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Rear Shocks Leaking.

7019 Views 13 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Willie Williford
This is a cross post from Yahoo Honda-Hybrid, but I know there are a bunch of you on here and not there so I wanted to get all possible opinions.

Anyways, a week ago I had my car up on the lift doing my latest oil change. One of the mechanics at our shop hadn't seen my car much yet and came over and was looking around on the under side of the car and pointed out to me that the rear shocks were leaking oil :shock: . My car only has 21,000 miles on it but sure enough he was right. There was a trail of it going down the sides of each one that was accumulating some dust on it. Ok so I call the dealership and talk to the service manager I know over there and he has me just order the parts. Ok so I get there today and he wasn't there, had I known I would have made an appointment at a different time. Anyways I drop the car off at 9:15, finally at 3:30 they call me and say it's done. When I get there they tell me that there was nothing wrong with the shocks and the stuff that was on them was cosmoline. At this point I'm mad because I trust the mechanic at my families own shop way more than any dealership.

I called my mechanic back up and ask him if it could possibly be cosmoline and he said absolutely not. To my relief he knew what cosmoline was, I didn't. I did a little research. Apparently they apply cosmoline to prevent rust while shipping cars overseas. On an alluminum car... riiggghhhhttt. Ok granted the shocks are steel I could buy that, but my research I did on cosmoline turned up something interesting. Cosmoline hardens over time and especially in the presence of heat. Now I'm thinking going through two Arizona summers it would likely be nicely hardened by now and not the greasy substance that they wiped off of my shocks.

So has anyone found any cosmoline on their Insight anywhere? I'm doubtful that they even put it on them. And to my understanding it's very difficult to remove and this stuff just wiped off. So tomorrow I guess I'm calling Hondas customer service number and seeing if they will answer my question. If they say they don't use it I got them.

Thoughts? I took pictures of the shocks, I have a feeling I will need them.
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Cosmoline is used by the military to prevent corrosion from salt spray, Years ago some foreign manufactures used it to protect vehicles shipped on open freight ships across the ocean. While in the military we used it on P5M seaplanes as a corrosion protector. We used simple kerosene to remove it when not needed. Use the "bounce" test to check your shocks. Very simple thing to do..........
I have recently had to replace my front right shock. I moved to MD and had to get an inspection. In the process they noted that it was leaking. I had them replace it to the tune of $250. I had 70K on the car and I do hit a few bumps from time to time living in pothole central, so I never really thought that it could have been a misdiagnosis. How long should the shocks last?
Whats the bounce test? Is that where you start pushing the car up and down as hard as you can?
Ahh this is turning out to be somewhat of an interesting day. I drove about 80 miles today. It has been raining on and off all day, but just enough to get some water splashed up underneath the car. I got home and just jacked up the rear end of the car again to take a peek. Looks like I have some fresh stuff on the passenger side one.

But it gets better. I called up Honda's tech line today and asked if they could possibly see if at any point cosmoline is ever used on their cars. So the guy on the phone runs the word through the search he has on several different models and says it does not show up under any articles. Time to call the service manager I guess.

See the nice inch wide line of oil down it now? I don't see how they could try and deny this now. I have an appointment for wednesday and I don't think I will be leaving without getting a new one at least on this side. I think the left one might will be going with it soon enough. Great isn't it?

How many miles now Rick? You had 21,000 in Sept. Looks more like weepage than a leak. Have your mechanic pull the shock and give it a push pull test. If there is any "free" movement at the end of compression or extension, it's BAD. Std. factory shocks are usually good for 30,000 miles (on American made cars). I'll check mine tomorrow at 90,000+ miles and see what they look like. Will PM you with the results. PS.......Battery seems to be holding at 11.8 volts on starting up the engine every morning. Put a bid on the "hawker" and will see what happens.
I'm at 24,700 now. The only problem is the top two bolts on the shock are the epoxy coated anti electrolytic corrosive resistent body bolts which have to be replaced once removed. We'll see what happens, but I showed this picture to a friend who's only response was "ohh Sh#@"

I've started to notice that side of the car is kinda squishy too now. I actually pulled over the other day thinking I had a flat, but didn't.

Rick, got your PM, will respond later. Have 2 pictures of my right rear and left rear shocks after 90K. PM me with a good "E" mail address and I'll see if I can send them. I wouldn't worry about replaceing those bolts. Don't understand there meaning anyway. Can't see it having anything to do with the electrics.
No the bolts have a special coating so that there is no steel to alluminum contact. When you put two dissimilar metals together, especially in the presence of catylists like salt, you will get corrosion. All the bolts that go in to alluminum have this special coating, which is about half of the bolts on the car. Characteristically the threads have a green coating on them and the top is grey.
Yeah, I finally didn't get blown off this time. With just the picture in hand (ok the car was outside) I first showed the picture to my buddy at the dealership who is the parts manager. He said it was excessive. We took it over to the service manager, who I had delt with before and didn't even know he was the new service manager, and he agreed. On jus that he gave the go ahead to order the parts so I'm getting them installed later today whenever I get a phone call that the parts are in. They already have he shocks, but are waiting for the body bolts, which should be overnighted.
rear shocks

Did you show them the comparasion pictures that I sent? The "Hawker" is being shipped out tomorrow. Later.......................
No I dind't have a chance to print out your pictures, but I mentioned someone sent me pictures of theirs after 90K and they were bone dry. And I have new shocks now. But this is the wierd thing. The service manager who I was talking to called me and said they had replaced the shocks, but that it was not oil from them that was running down them. I mean... come on, how can that picture lie? What the heck else could it be? There's nothing else liquid up there.

I'm woundering if maybe it was said for some other reason or what because he said to me "maybe that'll take care of the noise you were having back there." I'd never mentioned a noise, but didn't say anything. I think we're getting to the point where Honda doesn't want to admit that any of their cars have problems at all and suspension qualifies as a major component. I guess I shouldn't bother because now I have new shocks (and an improved feel in the rear end I might add) so I shouldn't bother.

One other thing, the page I had from the ESM said that if the top bolts were to be removed they had to be replaced. Well when I got the car back there was another piece of paper on top of it which was almost the exact same page, except it was from whatever they had and it said that the bolts did not need to be replaced. Strange... a friends Insight was in a wreck and they waited 6 weeks to get all new Dacro coated bolts from Japan. They replaced them anyways, but I'm not sure really which way it's supposed to go now. I'm going to get registered on a NSX forum and see what they have to say. Although from my initial search they I found that the Dacro coating can be screwed in and out about 20 times before the coating is sacraficed.
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Rear Shocks

Great deal on the shocks. Can't explain their answers though.As far as the bolts, (being used over again) I have the same feeling about their replacement. I could see maybe repalceing them if you are subject to "salt spray", but if they are torqued to the proper values, no problem should happen.
The first time the bolts are tightened, the coating would be gone from the thread area. Another theory is because of the different batterys used. (Sounds highly technical to me.).....Waiting for the Hawker to arrive. Is the place where you got your adaptors located in the Phoenix area?
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