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Posted: 1/2/2006 12:07:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 7:29:25 AM EDT by Greywolf2112]
Yesterday I changed my oil on my 1996 Honda Civic (225,000 miles on it). I do this every 3-5k miles. Have done it forever and never had a problem. However, when I drove in to work today (40 miles) the oil light kept going on and off. My wife called me enroute and I had her check where the car had the oil changed, and sure enough there was a lot of oil there, and a nice dripping line down the driveway from where I drove off. I stopped somewhere and got 8 qts and put two in to get me to work.

Now, I recall when I was changing the oil that the filter felt sort of "off" when screwing it in, but I didn't think much of it. It is possible that it may not have gone on properly, or the filter itself was faulty, etc. I looked under the car when I got to work (15 miles from where I put in 2 qts and the light was coming on again.) Looks like it might be the case, though I'm not certain.

My question - when I get off tonight, can I put 4 qts in, limp home (stopping to put more in if need-be)? I'd hate to have to get it towed that far. Other option is maybe on my lunch break go to the garage, see if I can use the tirejack to get it up enough to get under it and check the filter and also see if maybe the problem is elsewhere (though I have to imagine it is this from what I have experienced.) Maybe it just needs to be taken off and rethreaded?
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:09:48 PM EDT
make sure the flange where the filter goes is clean, if a peice of the old seal gets stuck it can make it leak. and yes that would make it feel funny when it goes on. also check the plug to make sure is tight
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:11:09 PM EDT
you might have crossthreaded the filter by accident, it woudl ahve screwed on, but felt like it was gettign tight making you think you had a good seal, but in actuality not.


Or the seal on the filter could be bad, or the threads were turned bad at manufacture.....


just replace it and be happy
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:13:14 PM EDT
For the price of a tow, you can get a cheap set of ramps and a drip pan, and solve the problem yourself. Got a friend that can drive you to Walmart or Pep Boys for a few minutes?

For now, poke your head under there and read the number off the oil filter... make sure you put the right one in, and see if it looks crooked like it might be cross-threaded.

How far is home? I don't think I'd chance it if we're talking more than a few miles.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:13:48 PM EDT
Or the threaded filter adaptor could be loose too.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:15:26 PM EDT
Sometimes the old gasket sticks to the engine and stays there. When you put the new filter on it feels "soft". Oil will leak out between the gaskets. If your wife can look at the old filter have her see if the gasket is still there. I would not drive the car without fixing whatever is wrong.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:18:11 PM EDT
For the couple of Gs a replacement engine would cost do you want to take the chance? The oil light means that oil PRESSURE is low, meaning insufficant lubrication. By the time it comes on damage is already being done. Fix it where you are if possible or have it towed. Don't take the chance that could cost you $$$$$.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:46:00 PM EDT
If it's the same as my 98 (sure it is) the gasket is a little alum. washer. Need to also make sure the washer isn't defective.. When I get the replacement filters from the dealership, I also get the same number of replacement washers. These can really be re-used if in good shape, but are supposed to be changed any time the filter is.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 1:06:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalPenguin:
you might have crossthreaded the filter by accident, it woudl ahve screwed on, but felt like it was gettign tight making you think you had a good seal, but in actuality not.


Or the seal on the filter could be bad, or the threads were turned bad at manufacture.....


just replace it and be happy



That is exactly what it felt like.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 1:08:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mr_camera_man:
For the price of a tow, you can get a cheap set of ramps and a drip pan, and solve the problem yourself. Got a friend that can drive you to Walmart or Pep Boys for a few minutes?

For now, poke your head under there and read the number off the oil filter... make sure you put the right one in, and see if it looks crooked like it might be cross-threaded.

How far is home? I don't think I'd chance it if we're talking more than a few miles.



Problem is, I do have those items, but am at work now until 2300 and they aren't with me - I have 6 extra quarts of oil with me, and it is 40 miles to get home. I got here OK, though - must not be leaking too much, since it may have been leaking since yesterday afternoon and I limped along at 60-70 mph today on what was left plus 2 quarts that I added.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 1:35:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
Yesterday I changed my oil on my 1996 Honda Civic (225,000 miles on it). I do this every 3-5k miles. Have done it forever and never had a problem. However, when I drove in to work today (40 miles) the oil light kept going on and off. My wife called me enroute and I had her check where the car had the oil changed, and sure enough there was a lot of oil there, and a nice dripping line down the driveway from where I drove off. I stopped somewhere and got 8 qts and put two in to get me to work.

Now, I recall when I was changing the oil that the filter felt sort of "off" when screwing it in, but I didn't think much of it. It is possible that it may not have gone on properly, or the filter itself was faulty, etc. I looked under the car when I got to work (15 miles from where I put in 2 qts and the light was coming on again.) Looks like it might be the case, though I'm not certain.

My question - when I get off tonight, can I put 4 qts in, limp home (stopping to put more in if need-be)? I'd to have to get it towed that far. Other option is maybe on my lunch break go to the garage, see if I can use the tirejack to get it up enough to get under it and check the filter and also see if maybe the problem is elsewhere (though I have to imagine it is this from what I have experienced.) Maybe it just needs to be taken off and rethreaded?


It's too late to do it now, but I always do a visual check of the filter after screwing the filter on. The second check I do is turn on the car and make sure the oil pressure light turns off. Then, I look under the car to make sure the oil isn't leaking.
I've heard too many bad stories... now yours is another one. Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 1:42:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 1:43:27 PM EDT by SigSaurP228]
Call Kelly have her to find the old filter and look at it to see if the old gasket is still on there. If it is tell her to go to Autozone, get a new filter bring wrench and tools, you know the rest. Also Check your drain plug to make sure it is tightened correctly. May want to check around the oilpan as well, to see if your pan gasket is bad. Some other things to check, did you over fill it to begin with, if you did maybe to much oil pressure blew a main seal (a pain in the ass but you should be able to fix it yourself). Looking at the bottom of the engine you should be able to tell where the oil is coming from.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 1:45:07 PM EDT
Make sure you have the right filter. I had put one on before that was right number on the box, but not paying attention to the filter it was wrong. I guess someone switched it out with another one or something from a different box.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 2:25:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SigSaurP228:
Call Kelly have her to find the old filter and look at it to see if the old gasket is still on there. If it is tell her to go to Autozone, get a new filter bring wrench and tools, you know the rest. Also Check your drain plug to make sure it is tightened correctly. May want to check around the oilpan as well, to see if your pan gasket is bad. Some other things to check, did you over fill it to begin with, if you did maybe to much oil pressure blew a main seal (a pain in the ass but you should be able to fix it yourself). Looking at the bottom of the engine you should be able to tell where the oil is coming from.



Actually, I think that last may be it - I put 5 quarts in plus 16 oz of oil treatment - but I think it should only take 4 quarts. Can that really happen?
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 2:33:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:

Originally Posted By SigSaurP228:
Call Kelly have her to find the old filter and look at it to see if the old gasket is still on there. If it is tell her to go to Autozone, get a new filter bring wrench and tools, you know the rest. Also Check your drain plug to make sure it is tightened correctly. May want to check around the oilpan as well, to see if your pan gasket is bad. Some other things to check, did you over fill it to begin with, if you did maybe to much oil pressure blew a main seal (a pain in the ass but you should be able to fix it yourself). Looking at the bottom of the engine you should be able to tell where the oil is coming from.



Actually, I think that last may be it - I put 5 quarts in plus 16 oz of oil treatment - but I think it should only take 4 quarts. Can that really happen?



Oh yeah, that can happen. Not good if overfull... I had a rental Maxima for 1 day, only had around 5000 miles on it, took it around the block a few times, and ended up with a nice oil slick in the driveway. Checked the oil, after about 3 quarts were in the drive, and it was still overfull by a LOT. Blew a Head gasket I think, I could see the oil coming out from the top of the motor between the head & block. No good.. Had to go back to Hertz b4 my roadtrip, and ended up w/ a POS Mazda Millenia.. what a pile of crap.. Nice interior, that was the best part of that car.. vastly underpowered motor, good for going over Kenosha pass in southern Co...
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 2:44:17 PM EDT
So, how can I tell if it is the headgasket/other gaskets? I think my best bet may be to just limp home on the extra oil I have, and then in the morning check it out better. Take the filter off, clean up everything good, replace the filter with a new one, fill up (not too much!) and then run it for a while in the driveway. Then check to see if anything is squirting out. It would suck to have to take it in for a gasket job, though hopefully that isn't too expensive, is it? Luckily my wife works from home and I can take her car to work if need-be.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 2:49:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
So, how can I tell if it is the headgasket/other gaskets? I think my best bet may be to just limp home on the extra oil I have, and then in the morning check it out better. Take the filter off, clean up everything good, replace the filter with a new one, fill up (not too much!) and then run it for a while in the driveway. Then check to see if anything is squirting out. It would suck to have to take it in for a gasket job, though hopefully that isn't too expensive, is it? Luckily my wife works from home and I can take her car to work if need-be.



Actually man, it probably won't be a head gasket, if you look around the pulleys there are seals behind them. You are looking for the upper and lower main seal. You are probably looking at around $400 to get those seals replaced. The good news is you have $500 winging its way USPS to you right now. After you take a look at the engine call me and I will go over it with you.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 3:09:48 PM EDT
The environment.....WHAT ABOUT THE POOR INVIRONMENT????? Think of the future generations that will suffer. Think of the kids!!! Why not just find a baby duck and poor a quart of 10w30 straight down it's iddy biddy throat!!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 3:13:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:26:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tc6969:
Overfilling an oil pan wont cause any kind of over pressure and blow anything.

When you do something that creates a problem you back up and stick with what you did rather than go looking for other problems.

You have received some good advice in this thread but the over pressure thing wasnt.



Gotcha -

PS - wife said the driveway looks like it was a slow dripping leak in one place, and then a line of oil from when I left - it didn't start giving me the light for about 15 miles, and then only when I was in low rev, though about 20 minutes later it was pretty constant.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:28:43 PM EDT
I am assuming you replaced the plug gasket right? It is only ment to be used once.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:32:37 PM EDT
What about the baby seals??? Could we at least consider their poor plight???


Probably a FN litterbug too!!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:34:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 4:37:38 PM EDT by Burley]
Sounds like a crossthreaded filter to me.

ETA - 5 qts and 16 of additive in a Honda Civic??

Geez, my Blazer only takes 4.5 qts.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:42:08 PM EDT
You should be able to verify where the leak is. Oil is pressurized and will forcefully spray from where ever the leak is.

It may be the filter. Crossthreading or a stuck or unlubed o-ring can cause it to not seat properly.

Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:48:20 PM EDT
If you can dig the old filter out of the trash, look for the seal or O-ring that seals it to the engine. If it's missing from the old filter, then there's your answer. It stayed on the engine when you removed the old filter.
This is why it's always a good idea to smear fresh oil on the new filter O-ring when installing the new filter. This prevents the O-ring from sticking/adhering to the block.
If it stuck to the block and you screwed another filter on top of it, the two O-rings WILL blow out and leak.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:06:25 PM EDT
When your done work, get under the car unscrew the filter and remove the old gasket that was stuck from the previous filter, reinstall the filter, top off the oil and drive home, if you keep driving the car with low oil pressure, it will cause permenant damage.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:13:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dragracer_Art:
If you can dig the old filter out of the trash, look for the seal or O-ring that seals it to the engine. If it's missing from the old filter, then there's your answer. It stayed on the engine when you removed the old filter.
This is why it's always a good idea to smear fresh oil on the new filter O-ring when installing the new filter. This prevents the O-ring from sticking/adhering to the block.
If it stuck to the block and you screwed another filter on top of it, the two O-rings WILL blow out and leak.



I've always done that.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:21:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hapjack:
When your done work, get under the car unscrew the filter and remove the old gasket that was stuck from the previous filter, reinstall the filter, top off the oil and drive home, if you keep driving the car with low oil pressure, it will cause permenant damage.



This would be my suggestion. All that mentioned the stuck gasket get my vote. I've probably seen this a dozen times in the last thirty or so years. I ALWAYS check for the gasket when I remove the filter. Truth be told, I probably wouldn't worry too much about damage to your engine.

If you change your oil as often as you say you do, and you use a RATED oil, why do you use an additive? I have an engine that I run for my customers and my class without oil (no load) all the time. Been using this engine for years, still amazed at the snake oil ads.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:24:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dragracer_Art:
If you can dig the old filter out of the trash, look for the seal or O-ring that seals it to the engine. If it's missing from the old filter, then there's your answer. It stayed on the engine when you removed the old filter.
This is why it's always a good idea to smear fresh oil on the new filter O-ring when installing the new filter. This prevents the O-ring from sticking/adhering to the block.
If it stuck to the block and you screwed another filter on top of it, the two O-rings WILL blow out and leak.




Ditto
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:31:56 AM EDT
UPDATE - limped home last night, losing 4 quarts of oil every 15 miles. This morning I jacked her up, cleaned off all the oil everywhere, and took off the filter. Lo and behold a nice big honking intact gasket pops off. I look at the old filter and it was missing it. Dayum - that has never happened before - Fram filters are normally pretty reliable.

I replaced the one I put on with another new one, just in case something happened to the "new" one, filled her back up (using the right amount of oil this time) and test drove. Kept checking the oil level, and all was fine. Parked it over some paper, checked a few hours later and still no leaks. Hopefully everything is now OK.

Thanks again, guys, for the help!
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:37:03 AM EDT
well glad you fixed it and what did i win for calling it right first... ding ding ding
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:40:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Greywolf2112:
UPDATE - limped home last night, losing 4 quarts of oil every 15 miles. This morning I jacked her up, cleaned off all the oil everywhere, and took off the filter. Lo and behold a nice big honking intact gasket pops off. I look at the old filter and it was missing it. Dayum - that has never happened before - Fram filters are normally pretty reliable.



Has nothing to do with Fram, it's the mechanic. ;)

Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:50:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 7:55:33 AM EDT by Andrewh]
Although I used fram for years, this is a good read on why not to use them in the future.
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/
actually that was oil
Here is a filter study.
http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:59:35 AM EDT
The gasket thing could happen with any filter, not just Fram...

Happened on my F-150 once..caught it before I drove off. Always check under the car with the engine running after an oil change...

Ditto that Fram sux get thee a Purolator...

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