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Repair guides and support for the 5th generation Honda Civic, first released in late 1991.

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Why is my transmission leaking?

Leaks next to the flywheel

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Just to be clear, is this on a manual transmission as Nick has assumed, or is it an automatic? Can you tell whether it's transmission fluid or engine oil? Also, what year is your Civic?


@dadibrokeit To provide context I assumed manual because automatics use a torque converter that lives inside the transmission. They don’t use a flywheel, generally so it’s an assumption based on an educated guess.

The other kind of dead giveaway is these era Hondas had weak automatics so anything still running this good is often manual. The other thing is the parts that come with the racing clutch kits like the Stage 1 kits tend to last longer, so another reason to go Stage 1 kit if the price is similar. The downside is they MIGHT change the shift feel; while I'm more at home in something with a tighter clutch feel, OP needs to consider that it's not for everyone.


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Likely the seal on the bearing, which is installed in such a way you need to remove the tranny to get to the seal. Most FWD (FF) cars have a transverse mount, which is the opposite of RWD (FR) designs where it's on the back of the engine with a rear main seal where you can generally drop the trans while leaving the engine in the car (albeit requiring extra steps pulling both avoids).

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This is usually the part at fault when this occurs. I'm assuming this has a manual trans because it isn't a torque converter as well. Has the clutch been done within the last ~100k miles or so? If not, it may also be near the end of its life as well, not just the seal. Depending on if you know when it was done (or if it was done at all), it may be better to do the seals, flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate if you want to avoid any surprises later. If you go with a racing clutch (which can be done on a stock tune; they generally perform MUCH better than the OEM parts and if I had to do this on a manual trans Honda as well I'm upgrading to an S1 clutch, flywheel and pressure plate) you need to do all of it so it all lines up and doesn't act funny if you're pairing a racing clutch to a stock flywheel and pressure plate.

The problem is due to the complexity of the transverse mount commonly used in FF Hondas requiring an engine pull, this job isn't quite as friendly to a DIYer as you may be hoping; usually, the engine+trans has to come out as a pair with the transverse mount designs. If you can rent a shop with a lift and borrow an engine lift this may be attainable as a DIY repair. For most of these, the order is this:

  • Flywheel: Goes on the rear of the engine
  • Clutch plate+pressure plate: Mounts to the trans

Verify this to be sure, but that's the general rule.

Part can be found here as a kit:

For 1991-1995:

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