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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just about had it with our blue '09. The rear exhaust flange broke loose before the end of August, and I just installed a repair flange and new bolts. It's working OK, should last for a year or two, but if we keep this lemon I'll probably have to replace the whole exhaust with a genuine OEM. (Aftermarket exhaust systems are crap.)

So my better half has been off work since having surgery late in August, and after this CR-V was parked for maybe a week and a half to two weeks undriven, it develops what appears to be an oil leak. ? It's leaving spots on the driveway. I got under there last week and cleaned off where I saw a leak, and it's red transmission fluid. The fluid was collecting along the seam that is adjacent to the drain plug. The drain plug did have a little oil on it, but after a second cleaning, the leak is not coming from there.

Before I dig into this junk heap and start tearing off everything, has anyone else had a leak like this? And is there anything higher up on the engine in the same area where the oil might be seeping down from? (I'm thinking if someone else had a similar problem, perhaps they can offer a clue. Search didn't turn up anything) I can't imagine the seam itself is leaking (as there would be a gasket in there)...and why would it start leaking when it's not even being driven?? Does the transmission run a cooling line into the radiator or have a separate cooler?

I'll post here once I get time to dig into it, within the next few days. But if there any hints or pointers from others, I'd appreciate it.
 

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I've just about had it with our blue '09. The rear exhaust flange broke loose before the end of August, and I just installed a repair flange and new bolts. It's working OK, should last for a year or two, but if we keep this lemon I'll probably have to replace the whole exhaust with a genuine OEM. (Aftermarket exhaust systems are crap.)

So my better half has been off work since having surgery late in August, and after this CR-V was parked for maybe a week and a half to two weeks undriven, it develops what appears to be an oil leak. ? It's leaving spots on the driveway. I got under there last week and cleaned off where I saw a leak, and it's red transmission fluid. The fluid was collecting along the seam that is adjacent to the drain plug. The drain plug did have a little oil on it, but after a second cleaning, the leak is not coming from there.

Before I dig into this junk heap and start tearing off everything, has anyone else had a leak like this? And is there anything higher up on the engine in the same area where the oil might be seeping down from? (I'm thinking if someone else had a similar problem, perhaps they can offer a clue. Search didn't turn up anything) I can't imagine the seam itself is leaking (as there would be a gasket in there)...and why would it start leaking when it's not even being driven?? Does the transmission run a cooling line into the radiator or have a separate cooler?

I'll post here once I get time to dig into it, within the next few days. But if there any hints or pointers from others, I'd appreciate it.
Man so sorry I have read about all the issues you have had with both CRV's! Thats the story of my 09 Forester and even 2015 Golf! I know how it feels and hope things improve or you are able to move on to greener pastures.

No fun dumping thousands into a depreciating vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know. My '97 was a lot less expensive to own, and I've had it since it was new. (It's too far gone to fix now--it's rusted so bad that it is impossible to work on.)

Both '09s have had similar issues. Both AC clutches went out, so I've replaced both compressors. Both starters. (One was several hundred dollars since the car died in Feburary during a cold streak, and I had to have the dealer do it.) Both needed struts, and the Monroe struts in mine are already bad in front after less than a year! So two KYB "Strut Plus" replacements will be $250. Mine had a whining noise that ended up going away on its own. I've also replaced the battery and alternator (both were suspect). I would consider things a fluke but when the same problems happen on both within several months of each other (they were built only a month and a half apart), it's a problem. Now I've read about the issues where the third gen CR-Vs in Canada have a recall for the rear rusting out and the suspension pulling out of a support underneath. Our blue CR-V has more rust, so now I'm also worrying about that issue.

I've wanted to move over to a 3rd gen Pilot, but that thing is almost as much a nightmare of problems as the 2017 CR-Vs have proven to be. Bad head units, and upper models have the 9-speed ZF transmission that nobody likes because it shifts poorly and has other issues. The 2nd generation RDX is good, but the current MDX has similar issues to the current Pilot. I sort of want to try a 2015 or 2016 CR-V but I want to get away from a 4 cylinder and into a V6.

So the transmission fluid leak is the latest installment. Maybe it's a good thing though. The way I'm replacing everything, they'll be pretty much "all new" before long! ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So before I tear into this mess in an hour or two, I'm looking at a few diagrams:

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It appears the long ATF pipes #7 and #9 must be connected to the hoses which attach to the radiator. #7 also attaches to the front of the transmission with a "banjo," so that might be a source, as well as #5 which is the tube for the dipstick.

Also...

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#9 (solenoid cover) has a gasket (#10) that is near the leakage. I just hope it's not #8 (the transmission case gasket). This is the seam at which I've been finding the fluid collecting. (But, I haven't taken everything off to see if it is traveling from higher up.)

I'll see if I can get photos as I dig into this.
 

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I think I would start by cleaning up all of the areas where you think it's leaking and where it's dripped or run.
Once it's clean, then drive it for a day or two and look again at where the leaks are occurring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It has to be finished today, unless it needs parts I can't get locally. However, it leaks while parked (it started leaking while parked for a week and a half), so it won't be hard to find it. I think the worst part is taking off all the plastic to get to it.

My kiddo's 2002 Accord was leaking "something" when we bought it, but that was the pathetic excuse of a "transmission cooler" Honda designed for it. It was nothing more than a short length of pipe, the length of the radiator and mounted down low. That pipe had rusted through where it was welded to its support bracket. I fixed it but only zip-tied it in place, since the old one was too rusted in place to remove quickly. I may replace the transmission in that thing, and I'm actually thinking of doing it myself. The only problem will be getting a transmission to the house, and having the old one removed once I'm done. A transmission jack and an engine support beam are the only tools I don't have, and I can get those easily. (I don't have room for a hydraulic engine lift--I could have used that to pick a transmission out of a truck bed.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well...the blue CR-V got a good waxing and cleaning up today! ? But I did hose down the bottom of the transmission with brake cleaner fluid to start fresh. Three hours later, no drip. Six hours later, a dribble that I couldn't find the source of--it was near but not directly under the drain plug. What I've done for now is pack paper towels around the drain plug--that should show me if it is weeping.

I don't know why it would start leaking after several months of not being touched (and while it was parked!), but I am wondering if it's the crush washer. Maybe I had a bad one last time? I'm going to grab another from the dealer (or order some in bulk from a Honda dealer) for the next fluid change, which I might do next week if it is home long enough.

Everything on the sides of the transmission was bone dry. No hoses, solenoids, metal lines, etc. leaking at all.

So here's the mess:

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I was trying to get a photo (below) in this space between the solenoid cover and the main transmission case. It looks a little "wet" from the fluid, but it looks as though it crept up there, as anything oily tends to do. I don't think our leak is here. That solenoid cover is held on with the 10mm-head bolts and sealed with a gasket, and is to the left in these photos. The transmission case bolts look like 12mm (maybe 14mm).


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Yet on the sides of the transmission case, look at the solenoids, banjo for the transmission line, valves, etc.--we are bone dry here.

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I'll check my stuffing in the morning to see what it soaked up, and where.
 

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2008 Honda CR-V EX-L FWD
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Look like that area is a culprit. Not sure if the crush washer will help though (worth the try), as I see no leak from the drain plug, seems like the leak comes from the seams or the bolt. What I can suggest is high temp epoxy to seal up the seams
Permatex-84333-Epoxy-High-Temp
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The paper towel I stuffed around the drain plug wasn't conclusive--there was only a slight spot of something faintly red and wet looking along the side of the drain plug. Yet there were the start of a couple more drips on the bottom. I have an idea I'm going to try for finding this leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed. I already have one car with a bad transmission, and don't need another. If it's just a minor leak from the seam, I'd be ready to trade it in and have it be someone else's headache. I'm not dumping more money into this one. I've already been looking at replacements due to the rear suspension rust failure issue (the Canada recall) since this one has more undercarriage rust than the other '09 which is only several weeks newer.

I'm hoping it is just a drain plug crush washer. And, I might retorque the lower bolts (back each one out individually, and torque it to factory specs) just in case it was a manufacturing error. That still doesn't explain how a vehicle parked for a week and a half suddenly develops a leak...

I'm thinking of replacing the transmission in the 2002 Accord myself. A transmission jack isn't that much money, nor is a crossbar to support the engine. These cost way less than the labor for a mechanic to swap it out. The only thing I don't have is a cherry picker for hoisting the transmission out of a truck bed and into the driveway. (Not that they are overly expensive, but I just don't have room to store it, especially something I would only use a few times.) For this transmission in the '09, it's not so much the issue with removing it, but I have nowhere to split it open to replace that gasket, if it is the seam leaking. And I doubt it could be done while still on the engine.
 
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