Honda Civic / Del Sol (1992 - 2000) EG/EH/EJ/EK/EM1 Discussion

Civic Radiator Leak

 
Old 08-07-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Civic Radiator Leak

Well I started smelling coolant while driving, so after letting my car cool down, I realized my radiator was low, and the foam at the top of the radiator was wet. So I topped the radiator off, along with the reservoir, and started the car up. The foam at the top of the radiator built up coolant. I'm not sure if it's the cap, cause there's no line of coolant going from the cap to the foam, but I could be wrong. I'm going to be going to Autozone tomorrow for a pressure tester to see if thats it. But I read it can also be a hairline crack in the radiator. How can I tell the difference? If it's a hairline crack, will it still hold pressure, just leak?

I have a friend with a spare radiator he'll let go for $40, but I'd much rather pay just the $10 for a new radiator cap.

Any help is much appreciated! I have a video of the leak uploading right now, should be ready in about 25-30 minutes.

Edit:
Oh yeah, car is not overheating at all.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Just replace the radiator. Leaks from that top seam of the radiator are VERY common. Easy job.

96-00 Civics:


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Old 08-07-2010, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

REPLACE IT
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

I can't get a new one for a couple days, car alright to drive? I mean it's been smelling of coolant for almost 2 weeks now(I'm a dumbass for not checking sooner) and it hasn't overheated once. Or leaked all that badly.

And no chance at all it can be just the cap? Not trying to be cheap, but have a **** ton of college expenses coming up, and this was honestly the last thing I needed to happen.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

It's highly unlikely to be caused by a bad cap. But it would not hurt to pressure test the system. I recommend, however, that you stop driving the car until you fix the problem because otherwise you risk destroying the engine by overheating.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

http://vimeo.com/13968069

Theres a video of the leak. And I'll do everything I can to get it replaced tomorrow. Such shitty timing, since I have to drive 50 miles each way to my college to talk to a financial aid counseler, and I have no-one to drive me haha.

Edit:
I'm also 99% sure it doesn't leak when the cars not running. Not sure if that means anything.

And thank you so much for the advice!
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

There's a seam at the top front of the radiator. It is a common site for leaks. From what I can see, that's your problem.

What year?
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Order a new aluminum radiator from radiator barn. Mine cost $67 and was easy to put in. They had it at my door the next day (warehouses across the country). Only bitch was my stock cap didn't fit had to get a shorter one from autozone. I looked at your video and that cap looks like the short one I bought. I drive 184 miles a day at around ~90 mph and it always runs cool.

http://www.radiatorbarn.com/
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
There's a seam at the top front of the radiator. It is a common site for leaks. From what I can see, that's your problem.

What year?
1996 EX D16Y8

Originally Posted by strategy400 View Post
Order a new aluminum radiator from radiator barn. Mine cost $67 and was easy to put in. They had it at my door the next day (warehouses across the country). Only bitch was my stock cap didn't fit had to get a shorter one from autozone. I drive 184 miles a day at around ~90 mph and it always runs cool.

http://www.radiatorbarn.com/
I got a friend and a local forum member each with a stock one that came out of a running car. $35 and $40 a piece. If those don't pan out I'll look into that! Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Originally Posted by Skeetzy View Post
1996 EX D16Y8
The diagram I posted pertains to your Civic. It's a very easy job. Buy some 50:50 coolant to refill after draining. Then bleed the system:
-----------------
Bleeding may take 20-30 minutes:

1) Park the car on an inclined driveway with the front end higher than the rear.

2) Push the dash heater lever/**** to MAX heat.

3) Follow the directions in the diagram below


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Old 08-07-2010, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Sweet sounds good. Looks like I have a fun day ahead of me tomorrow. To get the radiator off, do I have to take the front bumper and what not off?
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Originally Posted by Skeetzy View Post
To get the radiator off, do I have to take the front bumper and what not off?
No, read the diagram. It's all there.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:18 AM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Going to pick up a Radiator later in the afternoon, and doing the swap today. Thanks everyone!

$25 for a radiator with fan and upper and lower hoses still. So good replacements in case something goes wrong. Came out of the guys running car, and I've bought parts off him before, so I scored a good deal haha.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Just swapped the other one in. Seems to be holding fluid just fine. Have to bleed it some more. But my car is already almost all the way warmed up, but the radiator fan never comes on. I know on my radiator before it was a rare occasion for the fan to come on. The car never seems to get hot enough. This a problem?
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Civics tend to run on the cold side. Only be concerned if the temp gauge rises above normal.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

make sure NO hot air is coming through the vents. So press the recirculate button and make sure the fan dial is set to OFF.
Rev the engine at 2300-2500 rpms, this will speed up the bleeding process by getting it to operating temp quicker. Make sure to have the reservoir at the max line before you bleed. some of that fluid will be sucked into the radiator to fill the air pockets.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

I just had the car sit at operating pressure for 20 minutes with the cap off, and turned the heat on and off. Got a lot of air bubbles out. Topped it off as it needed. Ran it for about 5 minutes with no bubbles at all. I'll keep an eye on the levels everytime the car cools down and I can open the radiator.

And during that 20 minutes, the temp gauge never went above normal(a little below half on the temp gauge).

And the fan never came on once.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Just replace the radiator. Leaks from that top seam of the radiator are VERY common. Easy job.
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
There's a seam at the top front of the radiator. It is a common site for leaks. From what I can see, that's your problem.
I have a 2001 Civic, and my radiator is also leaking. I suspect that where it's leaking is the seam, but I don' tknow where the seam is. It is leaking from under the upper radiator hose, around this crimping, somewhere in there I think. Is the seam in this picture?

Thanks.

Last edited by civicinin; 10-09-2012 at 05:27 AM. Reason: clarification; bad image link
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
There's a seam at the top front of the radiator. It is a common site for leaks. From what I can see, that's your problem.]There's a seam at the top front of the radiator. It is a common site for leaks. From what I can see, that's your problem.

What year?
?[/QUOTE]?[/QUOTE]
That's exactly where I found my little crack, I tried to fix a section with epoxy but it appears to go all the way across or at least it seems to now. The guy at OReillys said to put some Bardollin the radiator because that worked for his Toyota till he hit a deer.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Civic Radiator Leak

Please don't bump old dead threads. This thread's last reply was 4 years ago, and the main discussion was 6 years ago.

Also for all who read this. Don't put in any sort of "radiator sealant" product. It clogs and goops up all kinds of nasty in the engine.

The best advise is spend the 100 dollars at the parts store for a Spectra brand replacement with lifetime warranty and swap out the leaky one with the new one. It's a very simple fix, not costly and is SOOOO much better for the engine and systems.
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