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Overheating Suprise

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Old 09-25-2015
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Overheating Suprise

I have a 97 Honda Civic DX . I am disabled so I do not drive a lot. If I do its to local Markets, restaurants and Dr. visits. I have kept up with my oil changes that I have done at Jiffy Lube. I am due for an oil change but not by too many miles past the store stickers recommended mile number. I went into a local auto repair center for an Smog Check. My car ran great so I was confident it would pass but the repair shop I took it said I did not pass. Apparently it passed all but the emissions and the report said its double what it should be. No free retest unless they do any and all repairs. I was now out $50.00 and I had a bad feeling that the bad score was manipulated by shady workers. After reading multiple negative comments about their shady business practices I decided I would hold off on any repairs until my next check, get an oil change, drive it for an hour or 2 and retake the test at a more reputable test only center. One that only does tests. Unfortunately just a few days later at first I noticed all my fan vents were shut, no air circulation. And its been very hot lately, then in the afternoon my car was overheating. Steam was coming from engine. I waited till it cooled down and added water to almost empty radiator. Did a test drive in morning to Dr. Visit. I made it there without overheating but on way home it ran very high,very fast. Most likely out of water. This afternoon I added water and ran engine. I noticed a fast leak but was under the spark plugs closer to the engine then radiator. I am disabled and on a limited income. I am still recuperating from cost of 2 month late registration and failed smog test, now this..... I spent most of my day sorting out ways to get to and from Dr.s appointments and YMCA and local trips to the market without going broke on cab even Uber. I just wish I had someone I could trust look at it. For now I will look for repair shops with positive reviews first then have it looked at. I don't mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist but the bad feeling I got along with the other negative Yelp comments plus these cars are meant to cool off engine while in motion, not just revving on high in idle, running hot will give a higher then normal emissions. I just wish there was a way I could prove it. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-25-2015
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Originally Posted by solarpunk70 View Post
I have a 97 Honda Civic DX . I am disabled so I do not drive a lot. If I do its to local Markets, restaurants and Dr. visits. I have kept up with my oil changes that I have done at Jiffy Lube. I am due for an oil change but not by too many miles past the store stickers recommended mile number. I went into a local auto repair center for an Smog Check. My car ran great so I was confident it would pass but the repair shop I took it said I did not pass. Apparently it passed all but the emissions and the report said its double what it should be. No free retest unless they do any and all repairs. I was now out $50.00 and I had a bad feeling that the bad score was manipulated by shady workers. After reading multiple negative comments about their shady business practices I decided I would hold off on any repairs until my next check, get an oil change, drive it for an hour or 2 and retake the test at a more reputable test only center. One that only does tests. Unfortunately just a few days later at first I noticed all my fan vents were shut, no air circulation. And its been very hot lately, then in the afternoon my car was overheating. Steam was coming from engine. I waited till it cooled down and added water to almost empty radiator. Did a test drive in morning to Dr. Visit. I made it there without overheating but on way home it ran very high,very fast. Most likely out of water. This afternoon I added water and ran engine. I noticed a fast leak but was under the spark plugs closer to the engine then radiator. I am disabled and on a limited income. I am still recuperating from cost of 2 month late registration and failed smog test, now this..... I spent most of my day sorting out ways to get to and from Dr.s appointments and YMCA and local trips to the market without going broke on cab even Uber. I just wish I had someone I could trust look at it. For now I will look for repair shops with positive reviews first then have it looked at. I don't mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist but the bad feeling I got along with the other negative Yelp comments plus these cars are meant to cool off engine while in motion, not just revving on high in idle, running hot will give a higher then normal emissions. I just wish there was a way I could prove it. Any suggestions?
To be honest it might not be good if it ran without water for a while or at high temp.

I would look for a shop that specializes in Hondas and has good reviews. Do not take it to the dealership.
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Old 09-25-2015
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Sometimes on a hot day even with no issues it will run high especially when in idle at a drive through restaurant. I have had to turn on the heater full blast to cool it down until I was in motion again. Obviously without water will heat up fast. I can only go short distances while filing radiator before going anywhere. Actually the less I drive it anywhere the better but I have much needed appointments to get to. Ill have to try and find a repair shop quick so it doesn't get any worse.
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Old 09-25-2015
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Originally Posted by solarpunk70 View Post
Sometimes on a hot day even with no issues it will run high especially when in idle at a drive through restaurant. I have had to turn on the heater full blast to cool it down until I was in motion again. Obviously without water will heat up fast. I can only go short distances while filing radiator before going anywhere. Actually the less I drive it anywhere the better but I have much needed appointments to get to. Ill have to try and find a repair shop quick so it doesn't get any worse.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that sounds like a bad head gasket. That is not cheap to have replaced. It might be worth it though, talk to a Honda specialist mechanic.

Does steam come out the exhaust? (steam evaporates, smoke stays in the air)
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Old 10-28-2015
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Make sure you flush the radiator, when it is empty, put the little cap back on at the bottom of the radiator, then fill with distilled water, and let the, engine run for about 8-10 minutes, then add more distilled water LET it run again, and empty the radiator, if you see that the color of the antifreeze is gone, Make sure you use the, Honda blue color antifreeze, that is the only one that all Honda cars should be use in, I had the same problem and when I flushed out all the coolant and used the Honda blue brand antifreeze, I never had that problem ever again.
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Old 10-28-2015
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Originally Posted by solarpunk70 View Post
I have a 97 Honda Civic DX . It's been very hot lately and this afternoon my car was overheating. Steam was coming from engine. I waited till it cooled down and added water to almost empty radiator.
Did a test drive in morning to Dr. Visit. I made it there without overheating but on way home it ran very high,very fast. This afternoon I added water and ran engine. I noticed a fast leak but was under the spark plugs closer to the engine then radiator. These cars are meant to cool off engine while in motion, not just revving on high in idle, running hot will give a higher then normal emissions. Any suggestions?
Did or can you check for leaking coolant or heater hoses? There are several:Name:  Picture1.png
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If the radiator is almost empty when you fill it, there could be a crack in the radiator, possibly damaged petcock (drain plug), loose or broken hose clamp.
How much water are you adding to fill it up? Is the reservoir over-filling or losing water?

Other areas of concern would be:
Failed waterpump (leaking gasket)
thermostat (if your car is overheating very quickly)
head gasket

If it's a fast leaking hose, radiator or water-pump it wouldn't take much effort from a mechanic to figure it out.
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Old 04-12-2016
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Re: Overheating Suprise

Originally Posted by jamescallowa View Post
These engines get overheated easily. Make sure you flush heater core regularly, change pcv valves, thermostat & check water pump regularly.
Good advice...7 months later..Lol.
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