K miles with a fine running engine still I only used Fram with the black grip on and I have some very old cars with hundreds of K miles on them that have had Fram through much of their lives.

My theory on the Honda oil filters that I use in the MDX is that if Honda/Acura decided they're adequate and is willing to back it up with engine warranties then I'll go ahead and trust their judgment. Regardless of who makes their filters nowadays (maybe it switched from Honeywell to Fram - not sure), they'll be making them to the spec Honda provides them.

I've used some other filters as well such as Autolite, Hyundai, and some others. I've never had an issue with any of them. Note though that I've stuck with major brand names only.

Basically, I think most of them are suitable for the task regardless of all the rhetoric one sees on forums.

So far I'm at 91K on the MDX using the Honda oil filters and so issue at this point. If an oil filter causes an issue on the MDX I'll certainly post it on this site.
 

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Yes - there are lots of ways to achieve the same goal.

I've read on this site where some others were able to reach the oil filter by turning the wheel so it likely can be done that way on the MDX but I always rotate the tires at the same time as I change the oil since on the MDX the timing just aligns quite well so I need to take the tire off anyway so I basically kill two birds with one stone that way - rotate the tires plus have wide open access to the filter.

So far removing the drain bolt is easy enough for me to do and I can easily slide under there and remove it without lifting the vehicle although a slight lift (which I do anyway for the filter removal and tire rotation) helps to get the long handled torque wrench on the bolt for tightening (29 ft lbs) - so I drain it with no lift but torque it with the right wheel lift (carefully, with both a jack and a jack stand for safety). Using a shorter handled torque wrench would solve this problem and I have one but usually just don't bother to use it since I have the thing lifted already and I use the long handled one also for tightening the lug nuts so it's out anyway.

I've heard of others use the suck method and I expect either method is fine - as long as the suck hose reaches to a reasonable depth of the pan and one is careful to not overfill it in the event they didn't drain as much as they thought they did but that's easy enough to verify.


There are endless threads and sites on oil filters and their teardowns with some posters swearing one way and others another way. My experience has been that any I've used are fine. My 'any' has been mostly Fram 'normal' (orange can - no 'extra', 'tough', 'synthetic', grips, etc.) olden day Fram filters before they came out with so many specialized marketing variants (I'm convinced much of it's for marketing) plus the Fram orange can with the black grip. I've never experienced an issue with any of them and they've been used on engines I've put hundreds of thousands of miles on with the engines still doing fine. My Durango I donated at 235K miles with a fine running engine still I only used Fram with the black grip on and I have some very old cars with hundreds of K miles on them that have had Fram through much of their lives.

My theory on the Honda oil filters that I use in the MDX is that if Honda/Acura decided they're adequate and is willing to back it up with engine warranties then I'll go ahead and trust their judgment. Regardless of who makes their filters nowadays (maybe it switched from Honeywell to Fram - not sure), they'll be making them to the spec Honda provides them.

I've used some other filters as well such as Autolite, Hyundai, and some others. I've never had an issue with any of them. Note though that I've stuck with major brand names only.

Basically, I think most of them are suitable for the task regardless of all the rhetoric one sees on forums.

So far I'm at 91K on the MDX using the Honda oil filters and so issue at this point. If an oil filter causes an issue on the MDX I'll certainly post it on this site.
No argument from me. Just wanted to point out drain options and that the OEM may not be a “premium“ option that some may believe. I fully believe its not harmful, but for the money I believe better is available. This only applies to the made in the USA Honda filter. The made in Japan one is very very good.
 

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the OEM may not be a “premium“ option that some may believe
Yeah - I don't view it as 'premium' but I think it's likely suitable to the task. It's also not expensive although that's not my motivator. I also think many other brands would be suitable as well and some, at least in theory, could potentially last longer or do a better job of filtration whether it's needed and useful or not.

At least part of my reason for using the Honda filter was in case there would be any dispute at all over an engine issue while under warranty I didn't want them coming back and pointing their finger at my choice of oil filter as a potential cause. I've not heard of this scenario happening to anyone, and I don't think there's a high likelihood of it happening, but it was at least one of the variables I used in deciding to go with the Honda one. I'm well past the warranty period now so that's no longer a motivator for me but it seems to be working okay and I still have some on the shelf for future changes so I'll likely stick with it.
 

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Earlier in this thread someone mentioned a situation where the old gasket stuck to the block and it could therefore cause a leak with 2 gaskets. Well, back in the 70's when I was first starting to change my own oil in high school, I made the mistake of not checking for that old gasket - and mounted the new filter on top of the old gasket. I can tell you that, without a doubt, you'll know immediately when you do that. Once you start the car, you get this geyser-style gushing of fluid around the gaskets. :) Of course this was one of those flat-style gaskets vs the more contoured type you see on Honda OEM filters. But nonetheless, you won't get a good seal with multiple gaskets, especially given the pressure right there at the filter. That was a mess to clean up....
My experience exactly on a 1985 Oldsmobile. You will know right away once you start the car if there are double gaskets on the oil filter.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not sure if you are referring to the first post but I will answer. In my case I am not 100% sure what caused the issue in the first case. May have been the drain plug was loose or the filter was loose. I think the second case was a/c condensation mixed with oil that had been spilled during an oil change. These are guesses but I no longer have an issue after having cleaned around the filter and plug. Still keeping an eye on it though to see if there is something else happening.
 

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Not sure if you are referring to the first post but I will answer. In my case I am not 100% sure what caused the issue in the first case. May have been the drain plug was loose or the filter was loose. I think the second case was a/c condensation mixed with oil that had been spilled during an oil change. These are guesses but I no longer have an issue after having cleaned around the filter and plug. Still keeping an eye on it though to see if there is something else happening.
Is the leak around the top of the filter itself (vs. the frame under the filter)? Note that when you unscrew the filter (during an oil change), remaining / residual oil does drip down onto the frame below the oil filter. I try to catch residual oil from the filter by using a plastic bag. Also, was the amount of oil "significant" (e.g., slowly dripping) vs. the service guy just not wiping his hands with dirty oil after unplugging the drain plug and/or removing the oil filter. Similar to the folks here, I DIY but never had an issue with leaking oil around the filter or the drain plug.
 
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