Possible head gasket failure after 8 months? - Honda Civic Forum

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Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

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Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

All,

Back in March, I had the head gasket replaced in my LX at 193,000 miles. It never overheated, but it did get about 3/4 of the way up the gauge. I also had a oil leak and coolant was leaking into the #1 cylinder. The shop replaced the timing belt and water pump (it was time for that as well) and sent the head to a machine shop to have it checked out.

Everything has been fine until last week when I would smell coolant after I got home or got to work. The check engine light has come on twice, and both times it was throwing a P0128 (Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature.) I also noticed that it had used a little coolant. The coolant level in the radiator would be down to a little under the neck (the fins were covered but I could see them) and some used out of the recovery tank. So far, my Civic has not overheated. In fact, the temp gauge has not moved above the line it usually sits at. No coolant "smoke" from under the hood either.

I've looked for leaks and can't find any. There's no puddles on anything of the components or under the car. Just the smell of coolant.

This morning, I added a tiny amount of coolant to top it up and decided to test it by cranking up my Civic while the radiator cap was off. When I cranked it up, I could see coolant shooting out about 1-2 inches from the top in a mini Old Faithful. I have not seen any white smoke, but I didn't see any last time when the head gasket was bad.

What do y'all think? Maybe i'm a little paranoid since I don't have the money to pay for another head gasket......
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

did you use a honda head gasket? or an aftermarket one?
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

Originally Posted by Colin42 View Post
did you use a honda head gasket? or an aftermarket one?
A local shop did the work, so I don't know what they used. If I had to guess, probably an aftermarket one.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

That's probably the issue, need to do more tests to be sure though.
Do you see evidence of any leaks in the engine bay?

read this thread:

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/3...reference.html

there's a video in it showing how to test if the headgasket is bad
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

I don't see any coolant leaks, but I can smell coolant.

A few more things:
  • the shop did replace my radiator cap, but its an aftermarket Motorad radiator cap. I haven't had any problems with it, but should I try replacing the cap first?
  • Should I also replace the thermostat? I have an OEM Honda one in the box.
Also, I do get heat out of my heater.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

I’m wondering if they put in a new thermostat but it was the wrong temp range. No warranty on the work?

*Or they didn’t replace it and it’s bad now. Seems odd if they did put the wrong range in it would take 8 months to cause an issue.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Iím wondering if they put in a new thermostat but it was the wrong temp range. No warranty on the work?
They do have a warranty, but i'm not sure how long it is for. I'll look for my paperwork and see.

I did order a new radiator cap just to be on the safe side. I'm also going to replace the thermostat with the OEM one I had bought but didn't put in before the head gasket was replaced. If nothing else, it will rule a couple of things out.

It didn't seem like any of this started until we had our first cold snap and I was running the heater instead of the A/C......
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

I wonder if they forgot to turn on the heater when they burped it? Turning it on may have introduced air!?!
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
I wonder if they forgot to turn on the heater when they burped it? Turning it on may have introduced air!?!
Its certainly possible. I was also planning on burping the radiator this weekend just to see what happens.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

use test below to know if the gasket is the cause.

if it pass this test, go to other suspects.

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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

FWIW, I'll go ahead and replace the thermostat before burping it. I've read that non-OEM thermostats can cause problems. This one could have gone bad for all I know. At least it will be another thing checked off the list.

I did check the coolant level in the radiator before I went to lunch. The coolant level hadn't changed.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

I had the same code for my civic. It would take long to come up to temp when it was cold outside. When I removed it the thermostat had the little seal broken allowing coolant to flow even when it was closed. After replacing i got better gas mileage and quick heat from the heater.
Also the no burp theory sounds plausible, and now that you used the heater you got a small bubble to come out making the level go down a tad.
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Re: Possible head gasket failure after 8 months?

My mechanic let me buy Honda dealer parts and gave to him for head gasket, water pump, timing belt job :-)
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