My 2001 Civic has developed an oil leak. I’m not entirely sure where (yet), but I know that I’m eventually going to have to replace my oil pan seal. Everything I’ve found online seems to be for a 2002-2004, not the 2001, or for a 2001 with a manual transmission (mine is an automatic, so go a head and take away my Jalop Gold membership).

Replacing the oil pan would be straightforward, if there wasn’t a huge transmission bracket in the way. I tried to get some pictures of it:

Front of the pan, looking toward the rear. Note the nice layer of grime on it.
Along the front and driver’s side of the pan, the bolts are easily accessible. Some definitely visible seepage here.
Looking almost directly upward, toward the passenger side of the pan. Huge transmission bracket in the way.

Any guesses on how difficult it is to replace that oil pan gasket? It seems like for 2002, they redesigned that transmission bracket, probably because it’s a total pain in the butt to get to the passenger side of the pan.

What I thought was a small (very small) puddle of muddy water was actually oil. I figured I’d have a look around under there tonight and give the oil a change anyway. I’ve put a large piece of cardboard underneath to help me narrow down where it may be dripping from, and to get an idea of how much it is leaking overnight.

There does appear to be some similar grimy buildup along the valve cover, but it’s almost always had a bit of grime there. Over the course between oil changes, it slowly comes back. There does appear to be some fresher looking grime toward the passenger side, along the top, near where the cam seal would be, as near as I can figure.

When I was grabbing some new oil filters tonight, I had got a rough estimate for labour to do the water pump, timing belt, and tensioner. I think the cam seal was in that too, and it was around 3.5 hours of labour. The car has 285,000 km on it, and I was hoping to keep it for at least another two or three years, at which point I was thinking of selling it and getting a used Chevy Volt (or some other plug in hybrid). But it looks like I may have to do a bit more maintenance if I do intend on keeping it.