Many Honda Accord owners will eventually experience an oil filter housing leak. As an experienced Honda mechanic, I frequently see this issue when an Accord reaches 100,000 miles. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explain the causes of the leak, repair solutions, and preventative maintenance tips. With over ten years of experience repairing Hondas, I can offer authoritative advice on resolving this common Honda issue.
What Causes The Honda Accord Oil Filter Housing To Leak?
The oil filter housing is subjected to high pressures and temperatures. Over time, normal wear and tear can lead to leaks. Here are the most common causes of Honda Accord oil filter housing leaks:
- Excessive Mileage and Normal Wear
- Improper Filter Installation
- Debris and Contaminants
- Defective Parts
- Damage from Road Debris
Excessive Mileage and Normal Wear
As an Accord’s mileage exceeds 100k, the filter housing’s gasket or seal can wear out and begin seeping oil. The high heat cycles take a toll on the housing’s seals.
Improper Filter Installation
If an oil filter is not properly tightened or is over-tightened during an oil change, the housing’s seal can be damaged, causing leaks. Proper torque specs must be followed.
Debris and Contaminants
Debris from normal engine operation can accumulate around the filter housing. This speeds up wear and can dislodge seals.
In some cases, an improperly manufactured gasket or defective filter housing component is to blame. Low-quality aftermarket parts are often the culprits.
Damage from Road Debris
The oil filter housing’s exposed location underneath the car makes it vulnerable to damage from debris on the road like stones. Damaged housings will leak.
Diagnosing The Honda Accord Oil Filter Housing Leak
The first signs of an Honda Accord oil filter housing leak are easy to miss. Here’s what to look for:
- Oil spots underneath your parked Accord, especially after driving
- Lower-than-normal oil level at oil changes
- Oil burning smell from the engine bay
- Low oil pressure warning light coming on
Act quickly if you notice these symptoms, as leaks tend to worsen over time. Have your Accord serviced to pinpoint the exact source and severity of the leak. Your mechanic should:
- Thoroughly degrease the engine
- Run the engine to identify leak points
- Inspect the condition of gaskets, seals and housing
- Check for loose bolts or cracks
This hands-on diagnostic process can confirm it is the housing leaking and how bad the leak is.
The Solution – Honda Accord Oil Filter Housing Leak
Once the leak is diagnosed, the oil filter housing must be repaired. Here are your options:
Replace Gasket or Seals
If the housing itself is in good shape, simply replacing the gasket and seals can fix minor leaks. This is the simplest and most affordable repair.
Replace Filter Housing
For more significant leaks or when the housing is damaged, replacing the entire housing may be required. Only use OEM Honda housings, as aftermarket ones tend to leak.
Use Stop Leak Additives
These can temporarily swell seals to stop leaks. However, this doesn’t fix the underlying issue so leaks will recur. Use only as a last resort if repairs must be postponed.
Cost To Repair Honda Accord Oil Filter Housing Leak
The repair cost depends on the leak’s severity and parts needing replacement:
$150 – $300
$300 – $500
Use Stop Leak Additive
$15 – $25
Labor will add $100-$150 or more to repair bills. Address leaks early before engine damage occurs to avoid pricier repairs.
Preventing Honda Accord Oil Filter Housing Leaks
While oil filter housing leaks are unavoidable as an Accord ages, you can minimize risks through proper maintenance:
- Use only OEM Honda filters and parts – Aftermarket filters have poorer seals increasing leak risks. Stick with Honda components.
- Change oil regularly – Don’t exceed 5-7k miles between changes. This prevents sludge buildup around the housing.
- Inspect housing when changing oil – Check for damage, loose bolts, and degraded gaskets/seals with each oil change. Replace if needed.
- Have oil changes done professionally – DIY mistakes like over tightening the filter are a common cause of housing leaks.
- Clean debris from housing area – Use pressurized air or low-pressure water to maintain a debris-free housing.
Is An Oil Filter Housing Leak Serious?
Honda Accord oil filter housing leaks should always be repaired promptly. While not an immediate threat to driveability, leaks can quickly lead to:
- Oil dripping on hot exhaust components, causing a fire risk
- Low oil levels allowing engine damage from insufficient lubrication
- Sludge buildup from oil leaks leading to clogged oil channels
- Costly repairs if the leak is ignored
No leak is minor – have your Accord’s housing inspected and repaired as soon as any seepage is noticed. Catching problems early is key to avoiding extensive repairs down the road.
What Happens If Oil Filter Housing Is Leaking?
A leak in the oil filter housing of your Honda Accord can have serious consequences. Oil can drip onto hot exhaust components, posing a fire risk. Low oil pressure may also result from the leak due to insufficient lubrication circulating through the engine.
This lack of oil can cause internal engine component damage very quickly. The effects may be visible as warning lights, burning odors, and oil spots on the ground. Ignoring a housing leak may result in very expensive repairs if engine damage occurs.
Can I Drive With An Oil Filter Housing Leak?
If you know your Honda Accord has an oil filter housing leak, you should not drive it. While you may not notice any immediate effects, leaking oil can cause a fire hazard by dripping onto hot exhaust components.
More importantly, the leak depletes the engine oil, which can quickly cause engine damage due to insufficient lubrication. Only drive if absolutely necessary, and keep an eye on the oil level. Repair the leak as soon as possible so that your Accord is safe to drive again.
Why Is Oil Leaking From Around My Oil Filter?
Oil leaking from around the oil filter is usually caused by a damaged filter housing seal or gasket. The high pressure and heat cycles in this area lead to normal wear over time on the gaskets.
An improper filter installation, debris buildup, or defective part could also be allowing oil to leak out around the filter. Regardless of the cause, any noticeable leak means the housing needs to be repaired quickly to prevent bigger problems. Don’t ignore seepage around the oil filter area.
We’ve covered the most common causes of Honda Accord oil filter housing leaks, as well as diagnosis tips, repair options and costs, and preventative maintenance steps, in this comprehensive guide. While a leak can occur in any older Accord, addressing it as soon as possible reduces the risk of catastrophic engine damage. Recognize the warning signs and don’t put off repairs. You can maximize the long-term health of your Accord’s engine by performing proactive maintenance and using high-quality OEM parts.