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Old 09-08-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
grhawn
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Default 96 honda accord EX overheating

1996 Honda Accord EX - Automatic
Engine code: F22B2 (non vtec)

This is my girlfriends car and she recently (week ago) described to me that it has been overheating. (she told me it has been like this for a few weeks )

Car is driven with AC on most of the time (AZ = Hot), AC is usually on when overheating occurs.

Symptoms: Temp gauge begins to climb past the halfway mark after 20 minutes of driving, climbs up to 75% and beyond. climbs higher at stop lights and cools to 65% (ish) while moving.

Big chain and small shop mechanic diagnosis: waterpump / thermostat.

Had timing belt, water pump and thermostat replaced today.

A week prior to having the timing belt/thermostat/pump replaced, I replaced the radiator as it was leaking (and car was overheating). Instead of running the transmission cooler through the bottom of the radiator, I purchased a separate auto tranny cooling unit and installed it in front of the radiator.

Same symptom persists - even after new radiator, timing belt, water pump and thermostat.

i thought it was the fans but they kick on like they should (atleast after the car is off and while its running/parked)

Can this be a sensor issue?

im going to try to check coolant flow when she gets home this evening, but we both work 40-50 hours / week and have full course loads in college - i dont have alot of time to diagnos her car

ANY feedback/comments/suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated - thanks in advance!
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

2 things to check make sure there is no air in the system, did you open the bleed screw when filling with water/coolant? Did you replace your old radiator cap with a new one? In order for the system to work properly it has to be under pressure.
What does the engine oil look like is it milky?.... blown head gasket from getting the engine too hot.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

ill have to examine the oil - hopefully this isnt the case although i wouldnt be suprised.

i wasnt aware of the bleed screw - where is it located?

what procedure should i follow now that i am aware of it, assuming i cannot add any more fluid? does it need to be running, etc.

ive heard of parking cars on angles to get bubbles out of fuel lines and brake lines and such, does same principle apply here or will simply opening the screw help?
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

bleed screw is on the housing where the thermostat is located. looks like this
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u...2/DSCN0096.jpg
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

thanks a ton, when she gets home tonight ill wait for it to cool off and see what i can do
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Does the car need to be running while i open the bleed screw in order to bleed the air?
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

sorry; no infact let it cool down all the way. open the bleed screw a few turns pour coolant/water in radiator and watch for it to come out of the hole in the center of the bleed screw close the bleed screw and tighten carefully (doesn't need to be very tight just until it seals) and then fill the radiator. sometimes you can squeeze the upper radiator hose and force out air. you can see it bubble where you put in coolant. and your done. make sure all your hoses are on good and that cap seals good! as a way to make sure the fans are coming on correctly when the engine is cool start it up and hold the rpms at 2,500 while in park or neutral when the engine hits normal operating temperature both fans click on, do this with the a/c off! may take a few min for them to click on if the engine is completely cold.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

i dont know why the mechanic shop that did your timing belt would recommend your head gasket to be replaced also as your right there...but it sounds like air in the system or a head gasket issue.....and yes bleeding should be done with engine on and HEAT on full blast
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

ok bled the system, but not with heat on and full blast. ill do that tomorrow evening. i really appreciate all the help guys. i squeezed the upper radiator hose to "milk" some of the air out. i didnt even speak with the shop, i let my girlfriend handle it. they seemed good enough people and she got it done for 264 bucks which was anywhere from 200-500 dollars cheaper than her other quotes.

A&L auto, on 6th and 12th near ajo for those of you in arizona. i told her to ask for the old parts.

we will see if air helps, the shop did replace radiator cap.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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Default Update ( Overheating )

OK - my girlfriend did some tests for me

after the car started overheating she places it in park and revs the motor to about 1500 rpm or so - temp comes down.

if she keeps it in drive with the foot on the brake at a stop light, the temp will climb.

So the fans are not coming on at idle (in drive)???

Any idea's or suggestions??
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

If the radiator fan motor works (i.e., runs strong), it may be a bad fan switch (aka thermo-switch). The radiator fan switch is the one located on the thermostat housing, near the back of the engine. But, read this link for more info. to rule other things out:

http://techauto.awardspace.com/overheating.html
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Appreciate that link red bull.

read through it, when i get the time ill try more troubleshooting


i got a chance to properly bleed the system with the heater on high.

i was able to drive it to buy a new radiator cap to help weed out issues.

i got it to climb in temp at a red light. i put my foot on the break and gave it gas, brought the rpm's up to roughly 1500 and the temp immediatly started to go down....

Any ideas? thermoswitch was like 40 bucks at autozone - ill happily replace it to get this figured out.

So far:

Replaced -
Timing Belt
Water Pump
Thermostat
Radiator
Radiator Cap

Tweaked:
Bled system properly


Before i replaced the old radiator, i added some Leakstop stuff. i wander if this is clogging the system - does the waterpump propeller turn faster at higher rpms??

Thanks to everyone for your time and help - it is a lifesaver!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

hey guys.. i run to the same problem any ideas....with 92 honda accord....
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
jose ray
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

there was no problem before untill t belt w pump. all the hoses thermostat .cap radiator.. coolant temp....
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: 92 honda accord EX overheating

i need some help guys.....ever have this problem...befor can some one help ....please t belt w pump thermostat ...coolant temp...radiator....because started to leak....all part got from napa but...never was a problem with this parts before untill now..any suggestions
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

another thing how can a became a member..??????
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: 92 honda accord EX overheating

HEY GUYS I NEED SOME HELP FOR THIS I DO NO GET THIS WHY THIS THING OVERHEATIN...
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

The water pump is directly related to your rpms as it's driven by your timing belt.

Is your coolant level staying put or does it appear to lose coolant? If you don't have any leaks but are losing coolant then you could have a slightly blown head gasket. Have a reputable repair shop check the coolant for combustion gases. There are places that have the tool to do it and some don't.

Do your fans come on when the car is on? Do the fans come on when the key is off?
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Last night i had a flashlight and was checking the radiator cap while the car was running. steam was coming out from around the radiator cap. i replaced the cap even though it was brand new - i haven't had a chance to troubleshoot again.

Fans do come on both when the car is on and when it is off.


Would checking oil from the dipstick be enough to deterimine head gasket status? or would i have to drain oil out to get enough to check for contamination?


i think ill have to save up some more money and take it to a good shop ....


Thanks for all the help guys, any more ideas or suggestions, as allways - is greatly appreciated.

Jose Ray - Calm down.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Sometimes the head gasket leak will be so small that you won't see air bubbles coming out of the radiator cap to realize it's starting to go. When I just blew mine a few weeks ago, I could see air shooting out of my cap with it open and the car was at operating temperature, it was combustion gases. In my instance, though, oil was not getting into the coolant and coolant wasn't getting into the oil, the leak was letting coolant get into the combustion chamber. You can check your spark plugs and see if the coolant is crystalizing on your spark plugs. It will be a hard material and be lightly green assuming your coolant is green. You can also get a leak down test, but I would only do this if you can't find the solution anywhere else since it costs, unless you have money. You can get it done for anywhere from 50 to 125 dollars. The only reason I was guesstimating that your have a possible head gasket leak is that you're constantly driving the car while overheated. This begs for you to spring a leak in your head gasket.

You didn't answer if you were losing coolant, 'though. The coolant level should stay full unless you have an external leak. If you don't have an external leak and you're constantly going through coolant, then it's usually going into the combustion chamber. You will notice high rpms start bogging as a result.

Also, does the lower hose get hot? If it doesn't then I would recommend pulling the thermostat out and putting the thermostat gasket back in and seeing if the car overheats. If it doesn't, and you don't lose coolant, then it's probably the thermostat.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:28 PM   #21
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

pulled a spark plug and it does kind of look like green on the bottom side of the top piece that hovers over the needle tip - and it almost smelled like coolant.

How much does a head gasket cost to replace?
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Have a shop with a 5-gas analyzer check for the presence of hydrocarbons ( HC's ) and carbonmonoxide ( CO ) in the cooling system. This is a very reliable way to test for a blown head gasket. You can also perform a compression test or a leakdown test. Though, the 5-gas is going to be conclusive.

As to the overheating, use a pyrometer ( infrared temperature gun ) to monitor the system as it warms up. You can confirm the temp the thermostat opens, the temp at which the fans cycle on and you can measure the radiator for uneven cooling.

I suspect either low flow in the cooling system or a cylinder head gasket failure.

Diagnose, then repair.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: 92 honda accord EX overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by jose ray View Post
HEY GUYS I NEED SOME HELP FOR THIS I DO NO GET THIS WHY THIS THING OVERHEATIN...
If you have a question, post it politely IN YOUR OWN THREAD.
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A "dizzy" is that magical thing you replace when your car wont start.
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Ok so youre saying I should replace the whole "dizzy" ?
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:13 PM   #24
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

By the way, just to make sure, you have a proper coolant/distilled water mix in the cooling system, right? Water will boil at 212F and your car will overheat eventually.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: 96 honda accord EX overheating

Thanks phootbag.

i am using the proper coolant - i just bought the pre mixed stuff from autozone so i should really say that i am using the most proper coolant my budget will allow :D


I do have a temp gun, how do you tell when the thermostat opens? will it be audible over the noise of the engine?

Also, when the engine is cool, if i start it up and remove the radiator cap can i check for flow or will it spill out?

if it is supposed to flow, but doesn't and spills out everywhere imma have radiator replaced.

just replaced the fan/temp switch that plugs into the thermostat housing - no test results yet.
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