The Honda Accord, Civic, and Acura Integra models with the distributor mounted in the back of the cylinder head suffer from a few common problems with oil leaks.
Before you go breaking the bank chasing the oil, here are a couple tips on how to detect and repair these known issues.
1. Oil leaking from the back of the distributor.
There are 2 seals on this distributor housing. The first one is on the hub that goes into the back of the head (See pic1).
The second is inside the distributor housing and the assembly must be taken apart to change this seal. It is an easy fix as long as you have a small pair of bearing pullers as shown in pic 2 and pic 2b.
Care must be taken when removing the terminals from the control module and the pick up coil. Once we have it all apart and we've cleaned the housing with some "brake kleen". (pic2c illustrates a clean housing)
Now we can install the seal. It's VERY IMPORTANT that when you install the seal you do not use oil or any other lubricant or sealer. We put this seal in dry. Make sure you apply gentle pressure on the seal and it should go in with just your finger strength. Check to make sure you are putting the seal in evenly.
2. Oil leaking from the inner valve cover seal.
When you pull a spark plug wire and you see oil on the end of the ignition wire there is a leak in the inner seal (see pic 3). We have to pull the valve cover off, dig out the old seals and clean up the valve cover.
Pay close attention to the grooves that the new seals will be going in. As seen in pic 4 someone has tried to seal this leak with silicone. This will NOT work. The silicone and the rubber seal do not bond to each other. They actually start to repel each other and then oil passes between the silicone and the mating surface.
Again,when we have rubber seals we put them in dry and when putting on the valve cover, make sure you seat it properly before tightening the bolts down. Make sure it all goes down straight.
Getting your vehicle diagnosed properly saves you time, money, and most importantly keeps your car on the road where it belongs.