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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I just finished changing out several of the fluids in my 2006 MDX. I bought the car in 2015 and this is the second time I've had to go through and do all the fluids (VTM-4, transfer case, ATF, etc). We don't drive it much and it's currently at 152k miles (up from about 112k when we bought it). When I change the oil, I always use Mobil 1 full synthetic oil (5w 20), and typically a fram extra guard 20k filter. I noticed recently oil collecting around the plug and thought maybe I didn't do a good job torquing it down when I changed the oil, so I drained it into a clean pan, replaced the drain plug it with a new crush washer, then added the last unopened quart I had before topping it off with the oil that I drained into the clean pan. I did this a couple days ago on Saturday. Today I noticed that oil is collecting around the drain plug again so I took a closer look and this is what I found.
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After a quick Google it appears likely the rear main seal is what is leaking, but I'm hoping some of you guys with more experience with this vehicle could confirm that suspicion.

Thanks in advance!
 

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rear main seal is sandwiched between the transmission and engine, not even close to the pictures you're showing

i say get some cheap brake cleaner or engine degreaser and wipe it down again

remove the beauty plastic covers on top & possibly check the valve cover gasket area for leaks... im about to also change out the PCV valve that's located by the oil dipstick, which i found cheaper on ebay vs the local advance auto parts store.
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the front seal looks to be ok since your oil filter area isn't wet
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@notmycar Thank you for the reply. Glad I don't need to worry about the rear main seal.

I did actually order some degreaser off Amazon that arrived today. I went to town on it and am fairly happy with the results:
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I also ordered some high milage fully synthetic oil (nothing with "leak stop" garbage) which I'll swap in on Thursday when it arrives. It didn't drop anything today while sitting in the driveway, so I suspect maybe the leak only happens or happens most aggressively when the car is running. I didn't see anything around the valve cover area so I'm wondering if it's under the timing cover. If so, that wouldn't make me too upset as I really need to do the timing belt again next summer (last did it in 2015).

Good luck with the PCV valve swap!
 

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now you got a clean slate so you can see where it's leaking by the time you pop the hood and do the oil change later this week.

how was the engine oil level?

how is your power steering and transmission fluid levels as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just changed the oil this past weekend, so I'm being a bit paranoid in tossing out the oil in favor of the high milage stuff, but I'll feel better after doing it. Tranny was just done this past weekend, along with transfer case & VTM-4. Pretty much the only fluid I haven't changed recently is the power steering fluid, which I plan to do soon.

Yeah, definitely a clean slate. I'm tempted to throw some UV dye into the new oil when I change it. Thoughts on that? I have some left over from when I filled the AC up (it has an extremely slow leak somewhere) but I need to Google it to ensure it would be compatable.
 

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It could be PS fluid from your PS pump, or the high pressure hose, and dripping all the way to the crank pulley(harmonic balancer).

It could also be engine oil leaking from the crankshaft seal. I would check the crankshaft seal. Unfortunately, removing a crank bolt from a Honda/Acura J35 engine is not the easiest thing to do for DIYer if you don't have the proper tool.

I would start with the PS pump first. I rebuilt the PS pump on my Odyssey which is exactly same as yours. It involves replacing several internal O rings and seals. Your high pressure hose is visibly leaking.

@notmycar Thank you for the reply. Glad I don't need to worry about the rear main seal.

I did actually order some degreaser off Amazon that arrived today. I went to town on it and am fairly happy with the results:
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I also ordered some high milage fully synthetic oil (nothing with "leak stop" garbage) which I'll swap in on Thursday when it arrives. It didn't drop anything today while sitting in the driveway, so I suspect maybe the leak only happens or happens most aggressively when the car is running. I didn't see anything around the valve cover area so I'm wondering if it's under the timing cover. If so, that wouldn't make me too upset as I really need to do the timing belt again next summer (last did it in 2015).

Good luck with the PCV valve swap!
 

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It could also be engine oil leaking from the crankshaft seal.
the OPs pic doesn't show the oil spray towards everything on the side...like the spray should be all over the oil filter mount. so i dont think it's the front seal.

UV not needed, but keep checking the fluid levels of oil/ ps/ transmission as well as the return of any of the pics above again... the tubes/coolers are in the front of the AC condensor and you can check the lines & the corresponding hoses/clamps.
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hey, is that a crack on your power steering hose? Automotive tire Gas Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It sure looks like one, but I don't think so (thankfully). I just went outside to check and got a pic of it after degreasing the line
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I'm going to drive it to work & back tomorrow, then in the evening (or Saturday at the latest) swap the oil for the "high mileage" stuff. I will take a closer look around when I'm under there to see if I can spot any new leaking fluid, plus apply more degreaser / do some additional cleanup.

Also I should mention that I replaced the stock power steering and transmission coolers with upgraded ones when I installed the OEM towing hitch on the back. That was back in 2015.

I really appreciate all the suggestions!
 

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rear main seal is sandwiched between the transmission and engine, not even close to the pictures you're showing

i say get some cheap brake cleaner or engine degreaser and wipe it down again

remove the beauty plastic covers on top & possibly check the valve cover gasket area for leaks... im about to also change out the PCV valve that's located by the oil dipstick, which i found cheaper on ebay vs the local advance auto parts store. View attachment 122520

the front seal looks to be ok since your oil filter area isn't wet
Revove the protective cover on the trans. Held on with 2 10mm bolts. Look up into the flywheel. When you pull the cover off, if it's covered in oil under it, the rear main is leaking. My guess is the oil your seeing is coming from the crank pulley seal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Revove the protective cover on the trans. Held on with 2 10mm bolts. Look up into the flywheel. When you pull the cover off, if it's covered in oil under it, the rear main is leaking. My guess is the oil your seeing is coming from the crank pulley seal.
Excellent suggestion! I didn't even know this protective cover existed. I found it today just as you described crawling around under the car. Here is what it looked like. I don't think the oil is leaking back there.

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Here are some other pictures from my endeavor this morning. It does feel like the oil leak is above the pan gasket and likely coming from either high up on the crank seal, or maybe something under the timing cover like the oil pump? (Replaced in 2015 when I did the timing belt). It does seem to run down around the right side of the crack pulley, pool a bit on the oil pan bolt that has an arrow pointing to it (yellow markup) then fan out along the bottom of the oil pan before pooling again at the plug crush washer where it finally drips. I really appreciate all the help and suggestions you guys have offered. What a great community!
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I do just have to say, the technology these days is so freaking neat. To get the shot looking above the oil pan and filter to that unidentified (to me) bolt/plug that appears to be leaking (red markup), it took one hand to hold the light, one hand to hold the phone and tap the focus on that bolt, but to take the picture I said "Okay Google, take a picture" 😂😁
 

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Have you been loosing any power steering fluid?????

Based on your very first picture, it looks an awful lot like the oil pan seal is leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No. Power steering fluid has remained perfectly level. I think my plan of attack will be to keep an eye on things until I do the timing belt, where I'll have things more apart and I can have a closer look at everything.
 

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I looked at the pics again. If you've ruled out the valve cover gaskets and the valve cover bolt grommets, then it looks like the oil pump is leaking. Given the signs of leakage on the front of the oil pan, I initially thought it was the oil pan gasket. However, seeing signs of leakage above the oil pan gasket and above the crank lead me to believe it's the oil pump. I (think) the gunk on the front of the oil pan was blown there by wind moving around underneath while driving.
 

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I looked at the pics again. If you've ruled out the valve cover gaskets and the valve cover bolt grommets, then it looks like the oil pump is leaking. Given the signs of leakage on the front of the oil pan, I initially thought it was the oil pan gasket. However, seeing signs of leakage above the oil pan gasket and above the crank lead me to believe it's the oil pump. I (think) the gunk on the front of the oil pan was blown there by wind moving around underneath while driving.
oh man, is this another common thing to go since there's videos of it for the gen 1 and 2 of this v6 engine

 
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