2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems? - Honda Civic Forum

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2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

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Old 05-02-2015
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2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Hey all,
So I come here looking for help. Here's a rundown.
2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC (non vtec), ~49,000 miles
Overheating issues
Mechanic I had been taking it to has been masking the problem by replacing radiator, thermostat, stuff like that
Car keeps overheating
Check engine light comes on
-At first - Cylinder 1 and 2 misfire
Change spark plugs
-Then - Cylinder 1 and 3 misfire, random misfire
Change plugs
Still has issues
One day car does not start
Excessive pressure buildup in radiator cap (coolant wants to spurt out)
Take car to different, expensive mechanic
-They pull cylinder 3 spark plug, say coolant is pooled, and shoots out of cylinder 3
They get it to start by pulling spark plugs and cleaning and drying them
A lot of White smoke coming out of tailpipe
They say I have a cracked head and internal engine damage
Advising ~3500 total for a replacement engine (~85k miles and labor)

Questions:
What do you guys think I should do?
Could the head be actually cracked? What do they mean by internal engine damage? (Block cracked?)
I need to go and ask them specifically where the crack is, as I don't think they pulled out the engine

Could coolant coming out of a cylinder just mean a headgasket? Or is it worse like they say

I bought the car less than 2 years ago, so i'd really like to try and keep it and not scrap it, as I have already invested quite a bit of money in it.


Thank you!
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Old 05-02-2015
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

to me it sounds like your head gasket is blown, replacing the radiator and thermostat was most likely a big waste of money,

if you have let it get to the point where the engine actually overheated, then your probably looking at a cylinder head replacement along with the head gasket,
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Old 05-02-2015
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by thana View Post
~49,000 miles
How's that possible on an 05? hahaha

Originally Posted by thana View Post
Excessive pressure buildup in radiator cap (coolant wants to spurt out)
It's probably coming from the radiator reservoir which is just next to the radiator cap. As you drive the car, exhaust gas gets pushed past the head gasket and into the coolant area which gets pushed back out where ever it can.

Originally Posted by thana View Post
A lot of White smoke coming out of tailpipe
White smoke means your burning coolant inside the combustion chamber. So most definitely a leaky head gasket at the least.

Originally Posted by thana View Post
They say I have a cracked head and internal engine damage
If it overheated you may have warped the head but I don't know how they could tell you have internal damage without taking it apart. I'm assuming that your timing didn't blow up at the same time right? That's about the only way for things to collide that shouldn't.

My guess is if you're not inclined to change the head gasket you will have to pay a shop to do so and then they can determine if anything is wrong internally. Probably go ahead and have them change the timing belt as well as it has to come off when the head comes off.
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Old 05-02-2015
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by mikey1 View Post
to me it sounds like your head gasket is blown, replacing the radiator and thermostat was most likely a big waste of money,

if you have let it get to the point where the engine actually overheated, then your probably looking at a cylinder head replacement along with the head gasket,
hmm okay
What do you think of the statement that "if you have a cracked head or head damage, you're better off just getting a different engine, as the problems will come back"

Originally Posted by drhawkinz View Post
How's that possible on an 05? hahaha

If it overheated you may have warped the head but I don't know how they could tell you have internal damage without taking it apart. I'm assuming that your timing didn't blow up at the same time right? That's about the only way for things to collide that shouldn't.

My guess is if you're not inclined to change the head gasket you will have to pay a shop to do so and then they can determine if anything is wrong internally. Probably go ahead and have them change the timing belt as well as it has to come off when the head comes off.
Was bought from a family - mom is a teacher and drove it to work the town over - supposedly atleast


Yeah i'm not too clear on how they would see internal engine damage either
In the report they gave me they did not say they took the engine out, mostly just visual inspections - yet still charged me ~$150.. I have terrible luck choosing mechanics it seems.
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Old 05-02-2015
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Blown head gasket. Very common on this engine.
I've seen them blown with even lower mileage than that.
Many notice the symptoms before the engine overheats, others do not.

Someone needs to determine if there is any outside factor that caused this head gasket to blow, such as radiator fans not working,

or stuck thermostat or coolant leakage (many of which might be impossible at this point since they have been replaced already).

If nothing obvious is found, then reevaluate the above after repairs to the engine are completed, but before driving the car.
If no external causes of overheating is found, then assume this began as a typical (and almost expected) head gasket failure typical of this 1.7 engine.

I have not witnessed any cracked heads on these at my dealer.

No, they did not take apart your engine to see any cracks unless your engine is still completely apart, they are (hopefully) guessing at worst case scenario.

I have seen plenty of warped heads, due to severe overeating. This is the most common reason for antifreeze to find its way into the cylinders.

If it has had enough liquid in the cylinders to lock the engine and not crank (hydrolocked ) that could compromise connecting rod integrity.

Liquid that got into the cylinders can and will seep into the engine oil,
where it can damage important bearings.



Fixing this engine might be a crapshoot. Hard to evaluate over the internet.

Your new radiator could be damaged from overheating too. It does not mater how new it is, overheating and steam erosion can damage it.

Any other replacement engine should have all the typical maintenance and repairs performed BEFORE IT GOES INTO THE CAR, because a used engine is quite likely to have a blown head gasket as well.
And you want a fresh timing belt and tensioner, maybe some fresh gaskets and whatnot.
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Blown head gasket. Very common on this engine.
I've seen them blown with even lower mileage than that.
Many notice the symptoms before the engine overheats, others do not.

Someone needs to determine if there is any outside factor that caused this head gasket to blow, such as radiator fans not working,

or stuck thermostat or coolant leakage (many of which might be impossible at this point since they have been replaced already).

If nothing obvious is found, then reevaluate the above after repairs to the engine are completed, but before driving the car.
If no external causes of overheating is found, then assume this began as a typical (and almost expected) head gasket failure typical of this 1.7 engine.

I have not witnessed any cracked heads on these at my dealer.

No, they did not take apart your engine to see any cracks unless your engine is still completely apart, they are (hopefully) guessing at worst case scenario.

I have seen plenty of warped heads, due to severe overeating. This is the most common reason for antifreeze to find its way into the cylinders.

If it has had enough liquid in the cylinders to lock the engine and not crank (hydrolocked ) that could compromise connecting rod integrity.

Liquid that got into the cylinders can and will seep into the engine oil,
where it can damage important bearings.



Fixing this engine might be a crapshoot. Hard to evaluate over the internet.

Your new radiator could be damaged from overheating too. It does not mater how new it is, overheating and steam erosion can damage it.

Any other replacement engine should have all the typical maintenance and repairs performed BEFORE IT GOES INTO THE CAR, because a used engine is quite likely to have a blown head gasket as well.
And you want a fresh timing belt and tensioner, maybe some fresh gaskets and whatnot.
Engine would crank, just not turn over and start (i'm assuming because there was coolant pooled by the spark plug)
They had to remove the spark plugs and clean/dry them to get them to start
I've checked the oil before briefly, and it didn't seem milky/milkshake-y

I am hoping I won't have to replace the entire engine. I'm getting quotes from 2200 to 4500 for that kind of job (total)

Thank you for your words, though.
How much do you think I should be paying?
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by thana View Post
Engine would crank, just not turn over and start (i'm assuming because there was coolant pooled by the spark plug)
They had to remove the spark plugs and clean/dry them to get them to start
I've checked the oil before briefly, and it didn't seem milky/milkshake-y
Ok so never locked, just got the plugs wet so they couldn't fire.

I'd chance pulling the head to do the head gasket job and have the head checked and milled flat if necessary.

We cannot tell if it may consume oil in the future either, due to the overheat. Did any of the shops do a compression test?




I am hoping I won't have to replace the entire engine. I'm getting quotes from 2200 to 4500 for that kind of job (total)

Thank you for your words, though.
How much do you think I should be paying?
Maybe $1000-1500 for the head gasket job, depending on how much other work is done, such as having the head milled at the machine shop, and replacing the timing belt and whatnot.
More if it needs more.
Maybe higher. Shop rates vary widely. Metro areas are usually higher yet.

I would not trust just anyone to do engine work, there are a lot of chances to f*** this up and cost you even more.

Mr. Goodpliers may work damn near anywhere.
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Old 05-09-2015
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Okay, just heard from 2nd mechanic I took it to (first was going to be a complete ripoff) (still spent 200+ dollars to basically confirm what I had already known. Ugh. what a waste of money.

I am now trying to decide between replacing the entire engine for 1800 (including parts and labor) (~65k miles) or attempting to just get a new headgasket and the head checked/milled. I'm not sure if there is internal engine damage or not, which would bring back issues after just resurfacing the head and a new headgasket

I also don't know if its time to replace the timing system as well. (original car had less than 50k miles, but it is coming up on 10 years old)
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by thana View Post
I am now trying to decide between replacing the entire engine for 1800 (including parts and labor) (~65k miles)
If you decide to go this route, please remember to include and allow extra money for:
Originally Posted by ezone View Post

Any other replacement engine should have all the typical maintenance and repairs performed BEFORE IT GOES INTO THE CAR, because a used engine is quite likely to have a blown head gasket as well.
And you want a fresh timing belt and tensioner, maybe some fresh gaskets and whatnot.

HTH
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
If you decide to go this route, please remember to include and allow extra money for:



HTH
hmm, okay I will make sure all that is taken care of if I do go that route.
So i'll need a new timing belt regardless (as its about that time?)

Also,
Do you think there could have been so much damage that it wouldn't be worth getting a new headgasket and the head milled?
I guess the only way i'd know that is by taking apart the engine?
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Re: 2005 Honda Civic LX 1.7L SOHC Overheating - Head, Gasket problems?

Originally Posted by thana View Post
So i'll need a new timing belt regardless (as its about that time?)
Yours is past due already.
If you get a used engine-- you know nothing about it.
NEW timing belt -- maintenance.


Also,
Do you think there could have been so much damage that it wouldn't be worth getting a new headgasket and the head milled?
I guess the only way i'd know that is by taking apart the engine?
How bad is the head? That would tell a lot of the story, but it requires work to get that far, so yes it would need to come apart to find out.
If warped beyond machinable specs........

Then deal with the rings. Did it get hot enough to compromise the rings? (Lose spring tension, lost compression? Compression test, but that cannot evaluate the oil rings.)

Will it drink oil if you don't replace them?
No way of knowing one way or the other.
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