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Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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Old 08-27-2016, 06:55 AM   #26
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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I mentioned more than once the jdm k20a im talking about is the Japanese equivalent of the k20a3 which both have 160hp. Maybe its a simple misunderstanding.
Gotcha yeah you are just going to have a jdm k20a3 swapped in. When i said slow was tslking about... I meant testify. Testify was saying you should get the good k20a out of a type s or ctr.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:25 PM   #27
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

Coolant that was siphoned

Ok well I did the block test from Auto Zone. I siphoned some coolant from the radiator so it wouldn't tamper with the results. I then started the car without the radiator cap on and let it idle for about 10 minutes.


I took the test and the fluid never changed from blue to yellow. Ok maybe the engine wasnt hot enough...so I revved it out a few times and took the test again. Again the fluid didn't turn yellow. Waited a few more minutes and took the test again..still didn't change.

I also noticed the coolant wasn't bubbling like it did at the shop. It was just flowing like a steady stream, like I imagine it should.

I took a few videos of all this but I don't know how to post them?

Maybe it was because I drove for 30 minutes in rush hour traffic before going to that mechanic..so somehow my coolant got extremely hot..bad radiator cap maybe?

Im stumped I was sure the results would show a blown head gasket.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:49 PM   #28
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

It got hot because air is getting into the cooling system from the combustion cylinders on account of the blown head gasket.
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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It got hot because air is getting into the cooling system from the combustion cylinders on account of the blown head gasket.

Im going to try the test again tomorrow after driving the car hard for 30+ minutes tp see if the results are different.


Wouldn't the leak still show up during my previous attempt?
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Old 08-28-2016, 12:04 AM   #30
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

Listen, I'm going to give you the best advice anyone can.

If you don't have a boat load of money to sink into this car, and dont have the mechanical ability to fix it yourself, cut yoyr losses. Sell it and move on.
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:48 AM   #31
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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It got hot because air is getting into the cooling system from the combustion cylinders on account of the blown head gasket.
If "air" was coming in to the coolant from the combustion chamber, said "air" would have fuel mixed in it and his test would have been positive. Slow, have u done a compression test on the motor yet? If u did the hydrocarbon test and compression test shows equal numbers across all cylinders, i think allowable difference is 5 percent variance, and the motor isnt knocking I wouldnt be concerned. You do have a coolant catch can on the motor? If you have a catch can or overflow for your coolant vent which catches venting coolant then you could have a small coolant leak somewhere. Ive seen pinhole leaks in radiator hoses that cause coolant to slowly drop. How many miles did u hsve on the engine since the coolant was filled snd did it stay full?
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:09 PM   #32
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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If "air" was coming in to the coolant from the combustion chamber, said "air" would have fuel mixed in it and his test would have been positive. Slow, have u done a compression test on the motor yet? If u did the hydrocarbon test and compression test shows equal numbers across all cylinders, i think allowable difference is 5 percent variance, and the motor isnt knocking I wouldnt be concerned. You do have a coolant catch can on the motor? If you have a catch can or overflow for your coolant vent which catches venting coolant then you could have a small coolant leak somewhere. Ive seen pinhole leaks in radiator hoses that cause coolant to slowly drop. How many miles did u hsve on the engine since the coolant was filled snd did it stay full?

I agree. The whole point of the block tester is to see if there are gasses are contaminating the cooling system via a blown head gasket.

Earlier today I drove the car around for about 30 minutes. I let the car rest for a few minutes and then retook the test. Again it was negative. I even had my gf rev the car a few times and then take thw test right after.

There might be ssomething going on with my car, but at this point I doubt it's a bad head gasket.

I havent performed a compression test yet. Maybe I can borrow another tool for free to do this?
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:47 PM   #33
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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I agree. The whole point of the block tester is to see if there are gasses are contaminating the cooling system via a blown head gasket.

Earlier today I drove the car around for about 30 minutes. I let the car rest for a few minutes and then retook the test. Again it was negative. I even had my gf rev the car a few times and then take thw test right after.

There might be ssomething going on with my car, but at this point I doubt it's a bad head gasket.

I havent performed a compression test yet. Maybe I can borrow another tool for free to do this?
How recently you have driven the car shouldn't matter much at all to this test as the hydrocarbons are unburnt fuel that get mixed into the coolant when the headgasket starts leaking from the combustion chamber. This fuel will not evaporate out of the system as far as I know and will show a positive even when not recently driven. I guess if you followed the directions and the test said to drive the car first then either way you should be fine. You might be able to rent a compression tester from a local auto parts store. Autozone is a local parts store around here and they rent tools for free with a deposit. If you call a few automotive shops in the area they should be able to compression test a honda for 50 or less as it only requires pulling the spark plugs out and screwing in a tool that measures the pressure in the cylinder.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:53 PM   #34
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

Did you ever figure out the pulling tugging feeling of the vehicle? Pull your spark plug wires out and see if there is oil on the piece that fits down over the plug. Older hondas I've worked on would have bad valve cover gaskets or more specifically the donut gasket that went around the spark plug hole and they would seep a little oil on the plug wires and the cars could suffer all kinds of issues like lack of power and bucking under load because the wires would actually short out with the oil in them instead of sending spark to the plug. It's worth checking.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:16 PM   #35
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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Did you ever figure out the pulling tugging feeling of the vehicle? Pull your spark plug wires out and see if there is oil on the piece that fits down over the plug. Older hondas I've worked on would have bad valve cover gaskets or more specifically the donut gasket that went around the spark plug hole and they would seep a little oil on the plug wires and the cars could suffer all kinds of issues like lack of power and bucking under load because the wires would actually short out with the oil in them instead of sending spark to the plug. It's worth checking.

Hey,

No I never figured out the tugging while under acceleration. Im going to try changing the spark plugs next to see if anything changes. Im.aldo wondering if thw brakes could have something to do with it.

The tugging is most noticable in the lower rpms under hard acceleration. .once I rev out to about 4-5k the problem either dissapears or is less noticable.

I also noticed what appears to be coolant leaking from the front, right where the radiator cap is. It kind of dribbles down on my front bumber. I cleaned the area and put a dry cloth around thw radiator cap to see if I capture moisture.

Also the radiator caps spring (in the middle) appears to be stuck..there is no springy action. I confirmed this by checking my 2002 civic ex radiator cap as well.
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:41 PM   #36
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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Hey,

No I never figured out the tugging while under acceleration. Im going to try changing the spark plugs next to see if anything changes. Im.aldo wondering if thw brakes could have something to do with it.

The tugging is most noticable in the lower rpms under hard acceleration. .once I rev out to about 4-5k the problem either dissapears or is less noticable.

I also noticed what appears to be coolant leaking from the front, right where the radiator cap is. It kind of dribbles down on my front bumber. I cleaned the area and put a dry cloth around thw radiator cap to see if I capture moisture.

Also the radiator caps spring (in the middle) appears to be stuck..there is no springy action. I confirmed this by checking my 2002 civic ex radiator cap as well.
Oh so there is a radiator leak... So its probably not the headgasket. Idk man you might wanna take it back to that mechanic and have him replace the head gasket just in case .
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:53 PM   #37
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

If there is air in the system, the motor will run hot and boil the coolant.

It's sounds like he might need a new cap. But I don't think you can rule out a bad HG based on the info you have.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:33 PM   #38
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I changed the spark plugs..here are the old ones. Haven't tried driving the car to notice a difference.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:07 PM   #39
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Those look pretty old but the electrodes dont look all that bad. Except for maybe the second to the left is it full of carbon or something?
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:53 PM   #40
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Those plugs are definitely melted. You can see where they are making a circuit instead of a spark.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:31 AM   #41
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

I'd want to see the results of a compression check before going the route of an engine swap. Knowing an engine swap is only $1k is at least a bit reassuring. Check coolant and oil every time you fill up the car.
Buckling noises in the front could also be strut mount bearings...mine make noise when I make sharp turns in parking lots. Jack your car up and take a close look at the control arm bushings and see if there's any play in them and if they're actually split inside the joint, or just on the outer edge.

I had a spark plug break apart right after I got my car. The honda dealership I had it towed to recommended a replacement engine. Of course, once the warranty claim was denied (who would actually expect an OEM spark plug to last past 80k miles, when the service interval was over 100k miles) they put it back together and the compression test was near perfect. Two years later it still drives like new(ish).

It looks like the "observation" about a dark tailpipe is more of a "keep an eye on it" note...rather than a "you need a new engine" note. Don't panic.

As far as the compressor leaking...ask them to check the pressure in your system. If it were leaking, you'd be low on refrigerant.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:58 AM   #42
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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Originally Posted by slow99dx View Post
Coolant that was siphoned

Ok well I did the block test from Auto Zone. I siphoned some coolant from the radiator so it wouldn't tamper with the results. I then started the car without the radiator cap on and let it idle for about 10 minutes.


I took the test and the fluid never changed from blue to yellow. Ok maybe the engine wasnt hot enough...so I revved it out a few times and took the test again. Again the fluid didn't turn yellow. Waited a few more minutes and took the test again..still didn't change.

I also noticed the coolant wasn't bubbling like it did at the shop. It was just flowing like a steady stream, like I imagine it should.

I took a few videos of all this but I don't know how to post them?

Maybe it was because I drove for 30 minutes in rush hour traffic before going to that mechanic..so somehow my coolant got extremely hot..bad radiator cap maybe?

Im stumped I was sure the results would show a blown head gasket.
You should wait for the radiator fan to come on, thats how you'll know when its completely ready for your combustion test.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:00 AM   #43
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

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I found a place locally that will put in a k20a ( he said its the japanese equivalent of the 160hp k20a3) for 1k. $399.00 for the engine and $600.00 for labor.

The engines supposedly have 60k miles and are all conpression tested. 90 day warranty.

They also have k24a that would be about $300 more total for the swap, but they said it might not pass ca smog.

I might try this as my last resort to save the black dragon.
If this is really the option you're leaning towards than might I suggest getting whatever you need done before dropping in the motor any seals you can't get to, gaskets, etc..etc..
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:33 PM   #44
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Default Re: Took my new ep3 to a mechanic.

Ok, so tonight I went to drive my gf home (who lives a few blocks in the same tract) and noticed what smelt like rubber burning. A few seconds later I seen white smoke coming from my front right, under the hood.

I drove a few hundered feet more and parked my car and shut the engine off. My car was still smoking so I opened the hood. The smoke appeared to be coming from the bottom left of my engine. Im not very mechanically inclined so I dont know where from exactly.

Maybe a minute passes and the smoke stops. I turn my engine back on and now hear what sounds like a knocking/pinging noise. I drive the car around the block and the knocking gets louder as the rpms rise.

I drive home with the knocking sound continuing but still no more smoke.


Maybe I did have a blown head gasket all along (even though the block test was negative) and finally the engine gave out? My car hasnt been giving me problems since I bought it and it has never overheated.
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:25 AM   #45
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Sounds like your AC compressor is seizing up. As the bearings in your compressor seize they'll start to make a ton of noise. Does is sound kind of like a shoe in the dryer? If this is the case the noise should get louder when the RPMs increase. If the compressor seizes completely, your drive belt (aka serpentine belt) will start to smoke as it rubs on the (stationary) AC pulley. If your water pump seized it'd probably have similar symptoms the same thing (and also result in overheating).

There are a few threads on bypassing the AC compressor by using a shorter belt. I considered that as a temporary fix when my compressor died, but wound up replacing the compressor evaporator & receiver/dryer.

I'm not a mechanic. I'd say remove the drive belt (pretty easy to do) and spin the AC compressor by hand to see if it turns freely or is noisy. Don't let the car run for more than a few moments without the drive belt, because that belt also turns the water pump (which keeps coolant moving through your engine).
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:57 AM   #46
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Sounds like your AC compressor is seizing up. As the bearings in your compressor seize they'll start to make a ton of noise. Does is sound kind of like a shoe in the dryer? If this is the case the noise should get louder when the RPMs increase. If the compressor seizes completely, your drive belt (aka serpentine belt) will start to smoke as it rubs on the (stationary) AC pulley. If your water pump seized it'd probably have similar symptoms the same thing (and also result in overheating).

There are a few threads on bypassing the AC compressor by using a shorter belt. I considered that as a temporary fix when my compressor died, but wound up replacing the compressor evaporator & receiver/dryer.

I'm not a mechanic. I'd say remove the drive belt (pretty easy to do) and spin the AC compressor by hand to see if it turns freely or is noisy. Don't let the car run for more than a few moments without the drive belt, because that belt also turns the water pump (which keeps coolant moving through your engine).

Thank you. This makes sense. When I bought the car the seller told me the ac didn't work, and if you tried to turn on the ac the rpms would rise and fluctuate and make a weird noise. And yes the noise does sound like a shoe in the dryer. Also the smoke did appear to be coming from that large belt on the left side of the engine.

I also noticed before this happened that my car had a dry rough sounding idle, but the rpms were fine and the car has never overheated so just thought it was normal.

Im going to read more about this issue and hopefully find a way to by pass the ac all together as I dont need it at this time.
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