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Old 06-22-2012   #1 (permalink)
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2006 EX Coolant Leak

Hi everyone!

My fiancee and I own a 2006 Honda Civic EX, which has been properly maintained, and cared for. The car has about 114,000 miles on the clock, which have been trouble free, with the exception of a water pump failure. Recently the temp indicated very high, so we pulled over and filled the car with 50/50 from the nearest auto parts store. It is a very slow leak, which takes about 2 weeks to lower the coolant enough to affect engine cooling.

There appears to be no leaking externally (no puddles), and there are no fumes of antifreeze in the exhaust. The oil IS "chocolaty" and appears to be mixing with coolant

After a quick Google search I found this site, and the "cracked engine block" problems that seem to plague the R18 engines.

I brought the car to Russell Smith Honda in Houston, and explained to them about the problem, and asked them if they could inspect for a cracked block. The diagnosis was "we cannot see any obvious cracks in the block, therefore it must be a head gasket issue".

What do you all think? Are there any things I can check to rule out one or the other? I know the cracks can appear behind some engine covers, and the air/oil separator covers and that they did not check in those areas. Any help would be much appreciated. I am thinking about asking another dealership, any recommendations?

Thanks
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Old 06-23-2012   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

I swear I replied to this earlier.....Oh well..


Oil could look like chocolate milkshake if there is coolant in it, depends on how much though. That will ruin bearings in a hurry. It most likely needs an engine.

Warranty should be 8 years/unlimited mileage, and this must be confirmed by checking the VIN of the car first. If the car has a salvage title or has been blacklisted, you are SOL and still need an engine.

My dealer would be more than happy to do the job, even under warranty.



Quote:
The diagnosis was "we cannot see any obvious cracks in the block, therefore
Yes, the oil separator cover would need to come off to actually find the leak. That means that someone at the first dealer would have to **GASP** do some work to find it.
**shudder**


Go to a different dealer.
Call the customer assistance number

From the Honda site:
For further assistance, feel free to contact Honda Automobile Customer Service. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

Honda Customer Service can now be reached via Twitter at:
@HondaCustSvc
By Phone
At our toll-free number: 1-800-999-1009




Be prepared with your cars VIN handy.
Calmly explain your situation
Be professional and courteous about it.
Ask if there is a different dealer you can go to to get this problem resolved.
(I have heard that some reps have admitted when a certain dealer may have a "less than stellar" reputation.)

If you paid good money for the first dealer to give wrong answers, ask the customer service rep if they will reimburse that too.


HTH
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Old 06-25-2012   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

UPDATE:

After insisting that the Air/Oil Separator cover come off to rule out the cracked engine block, the dealer finally caved and spent 5 hours removing it and *GASP* cracked block! New engine will be installed by Friday. Once the crack was found they were more than happy to start doing the warranty work.

It was just frustrating to be told: "It is probably not A, but it could be B...therefore you must pay for B." Im glad its all getting sorted regardless. I just wonder how many people would have paid for them to replace the cylinder head gasket, and found that NOT to be the solution, and been without their car for weeks until they tracked down the real problem...
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Old 06-25-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

UPDATE:

After insisting that the Air/Oil Separator cover come off to rule out the cracked engine block, the dealer finally caved and spent 5 hours removing it and *GASP* cracked block!


Amazing. This procedure is outlined on page 3 of the bulletin.

Based on what you described here, I kinda think that dealer may be a "warranty only" facility, i.e. they see very little customer pay work. I doubt they impressed you on this repair so far.

Did you call the customer assistance number prior to the second visit to the dealer?




New engine will be installed by Friday. Once the crack was found they were more than happy to start doing the warranty work.

I bet someone was cussing you the whole time though. Cutting into their profit and all.




It was just frustrating to be told: "It is probably not A, but it could be B...therefore you must pay for B." Im glad its all getting sorted regardless. I just wonder how many people would have paid for them to replace the cylinder head gasket, and found that NOT to be the solution, and been without their car for weeks until they tracked down the real problem...


I'm biting my tongue hard right now.
Filter is on overload.



A quote comes to mind: "Sufficient ignorance is indistinguishable from malice."

I'll stop there.



It may have been a whole lot easier if you just let the engine overheat and keep going until it melts down into a smoldering glob of plastic and aluminum. Tough to prove it wasn't a cracked block once it gets to that point. Tow it in, it gets an engine.
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Old 06-25-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

Yes I made a call to HOnda before visiting them a second time, basically their reply was: "try another dealer". I can understand their situation, they only know what the dealer tells them, and in this case, it would have been "no cracked block noted".

I love that quote, I will use that in the future.

Letting the car overheat into an inferno was basically what I felt like doing after my first visit there... I probably would have done it in their parking lot, lol.

But they are making it right, and I have to applaud them for taking further action to find the leak, even if I did have to insist rather sternly. I even brought in pictures from online showing all the possible crack locations, "when you look in all these places, then you may tell me it is a cracked cylinder head gasket".

I will update you all when the car gets returned. Would the new block come with another guarantee? I mean, everything ELSE was fine up until this point, what if they break something during the install that I don't discover until later down the road? Longshot maybe, but another 3 year coverage on the block would be sweet...
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Old 06-25-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by carria4f View Post
and I have to applaud them for taking further action to find the leak, even if I did have to insist rather sternly. I even brought in pictures from online showing all the possible crack locations, "when you look in all these places, then you may tell me it is a cracked cylinder head gasket".
It should have never reached that point.


You got use of the rental car until the engine job is done, correct?



Quote:
I will update you all when the car gets returned. Would the new block come with another guarantee?
I don't know for sure what it is, I'll GUESS 12/12.
Ask customer assistance since it sounds like you aren't trusting the dealer to give the right answers.


Quote:
I mean, everything ELSE was fine up until this point, what if they break something during the install that I don't discover until later down the road?
Sh!t happens. Make sure you go back ASAP if there is ANY problem. It is a huge job, plenty of places to screw it up.
Heck, even I can be human some days. It happens.

I'd expect at the very.....nevermind, this dealer may not give a rats butt after the car leaves, and it will be your word against theirs.

Maybe I'm all wrong. Maybe they just gave the job to a rookie that shouldn't be doing that sort of work yet. Maybe the rest of the department DOES care. Who knows?



Quote:
Longshot maybe, but another 3 year coverage on the block would be sweet...
Shouldn't be an issue now. The new block is the '10 and newer version.
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Old 06-26-2012   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

no rental, but its not an issue, as I have been enjoying the sweltering heat on my motorcycle anyways. I told them if its not finished by Friday I will need a rental, and they said that would be no problem.
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Old 06-26-2012   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2006 EX Coolant Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by carria4f View Post
no rental, but its not an issue, as I have been enjoying the sweltering heat on my motorcycle anyways. I told them if its not finished by Friday I will need a rental, and they said that would be no problem.
Factory would probably cover the bill for the rental car, that's why I asked.

It's supposed to get up to 100+ here starting Wednesday. Riding the scoot in that kind of heat is like riding in a dang blast furnace.
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Old 06-26-2012
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