Oil pan leak/transmission fluid dark

Honda Civic; 1998; 55,000 miles. I recently had a Honda dealership do a "safety inspection" on my car, as I am preparing to start a 3,000 mile road trip in another month. In addition to the predictable recommendations of changing air filter and wiper blades, the mechanics said that the oil pan is leaking (will cost $316 for an oil pan seal) and that the tranmission fluid is dark (will cost $115 to service). I was surprised to hear of these things, as I've had the car serviced by this dealer several times in the past six months and none of these things were mentioned. Whereas those previous service visits were instigated by me for things I KNEW I needed (regular oil changes, a new battery, and a new muffler), I have started to wonder if asking for a safety inspection is like asking a mechanic to please find something to fix! I have no idea when to expect such repairs to be needed, but am skeptical anyway--Particularly since I have not noticed any leaking oil beneath my car. Assuming the oil pan is actually leaking, is an "oil pan seal" for $316 the only option for repair? How can I check the transmission fluid myself--what should I look for? Finally, are these repairs urgent? I am planning to trade in my car at the end of my 3000 mile road trip, but am concerned about safety and reliability while on the road (I will be driving through some remote places).
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have the same problem?
Monday, May 29th, 2006 AT 9:13 PM

1 Reply

First of all the automatic fluid is dark red. Secondly, have you noticed a leak on the area you park in. Thirdly, has the fluid level been steady in the auto tranny? When did the auto tranny fluid last get changed? Probably never. Confirm the leak yourself. Try putting the vehicle up on ramps and use a 10 mm socket to slightly tighten in the bolts. I would actually recommend a torque wrench to tighten them to the specs.
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Monday, May 29th, 2006 AT 10:47 PM

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