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Old 04-02-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
johnsona76315
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Default head gasket help

2004 honda civic Dx (1.7 L)


My question is about my potential head gasket problem. My car has been overheating, after a few hours of use, for a while and I fear I may have blown my head gasket. My radiator wont keep fluid in it like it should, as I consistently have to add more fluid every other day. A pressure test indicated no leak so I assume it must be burning, not losing the fluid. I also have noticed my oil running low way too fast (for instance, I changed it about 2k miles ago and it's already very low). My exhaust pipe has black residue in it, and just recently I looked at my spark plugs (because my car was "chug-a-lugging" upon starting and upon accelerating) and I noticed oil inside the 4 chambers.

Is this a blown head gasket, or some other gasket? or a blown head? or anything else? any advice on what I can do to determine which of these it is?

Thanks,
Andrew.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: head gasket help

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsona76315 View Post
2004 honda civic Dx (1.7 L)


My question is about my potential head gasket problem. My car has been overheating, after a few hours of use, for a while and I fear I may have blown my head gasket. My radiator wont keep fluid in it like it should, as I consistently have to add more fluid every other day. A pressure test indicated no leak so I assume it must be burning, not losing the fluid. I also have noticed my oil running low way too fast (for instance, I changed it about 2k miles ago and it's already very low). My exhaust pipe has black residue in it, and just recently I looked at my spark plugs (because my car was "chug-a-lugging" upon starting and upon accelerating) and I noticed oil inside the 4 chambers.

Is this a blown head gasket, or some other gasket? or a blown head? or anything else? any advice on what I can do to determine which of these it is?

Thanks,
Andrew.
Have you noticed if the oil was a milky color? That would be a dead give-away that the coolant and the oil is mixing (which is a guaranteed blown head gasket). If you're consistently burning through oil and coolant, I would definitely put head gasket high up on the list of probably causes.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: head gasket help

It is a little less-transparent than it probably should be, but I would say it is as milky as some of the pictures I just googled (lol).

My next question was going to be: when getting this fixed, should I purchase just a simple head gasket (online), or do I need to buy head bolts, or any other types of gaskets? Because as I've been reading, I may need to replace many types of gaskets as well (which I am totally unfamiliar with.) OR should I just bring it to a trusted mechanic and see what he thinks... I ask this because I'd like to buy the parts I need online and bring them to the mechanic (generally a more affordable option I assume)... Any opinions on my newb-philosophy?
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: head gasket help

!!".., but I would'NT say it is as milky as some of the pictures I just googled..."
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: head gasket help

If you have ARP head bolts, reusing them should be okay. If you're uncomfortable with that, buy new ones.

You should also buy a new valve cover gasket in addition to the head gasket.

Have the head inspected for warpage, as well as camshaft end-play, valves, etc. An overall inspection. You might consider having a new camshaft oil seal(s) installed while you're at it.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: head gasket help

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Originally Posted by It Wasn't Me View Post
You should also buy a new valve cover gasket in addition to the head gasket.
Gasket should come as a set that includes rings for the spark plugs. You need liquid gasket with that also. The liquid gasket goes on the corners of the gasket where it goes over the cam.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: head gasket help

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Originally Posted by lazlong
You need liquid gasket with that also.
I've gotten by without it, but yeah, it is recommended to use it on the bottom of the corners where it arches over the cam. I'm sure his mechanic would know that. (at least I hope he would)





Edit: You edited your post while I was replying.

The gaskets (plug tube seals, and valve cover gasket) don't always come as a set.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: head gasket help

How does your overflow tank look?

Does it keep filling? Is it oily inside?
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: head gasket help

YES MarkM01! it is definitely oily and nasty inside and for a while I didnt think it was pulling fluid from it because it just stayed very high. But just yesterday it was low so i guess it pulled some out of it.
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: head gasket help

-- what does this mean MarkM01? and thanks to everyone else!!

Last edited by johnsona76315; 04-03-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: head gasket help

It means you're mixing oil and coolant together. If you're lucky it's just a bad gasket. There are worse possible causes.


Start with removing the cylinder head, then have someone check to make sure it isn't warped or cracked.

If the warpage is less than .05 mm (.002") you don't need to worry about it.

If the warpage is between .05 mm (.002") and .2 mm (.008") you'll need to have it machined.

Maximum resurface limit is .2 mm (.008") based on a height of 93 mm (3.7")
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: head gasket help

thanks a bunch. I'm gonna have it looked at tomorrow.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: head gasket help

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Originally Posted by johnsona76315 View Post
YES MarkM01! it is definitely oily and nasty inside and for a while I didnt think it was pulling fluid from it because it just stayed very high. But just yesterday it was low so i guess it pulled some out of it.

Cylinder pressure is higher then the pressure checker you put on the cooling system with your tool. 30 psi compared to 150 psi, or so. So even though it's holding the 30, doesn't mean it'll hold the 150.

So cylinder pressure is pressurizing your cooling system at a pressure higher then your rad cap can hold, so it's blowing coolant past it, and filling the tank.

Even when mine is cold, if I remove the cap, there is positive pressure in the rad.

That's my conclusion anyways.

Mine is doing the EXACT same thing. I'm replacing the head this week.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: head gasket help

mine is also producing pressure cold, makes sense. thanks mark!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: head gasket help

i had a bad head gasket but no milky oil or oil in coolant. if you car has white smoke from exuast then its a head gasket and the oil problem get a complete valve cove gasket set
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