Oil Leak

My wife has a 1986 Acura Legend. The oil seal around the pan has gone bad, and it's leaking quite a bit. I have never had this problem with a car of mine before, so is changing/replacing the gasket around the oil
pan something that a "regular person" can do, or are there special steps or meticulous procedures that are more suited for a properly trained and experienced mechanic?
Thanx,
Jonathan
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Jonathan Upright wrote:

first things first - try tightening the bolts that hold it in place first. don't over-tighten. also, check it's the pan gasket, not the seal.
if you do need to change, you may need to buy the seals for the exhaust pipe - may beed to drop it to get the pan off.
also to consider: what oil are you using? when i ran motorcraft, mine leaked like mad. running castrol, hardly at all.
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jim beam wrote:

I will also say this: When I was under the car last time, I noticed an orange caulk-type substance that was lining the perimeter of the oil pan, but wasn't preventing any leaks whatsoever.
Pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between the gasket and the seal? In the meantime, I will check the bolts' tightness and get back to you.
Thanx!
Jonathan
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Jonathan Upright wrote:

that orange stuff indicates that someone's had the oil pan off before - afaik, it's never used with honda oem assembly. a new pan gasket should fix it just fine.

the seals are the round things on either end of the crankshaft. can't see them usually, but if they're leaking, oil runs down and tends to accumulate around either end of the pan. suggest cleaning off the pan with de-greaser, getting it nice & dry, then watching where the new oil emerges.
fyi, oils are colored to allow leak identification. automatic transmission is red, engine is straw.

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jim beam wrote:

Well, this car is a 5-speed manual, so I know it's not transmission fluid. There is a drop of oil "clinging" to the drain plug of the oil pan after each run, but it's not leaking there. You can see the "streaks" from the front side of the pan.

Which I haven't done yet, but plan to do soon. ;-)

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