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Old 07-03-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks?

I have a 98 civic ex, it had turbo in there for awhile, but it is out for now. My question is, my coolant level seems to be low every 2-3 weeks. There is no leak that I can see. My oil seems fine, not milky white. So I am not sure where all the coolant is going. I am going to replace the radiator this weekend. Do anyone think it is my headgasket. This problem started after I started boosting the car few months back. I noticed that in the coolant overflow tank, it is really dark and dirty, looks kinda like oil residue or something in there? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-04-2006, 07:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (AZNRAC312)

if it was your headgasket you would get a check light thrown at you. do a coolant flush, radiator may be clogged. your car overheating?
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Old 07-04-2006, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (slkleltlclh)

don't mean to thread jack but im having the exact same problem i have a sohc turbo and my coolant seems to just disappear after a few weeks i have no leaks or milky oil like you too Click the image to open in full size. ...plus no smoke out the tail pipe
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #4
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fill it back up with straight tap water, and drive it around for a bit, come back home and check if your hoses have pressure
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:40 AM   #5
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if its really hot

coolant is released to evap from rad cap.
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (AZNRAC312)

do a coolant pressure test to see if any leaks coolant or air is being released if not do a compression test or leak down test to see if a head gasket. or use a combustion test which a blue liquid turns yellow for combustion in the coolant. also re-torq you head bolts if you had a turbo.
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (CASTUDILLO01)

subscribing cause i'm having the same problem.

every 2 weeks or so i put about 1/3 gal of coolant in the radiator. the other day i pulled into the parking lot at work, smelled that burning coolant smell a little bit, and my temp gauge was 3/4 of the way up.
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (AZNRAC312)

i vote headgasket on all three cases in this thread!

If you fill your coolant up and drive for a while (2-3 hours) does your temp gauge climb?

Oh, and I totally disagree that you would get a CEL if your headgasket is going...
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (The Internet Tough Guy)

i am also having the same problem but my car is supercharged, i never smell coolant around my car but my resevoir is always low
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (wheelmanbg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelmanbg
i vote headgasket on all three cases in this thread!

If you fill your coolant up and drive for a while (2-3 hours) does your temp gauge climb?

Oh, and I totally disagree that you would get a CEL if your headgasket is going...
it climbs to about 1/3 of the way up, where it should be. after it runs great for a few weeks i'll smell that and it will run hot.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (The Internet Tough Guy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Internet Tough Guy

it climbs to about 1/3 of the way up, where it should be. after it runs great for a few weeks i'll smell that and it will run hot.
I bet it's your headgasket! My old CRX used to do that and after I changed the headgasket I never had another problem.
Sounds like your headgasket has a small leak in it right now but it will get worse eventually.
Just pull the head off and change it! But make sure you do it right.
I did it once and 2 years later had to do it again cus I rushed it...
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (wheelmanbg)

vote for headgasket
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (wheelmanbg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelmanbg
Sounds like your headgasket has a small leak in it right now but it will get worse eventually.
Just pull the head off and change it! But make sure you do it right.
I did it once and 2 years later had to do it again cus I rushed it...
agreed. If you crank the engine, is there bubbling in the reservoir? Do a compression/leakdown test.

And you definitely would NOT throw a CEL simply due to a leaking head gasket...mine was burning coolant like mad, and I didn't get a CEL once.
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (AZNRAC312)

radiator replacement sounds like a good idea, might check your hoses too, my buddy had a problem that he though was the radiator but turned out his hoses had a ton of rot in them.
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #15
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Default

i have the same problem...and im boosted b18c1...im pretyt sure its headgasket..fix it quick cuz i think i blew mine...got white smoke coming out at 4kish rpm...coolant in radiator is clean tho so no oil mixed in..
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: (afmoose7)

I did a compression test, it was around 160ish all across, the radiator hose is new, and so is the new radiator. My car don't smoke, but i'm thinking it may be that my headgasket bolts got stretched when my car was boosting. I guess I will find someone to replace the headgasket and get some ARP head studs. Do anyone know how much it will cost to replace headgasket and studs?
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Coolant always low after 2-3 weeks? (slkleltlclh)

No CEL, I guess it will flush the coolant, but my car only overheats when I am in stop and go traffic when my car was turbo. Since I took off the turbo, I never overheat anymore, but my coolant levels still drops.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: (AZNRAC312)

you can always just try and retorque your head bolts.

For my car (d16z6), a new head gasket will be about $45 and new ARP's will be about $90. I'm pretty sure it's cheaper for yours.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: (ddd4114)

I want to know how much would labor cost?
I guess I can try retorquing the head to see if it helps.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: (AZNRAC312)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZNRAC312
I want to know how much would labor cost?
ouch. a lot. It's not too hard to do yourself.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:50 PM   #21
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Default Re: (ddd4114)

Anyone have a DIY guide on how to change headgaskets?
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:56 PM   #22
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Default Re: (AZNRAC312)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZNRAC312
Anyone have a DIY guide on how to change headgaskets?
get a Hayne's and/or Helm's manual. There's a complete instruction set in both, I think. It's pretty straight forward, but tedious.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: (ddd4114)

Cool Thanks, I probably check that out and do it next month since I got some extra time then. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:58 PM   #24
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Default Re: (AZNRAC312)

If you can, definitely do it yourself!
Labor will KILL you.
Look in the FAQ thread stickied up top. There should be a DIY for head removal/install in there.

And just remember to take your time and not rush anything.
Also if you're doing this you might wanna look into changing your timing belt (and water pump) if it looks worn
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