Oil leak- Looking for advice

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Jul 16, 2017
Springfield, MO
Hello all. I have a 2010 Honda Odyssey LX with 103,058 miles and an oil leak. I’m looking for a little advice. Allow me to start by giving some background.

I’m the second owner (bought in April 2014 with 61,342 miles). The first owner did all of their maintenance at the Honda dealer I worked for when I took it in on trade from them for a used Pilot. I know the mileage of every oil change this vehicle has ever had. Under the first owner’s ownership it ran, presumably, Honda dealer bulk 5W-20, which is what the vehicle calls for.

Every oil change has been with 5W-20 except for the one at 89,434 (done at the Ford dealer where I work) when they ran 5W-30. After that I did one on 5W-20 blend followed by my most recent oil change at 100,716 where I used PPHM 0W-20 with a FRAM TG7317. At this oil change I installed a new NAPA drain plug. This oil change is the first time the vehicle has ever had full synthetic as well as the first time its ever had 0W-20. All of this is simply backstory.

Today I did a tire rotation at work (I’m a service advisor at a Ford dealer). While the vehicle was up in the air a tech came over and was looking around. He pointed out oil at several places- rear main seal, front cover,
oil pan and possibly some at Timing cover. He’s a Ford tech so he’s not terribly familiar with Hondas but he did get me thinking.

My average OCI has been about 5,500 miles as I follow the OLM. The car sees about 9,000 miles per year, mostly made up of rural/town driving. I’m trying to think of other pertinent information but I can’t at the moment.

Anyway, I guess I’m asking for oil advice. At this point I’m going to stick with HM oil. I have a 5qt jug of PPHM 0W-20 on my shelf, ready for my next oil change. However in light of this leak I’m wondering if I would be better off switching to, say, a 5W-30 HM oil. I’ll include a photo and I thank you in advance for any insight.

I’ll note that the oil and ATF levels are where they should be.

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You can try the HM for a couple of OCI. It might help, won’t hurt anything. M1 HM 10w-30 is thicker at temp vs an ilsac 30 so that may be worth a shot.

You can always go back to a conventional oil, for short OCI it does the job just as well.

Check the torque on all the applicable bolts... they’re probably fine but since you have a lift and tools why not?
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How much oil is your vehicle leaking and/or burning every five thousand miles? If it is less than a quart, I would keep doing what you are doing. If it is more than a quart, I might switch to a high mileage oil.
Our accord had seepage between the engine and trans after the first couple of years. It doesn't leak on the floor so I wipe it a bit when I change the oil and spray it with the hose every couple of years. Meh.
Honda doesn't typically lose the rear main seal until you get around 300,000 unless of course the oil was never changed by owners Hondas are very particular about using Factory parts such as valve cover gaskets and other seals a lot of people don't change the Crush Washer either when they change the oil when you do a valve adjustment make sure you use a factory gasket and also change the washer seals on the nuts that fasten the valve cover.
Much appreciated everyone. I’ll stick with the PPHM 0W-20 and keep an eye on things.

You’ve been helpful and given me what I was looking for- reassurance. I really appreciate it. I’ll keep this thread updated as time goes on.
Odyssey rear main cover

I'd rather link than steal credit. Found that thread on Google, scroll down to post #14. The second picture shows the rear main seal cover. See the small o-ring at the top of the cover, dead center? There's your leak. Looks just like a rear main. I've done several on the 3.5/3.7 engines. The o-ring hardens and flattens out, and the oil galley it plugs leaks oil down and out right where you're seeing it.

It's hard to diagnose 100%, but I have yet to have a comeback. I R&R the oil pan and re-seal it as well, during the job. It's VERY labor intensive, 8.5 hours by my labor guide.
I got plenty of seepage (whereas before, there was none) when I switched to Quaker State Ultimate Durability but generally speaking, full syn in my old/previous Lex Sc of the mid-nineties persuasion. In the same climate, I am running 0w-20 and that oil/engine doesn't burn a drop. I'm a convert of this setup so far, not repping 0w-20 but in my short data points, this 0w-20 full syn is great and never burns. I always had to worry about make-up oil, a spare quart bottle but now, it's smooth sailing from OCI to OCI.
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That's not even a leak. Just a seepage stain.

I'm surprised that even a Ford tech would think this is an issue on a Honda. There seems to be a ridiculous "zero tolerance" for anything that's "dirty" on an engine nowadays. Engines are dirty machines. Chasing a little oily grime here and there will drain your wallet. This is OCD on a daily driver.
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