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Old 07-26-2007, 06:50 AM   #1
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Default overflow tank spitting out coolant

My gf's car keep spitting out coolant.

We changed the thermostat thinking it was overheating, but it's even worse now. The temp gauge does not indicate overheating.

It appears the coolant come out from the top of the overflow tank.
Anyone has a clue?
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

Perhaps there is a blockage in your system. Is the fan activating? Are there any signs of smoke exixting the muffler?
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

I'd check your head gasket.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (95ProjectEJ1)

I'm not saying this is the issue, but on my '97 EX I was losing coolant and couldn't figure out for the life of me where it was coming from. Finally I picked the coolant tank up and turned it on its side and all the coolant poured outta the cap.

I bought a 92-95 bracket/bolts/water bottle brand new from hondapartsdeals.com - little fabrication required to fit the bracket in there - reason why I went w/ a 92-95 is because they use a complete screw on where the 96-00 just use a half turn - like a rad cap, but suckier.

Replaced that, and it's worked fine ever since, haven't lost any coolant yet.

On the flipside, on my friend's 00 DX GSR swap - he's got a ROCK HOLE in the upper left corner of his reservoir...and nothing covering it...and he simply can't fill it up over that mark - if he does - it spills out....but his runs fine.

End:
It seems if the cap is bad or something and it leaks out the cap it'll drain your coolant, but a regular hole in the side won't.

92-95 coolant overflow ftw!

EDIT:
I'd replace my overflow tank, both hoses, and the cap.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default

If I "pump" the rubber hoses going to and from the rad, it does push the coolant level up in the radiator.

Same principle has compressing a filled bottle. Compress it and the liquid goes up, depress and the liquid goes back to it's level.

I'm thinking there might be too much air in the system but I don't know if that could cause our problem. We haven't noticed unsual smoke, nor have we noticed unsual smells.

Syndacate: The car is a 92 DX, the overflow does have a full screw on cap.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: (blaze_125)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze_125
If I "pump" the rubber hoses going to and from the rad, it does push the coolant level up in the radiator.

Same principle has compressing a filled bottle. Compress it and the liquid goes up, depress and the liquid goes back to it's level.

I'm thinking there might be too much air in the system but I don't know if that could cause our problem. We haven't noticed unsual smoke, nor have we noticed unsual smells.
Then burp the system, like you do every time you flush your coolant.

Just take the rad cap off, fill it to the neck, and start it up, the air bubbles take the path of least resistance (which is outta your rad), then squeeze your rad hose(s) and it'll force the air out - "burping" the system.

Let it idle for ~10 minutes w/ the rad cap off, heater on, and the radiator full to the top and all the air should be outta your system.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (redsled00)

Quote:
Originally Posted by redsled00
I'd check your head gasket.
A few people told her it could be a bad head gasket, but wouldn't that cause unsual smoke coming out the tailpipe? Wouldn't she be "burning coolant" instead of leaking coolant?

Yesterday it got to the point where almost the whole rad had drained out Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze_125

A few people told her it could be a bad head gasket, but wouldn't that cause unsual smoke coming out the tailpipe? Wouldn't she be "burning coolant" instead of leaking coolant?

Yesterday it got to the point where almost the whole rad had drained out Click the image to open in full size.
So flush the entire system.

Is there ANY smoke coming out the tailpipe (or from anywhere else) ??
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

Flush the system for sure and see if there are any clogs/blockage. If the HG is blown you would see white smoke and have milky oil. If it was on it way to being blown then you would have a black flim in your overflow tank from what I have been told.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:37 AM   #10
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Default

If you're leaking coolant straight outta the reservoir you just have a bad reservoir - it happened to me - I don't know why you're leaking coolant outta the reservoir and people are telling you its your headgasket - that's just stupid talk.

Your headgasket has nothing to do with whether or not your overflow tank can hold coolant.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: (Syndacate)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndacate
If you're leaking coolant straight outta the reservoir you just have a bad reservoir - it happened to me - I don't know why you're leaking coolant outta the reservoir and people are telling you its your headgasket - that's just stupid talk.

Your headgasket has nothing to do with whether or not your overflow tank can hold coolant.
^^ FTW!! Do the flush and check the resevoir for leaks and go from there. Keep us updated
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: (95ProjectEJ1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95ProjectEJ1

^^ FTW!! Do the flush and check the resevoir for leaks and go from there. Keep us updated
He said it was leaking outta the top of the reservoir.

So was mine, I bought a whole new reservoir, cap, both hoses, and bracket for a 95 (because the cap on a 95 > cap on 96 - installed it all, bent the bracket a bit and twisted it so it fit right - slid the 95 reservoir in there, and haven't lost a drop of coolant since.

Mine was doing the exact same thing - EXACT same thing, right outta the reservoir cap.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: (Syndacate)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndacate

He said it was leaking outta the top of the reservoir.
reading > me .. doh! Click the image to open in full size.

Its pretty damn cheap, I think I purchased the whole thing online for like 15+ shipped. But now my resevoir is an ugly black color because my HG is on its way to say "bye bye"
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: (95ProjectEJ1)

my res. has just a lil thin film of black, but it looks more like dirtiness than anything. and sometimes i loose coolant, but is really randomly when it happens

no white smoke, no milky oil, 3k on my rebuild.

problem with my overflow also??

*didn't want to start a new thread*
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze_125

A few people told her it could be a bad head gasket, but wouldn't that cause unsual smoke coming out the tailpipe? Wouldn't she be "burning coolant" instead of leaking coolant?

Yesterday it got to the point where almost the whole rad had drained out Click the image to open in full size.
Here is why it sounds like it is not the overflow tank unless the rad cap is bad there is no way that there should be that much coolant ending up in the over flow. I would first burp the system ( just like sydacate said) more then likely you have some air in there from when you changed out the Tstat. If you have the oem radiator I have seen a lot off them crack on the plastic tank and spray coolant out. After you burp the system put the rad cap on and run the car at temp with the hood open if there is a crack in the tank it shouldn't be hard to see. This is where I would start. But don't be surprised if the head gasket is leaking it is normal on the d series esp around the 100k mark
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (instructor74)

Quote:
Originally Posted by instructor74
unless the rad cap is bad there is no way that there should be that much coolant
So bad radiator cap could be the cause of the problem? The cap wouldn't be able to keep the pressure?
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (blaze_125)

Yes a cap can go bad and not hold pressure. Its a cheep part to replace.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: overflow tank spitting out coolant (instructor74)

Ok, I'm just trying to wrap my head around this here...

If the radiator cap was faulty, the pressure it would be supposed to hold would be sent straight to the overflow tank creating a "blow in a straw in a glass of water" effect. Am I right?

Meaning the pressure that should be in the radiator and cooling sytem would all end up in the overflow tank, and it would make sense to assume the overflow tank isn't designed to hold such pressure.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: (electron_si)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze_125
Ok, I'm just trying to wrap my head around this here...

If the radiator cap was faulty, the pressure it would be supposed to hold would be sent straight to the overflow tank creating a "blow in a straw in a glass of water" effect. Am I right?

Meaning the pressure that should be in the radiator and cooling sytem would all end up in the overflow tank, and it would make sense to assume the overflow tank isn't designed to hold such pressure.
There shouldn't be a film on your res.

Empty it out, wash it out, etc. Then fill it back up with coolant and re-attach it. If it accumulates another milky dark layer, you probably have a leak in the headgasket.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: (Syndacate)

Are your coolant lines stiff when it is fully warm, they should be, if they aren't you cap is not holding pressure, this would cause that problem. You should have to put a good amount of force before the coolant will pass the cap, if it is too easy, cap is faulty. There is also a second valve in the cap that allows coolant to return to the radiator once the system cools. If you hoses collapse when it is cold, bad cap as well.

A bad headgasket will not always burn coolant, sometimes the leak is the reverse, where exhaust goes into the coolant and forcing coolant into the reservoir. You can rule that out with a compression test.

The straw theory is only possible if there is air in the coolant, but a bad headgasket could cause that too, it seems unlikely, but it should also be considered. If it is not overheating the coolant should not be boiling, like when a car overheats, it goes nuts.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:52 AM   #21
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So I changed the rad cap this weekend and the problem still remains. There is still too much pressure getting into the overflow tank.

The rubber hoses are indeed stiff and the car is fully warm.

1 thing that struck me this weekend. My gf had a guy work on her car a while ago, and that's about when the problems started happening. The guy changed her timing belt and water pump. I'm wondering if her problem could be related to a sloppy install. I'm wondering if the guy could have installed the wrong water pump and the pump would be pushing more pressure than it should be.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: (blaze_125)

It sounds like it is time to do a compression test to see if there is a cylinder that is loosing compression into th coolant. The other thing that you can have done is have the coolant tested for exhaust gases, make sure the shop you take it to can run this kind of test.
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:51 PM   #23
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Default Re: (Syndacate)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndacate
If you're leaking coolant straight outta the reservoir you just have a bad reservoir - it happened to me - I don't know why you're leaking coolant outta the reservoir and people are telling you its your headgasket - that's just stupid talk.

Your headgasket has nothing to do with whether or not your overflow tank can hold coolant.
yeah ur may have a crack in ur reservoir replace it and ur fine happened to my friend awhile back.
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndacate
He said it was leaking outta the top of the reservoir.
niptek, Read the thread so you know the status of the problem...

I would pull the thermostat out and drive it for a bit and see if a cooler engine will replicate the same problem, that will eliminate coolant boiling from the list.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: (slowcivic2k)

Just out of curiosity, you have any problems with your battery/alternator?
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