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Engine Oil Cooler Leak on 91 Accord - How To Fix?

01-01-2005, 03:29 PM
:confused: Please, I need HELP. I have a ‘91 Honda Accord SE.
I seem to have a leak right around the edge of the engine oil cooler, not between the filter and cooler. The engine oil cooler is the unit where the oil filter screws on. The leak source is where the cooler meets the engine. The leak is currently tolerable…meaning its not gushing out and only happens when the engine is running. I just have to constantly add engine oil to keep it on the correct level.
I’m reaching out to anyone in this forum who’s familiar on how to fix this. Is this a screw-on type unit and just needing a replacement gasket or o-ring? If not removable, will anyone suggest using J.B. Weld to patch the leak source? Needing an immediate remedy before the whole thing gets any bigger…thanks.

01-02-2005, 03:28 PM
I think you and I having the same issue. I've been looking for help on identifying my "major" oil leak. And today, after being to really investigate, I suspect that it is also coming from the oil cooler - at the seems.

I was asking the forum if this is possible. I guess from reading our post, it appears to be a common issue.

I am also think about using JB weld. This unit doesn't appear to be replaceable - its not bolted or screwed on.

Can any anyone provide suggestions. Thanks.

01-03-2005, 01:14 PM
I seem to have found an answer to my inquiry.

Review link of diagram below:

The oil cooler is a separate unit that is bolted on. A replacement o-ring is what I need to remedy the leak. The bolt is the part where you screw on the oil filter. Apparently that is the bolt holding the oil cooler to the engine block. I'm sure, after taking a closer look, I might be able to get away without disconnecting the two hoses attached on the side. I will definitely get the o-ring and try to fix it this weekend. dbbyleo, if you get to it before I do, let me know...good luck.

01-03-2005, 02:04 PM
Great diagram. I finally got a hold of someone from the dealer and this is what they were trying to tell me over the phone.

I'm buying the o-ring and going to work on it tonight and see how far I can get.

01-03-2005, 06:58 PM
Change the hoses while you are at it. It is so much easier to change them when you have the cooler away from the engine block. It is extremely hard to do it when it against the block.

01-04-2005, 08:38 AM
mpumas, I was just thinking of doing that and you beat me to the punch by posting it earlier so dbbyleo will get the message. Upon closer inspection last night, I noticed that the original hoses need replacing. Like any other rubber hoses, they tend to wear out due to the close proximity to engine heat. Sure don't want this to be next source of my leak in the near future.

Thanks mpumas.

01-06-2005, 01:25 PM
(BTW: My car is a 93 accord, don't know if that makes a big difference) that the temperature here in CO had gone back up above 25 degrees...I have been able to work on it.

Removing the oil cooler was not too bad. As the diagram shows, you need to remove the bolt, which is actually a tube and nipple for the oil filter. When you get the oil filter off, the hex nut on the bolt is very visible and accessible.

You'll need a 30MM socket, preferably deep socket, but it looks like you can get away with a regular socket. I used a deep socket and worked well in placing the rachet handle out of the way of drive shaft.

It was too difficult for me to remove the hoses, so I did not. Perhaps it was my freezing hands that prevented me from being able to work on massaging the hoses off. I simply let the oil cooler dangle from the hoses while I replaced the o-ring.


If you don't remove the unit from the hoses, replacing the o-ring is tricky because of the limited access. I found that if you crawl under the car feet first (feet facing the back of the car), your arms vision are in almost perfect angle to get to the o-ring and replace it easily.

The torque spec on tightening the bolt is said to be 24 foot-lb by one dealership that I called. But I tried calling other dealers to make sure I'm getting the right info and all of them said their manual doesn't really say. But one other did say that not to exceed 32 foot-lb and as long as the bolt is snug, the pressure on the rubber seal should prevent from backing out.


That's pretty much all I have. Good luck.

01-06-2005, 01:58 PM
If you are changing hoses and they don't slip off, make a hose cut in line with the hose on the fitting, You can then twist the hose off. If you are replacing the hoses, you can destroy them in the process.

01-06-2005, 08:26 PM
the difficulty is in accessing the other end of the hoses. I can't even really see where they lead.

01-10-2005, 01:22 PM
This is info I got from sickHonda about replacing the hoses:

First off, Mpumas was right to say that it's a lot easier to replace
the hoses while the oil cooler is not attached to the engine. You need
to drain the anti-freeze out prior to removal of the hoses. You need a
work light to get better visibility underneath the car. Familiarize
yourself with position of the hoses. While the oil cooler is dangling,
reach in and cut the hoses around the middle. Let the left over
anti-freeze drain off completely. When cutting, you might want to start with
a sharp box cutter and finish off with a wire cutter. Once the oil
cooler is off you can easily access the remaining end of each hose.
Loosen up the clamps just to move them away from the end, and then cut
lengthwise to split them open. This will make the hose come off easily from
the nipple. You need to remove the hoses attached to the oil cooler
and clean the cooler with brake parts cleaner spray to remove all the
gunk build up. Now putting the hoses back on is the tricky part.
You'll need to connect the curly hose first on top of the oil cooler, only
because you will not have any access to tighten the clamp later. Make
sure that the other end is facing the right way. FYI, you'll need new
clamps, the type that you tighten with a screw. Never use the same
stock clamps, they're piece of garbage once loosened. Next, you'll
need to attach the second hose to the main pipe nipple and tighten the
clamp. Apply some oil to the area where the o-ring will seat then put
the o-ring. Now secure the oil cooler back to the engine block. You
may now connect the two ends of the hoses to the appropriate nipples.
Apply a little grease around the nipple end so the hose will go in
easily. I had a little difficulty attaching the end of the side hose to the
oil cooler. I used a pry bar just to push the hose in place, towards
the oil cooler nipple. You'l require a supper long screwdriver to
tighten the clamps. Apparently, they have to be done in this order to
have access to each hose.

07-23-2006, 10:11 AM
Have the same problem with a 92, also just found this:

thanks to everyone who has provided input, this doesn't look to hard to fix

07-24-2006, 05:45 AM
Please check the dates before posting. This thread is from early '05. If you need more help with your problem, just start a new thread. Thanks, and welcome to AF.

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