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Overheating Issue

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Old 1 Week Ago
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Exclamation Overheating Issue

Hello everyone I seem to have an Overheating problem on my 2004 Honda Civic LX that I can't figure out. I've read countless forum posts and articles, but to no avail. I was hoping I could get some of your insight into what the problem might be. I apologize for the length of my post, I just want to be as detailed as possible.

Here's the story:

I bought the car In September and it appeared that it had no Issue. I drove the car normally for a few days with no issue. However, 20 minutes into a 4hr drive the car overheated and it felt like the car was misfiring and pulling back. I then find that the cause of this overheating was a crack in one of my radiator hoses which sprayed coolant everywhere. I replaced the hose and was able to complete the 4hr drive without any issues.

2nd Overheat (minor)

Towards the end of my 4hr drive as stated earlier the temp gauge of my car pointed to the temp being slight higher, I got to my destination with the temp gauge hovering between 50-75% from the red. I turned the car off and the issue was gone. Nothing wrong under the hood.

3rd Overheat

About 3 weeks after the weird minor overheat, the car started overheating with the temp needle reaching the red. I open the hood and see coolant everywhere, and noticed the coolant overflow tank was full of coolant. I left the car overnight and the next day the coolant disappeared from the overflow tank, I remove the overflow tank and found no holes or anything wrong with it. The car seemed okay.

4th Overheat

After about 6 days of normal light driving, my car overheated again. When I opened the hood I saw the coolant was in the overflow tank again with small bubbles and coolant was everywhere. I left the car overnight. When I returned in the morning the coolant was still in the reservoir, I poured more coolant in the coolant pressure cap and was able to drive it normally again.

At this point I changed the thermostat and the pressurized cap. I even put in some Bar's Head Gasket Fix in the system.

5th overheat (minor)

5 days after the replacements, my temp gauge started moving to the 75% mark while waiting at a drive through. I open the hood and the reservoir tank was filled with coolant again with bubbles and of course coolant was also everywhere. I removed the reservoir cap and notice that there was a small crack in the cap. I was able to drive the car normally and replaced the reservoir cap and filled in some more coolant in the pressurized cap.

After this I was able to drive 4hrs again without any problems, however upon arriving at my destination I opened the hood and noticed coolant everywhere and the hoses seemed over pressurized with bubbles in the coolant. Upon removing the reservoir cap, coolant would rush out from the reservoir cap.

6th Overheat

50 minutes into my 4hr drive back, I encountered some heavy stop and go traffic. After, a couple minutes of this my temp gauge started moving to the red and I immediately pulled over. and saw the same issue, coolant everywhere, over pressurized hoses and full overflow tank with bubbles. Removing the reservoir cap caused the coolant to spill out. I waited for the car to cool and topped off the coolant through the pressurized cap and was able to drive back 50min to my origin.

7th Overheat

Knowing the issue of car quite well I decided I would stop about 3hrs in on my 4 hr drive back to open the reservoir cap and let the bubbles and "air" out to avoid over pressurizing the coolant system. After opening the reservoir cap my car overheated again as I was entering the highway ramp the car overheated. I wait for it to cool and top off coolant.

8th overheat

After about an hour of driving and 3min before arriving at my destination, the car over heated again. I wait for it to cool and top off coolant.

It has now been over 3.5 weeks since my last overheat. I have decided to just drive the car locally and about 3 times a week on short distance trips.

Some Other Important Info

- Coolant System Pressure Tester: I have conducted this test a total of 3 times and the system has been able to hold pressure.
- Combustion Leak Tester: Performed 3 times through pressurized cap port, the fluid did not change color at all. To check if the fluid was indeed accurate I went to my exhaust pipe in the back and the fluid changed color.
- There is no distinct coolant smell in the car.
- Heater is working fine
- I have purged the air from the system multiple times.
- There is no distinct white smoke coming out of the exhaust tail pipe
- The oil seems to be just oil.
- Coolant has been changed after the 2nd minor overheat.
- Oil has been replaced after I bought car.

I took the car at a mechanic to have it checked out and he claimed that:
- The car was leaking coolant through the EGR valve and he also found minor oil leaks and recommended that I replace the engine at a cost OF $2500.

I declined the request. I currently do not have any funds to fix such a major issue with a car. Especially a repair that is worth more than the car itself.

Car:
2004 Honda Civic LX, 4
odo: 123000

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Again, I apologize for the long post. I just want to be detailed as much as possible. If you have read my entire post, Thank you, for taking time out of your day to read my entire post.

Thanks again






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Re: Overheating Issue

Head gasket!! Common 7th gen issue. Have you read the info in the 7th gen section?

and now that mechanic in a can was added I would purge the whole cooling system.

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/3...reference.html
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Re: Overheating Issue

if you had read threads you would have realised that the headgasket is blown, and that it will pass those tests that you performed. despite being blown, go read the link that GolNat posted

that stop leak junk you poured in is going to cause you all kinds of future problems
and your head is now warped since you let it overheat so many times
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Re: Overheating Issue

Bummer. If you had asked us, we would have said to check the head gasket for failure before you bought. A reminder to potential used car buyers to research what major repairs are a common issue for decision-making and reducing selling price.

The head gasket repair is a major one. At this point with all your overheating events, you would probably be best to swap in the same engine as opposed to repairing the HG and the warped cylinder head - should you decide to go this route.
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Re: Overheating Issue

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Head gasket!! Common 7th gen issue. Have you read the info in the 7th gen section?

and now that mechanic in a can was added I would purge the whole cooling system.

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/3...reference.html
Thanks for the help, I have another question. The Mechanic claimed that the head gasket was leaking around the EGR port when engine is hot. Could this be just an EGR issue or the actual Engine Block Head gasket?
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Re: Overheating Issue

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Head gasket!! Common 7th gen issue.

and now that mechanic in a can was added I would purge the whole cooling system.

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/3...reference.html
I agree 100% with the head gasket and purging the whole cooling system. The purging will have to happen. Get that goop crap out of the lines asap!!!

You now will need a few things done to the engine...
1) get the head resurfaced. ($75 bucks at local machine shop) It will be warped or buy a refurbished one.
2) since the head will be off, replace the timing belt and water pump. ($50 bucks for parts)
3) replace head gasket with OEM gasket w/new head bolts. ($45 bucks for parts)
4) replace intake gasket, exhaust gasket, egr gasket....you might as well get this all done since the head will be off the car. ($50 bucks for parts)

hopefully you can do all this work on your own...besides the head resurfacing.

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Angry Re: Overheating Issue

Went through all this myself. For me changing the head gasket is no big deal but, finding the cause took a bit more time. I finally figured out it was caused by letting someone else work on it!

Once upon a time I let a local shop change the water pump because I was too busy. It seems they left a little piece of the gasket sitting in the block. This found it's way into the coolant and all the way to the radiator cap and got stuck between the radiator and the cap where the rubber seals on that thin plastic edge, creating a tiny gap for hot coolant to get through.

After I replaced the head gasket it continued getting hot and bubbly in the overflow. On closer inspection, that little plastic edge where the gasket material had been stuck was actually eroded just the slightest bit, but enough to let the radiator continue to leak. Replaced the radiator too and all is well.

PS Don't assume the head is warped, but make sure to check it for flatness, or have it checked if you don't have the tools. Mine got pretty damn hot and stayed flat.
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