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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello friends,

Starts seeing oil on the driveway under my 04 MDX in the past 2 days. The X has 205K miles.

Upon checking, it seems the oil is leaking between engine and AT, where a dark colored plate seats. I cleaned the bottom of AT, and after a few minutes, I can see the oil drop hang there, as in the picture.

Did some research, and it seems like a Rear Mail Seal leak? May I get help to confirm if that's true?

Any help is appreciated, as usual.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
How could I confirm if it's the Rear Main Seal leak?
 

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Sounds like a RMS leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like a RMS leak.
Sigh! An very expensive repair for a car only has $3500 value! Considering the cost of timing belt change, I guess the total cost will be around $2000. Does it make sense to invest into the repair and timing belt change?

So, this isn't something has to be take care of immediately, right? Will it be ok to survive a 2000 miles Labor day trip? As long as keep monitoring the level of engine oil?

Thanks!
 

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Sigh! An very expensive repair for a car only has $3500 value! Considering the cost of timing belt change, I guess the total cost will be around $2000. Does it make sense to invest into the repair and timing belt change?
I assume you're MDX has been a relatively trouble-free and pleasant 205k miles... If you take care of it, then there's no reason to think you wouldn't get many more miles out of it. Although it may only be "worth" ~$3500 to someone else (after all, resale value is merely what someone else will pay you for your car) it may very well have more value to you.

For example, if you were to spend $2000 on your MDX, and that got you a few more years of usable life, then that is certainly a good investment if it saves you from a $500+ car payment for a couple years.

And if you're a comfortable DIYer, then you can do the job for considerably less than $2000.

So, this isn't something has to be take care of immediately, right? Will it be ok to survive a 2000 miles Labor day trip? As long as keep monitoring the level of engine oil?
If it's not a major leak (just a drip here/there) then I'd say it's not critical to replace the RMS. Just monitor the oil level, as you already mentioned. Also, you may want to be careful where you park, as your vehicle will probably start "marking its territory" soon, if it hasn't, already.
 

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And as cheesy as it might seem, there's always the option of bungie cording a shop rag under the leak (or other similar kludge) to contain the oil. The leak itself really won't hurt anything other than your driveway, at least not until it gets a LOT worse. Then you just change the rag out every X months, and pretend it's not leaking. ;-)
 

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Sigh! An very expensive repair for a car only has $3500 value! Considering the cost of timing belt change, I guess the total cost will be around $2000. Does it make sense to invest into the repair and timing belt change?

So, this isn't something has to be take care of immediately, right? Will it be ok to survive a 2000 miles Labor day trip? As long as keep monitoring the level of engine oil?

Thanks!
Mine has been leaking for over 5 years, lots of long trips too. you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for everyone's advice! It's always very helpful from other MDXers!

I will keep closed monitoring on the oil level, while researching for the solution of expense. Guess have to be quick since timing belt is due.
 

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Cheesy is just a term for doing something in a very unofficial, unapproved way. Stuffing a rag under the leak and changing it every few months when it gets soaked fits that description, but would essentially "fix" the problem (as long as you define the problem as oil spots on your driveway - the leak isn't likely to hurt anything else).
 

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Seriously, for the age and miles Stick down some cardboard and drive it , oil is cheap! just keep an eye on the oil level and don't lose any sleep over it. the (RMS)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A quick update. Just came back from the Mt. Whitney, and the MDX survived without issue. However, I did have to pour in 2 Qt. of oil, and I could smell the oil burn at some time. Other than that, it ran pretty well.

Weird thing was that the oil leak stopped after came back home somehow, and I don't know why. Just keep my fingers crossed and hope that's it. Will keep checking the oil level weekly...

Again, thanks for everybody's opinion.
 

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My 2006 has this. When it first started - back in 2014 maybe, I ran Valvoline MaxLife 5w30 and I didn't see a drip for probably 2 years. But eventually, it started up again, but only a couple drips on the driveway every day.

You could try MaxLife at next oil change - it may not help, but it won't hurt. Maxlife has some magical additive that slightly swells rubber seals or unicorn dust or something. Anyway, it worked for me.
 

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My 2004 has been leaking for years as well. I had a leak from the oil pump, which I fixed myself. It was tough, but the rms looks like an even worse job. It's not bad enough for me to worry about. I did appreciate all the suggestions to minimize the drips! Never thought about a rag under there...
 

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I wouldn’t do a rag... seems like it could be the start of a fire.
 

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If anything around your oil pan / transmission is reaching the kindling point of a shop rag, you're gonna have coasted to a stop anyway, since your engine just melted into a lump. ;-) The oil pan and transmission temperatures might boil water on a bad day, but will be WAY short of catching stuff on fire.
 

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Have you never seen or heard of a fire starting just because a truck/suv parked on tall grass? There’s hot stuff down there. And an oil-soaked rag is asking for trouble.
 
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