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Old 02-13-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
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Overheating Problem, heater not working, irregular idle

I am having troubles with my car. My heater hasn't worked (unless on highway) for weeks, even after car is warmed up. And my temperature gage sky rockets after the engine warms up when I'm driving. I've been told that it could be the thermostat. The coolant is emptying from the reservoir within minutes of driving and I have to refill. Could someone please help?

Also, I know my exhaust has holes in it and I think it might be causing the idle to oscillate up and down. I read on here that the lack of back pressure can cause that. Is that most likely the problem?
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Old 02-13-2009, 2:56 AM   #2
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Hey bud. Try finding one of those infra-red pyrometers that you just point to measure the temp of something. If you can, measure the temperature on the inlet on the radiator and the outlet. If its a dramatic difference, like 190in and 150out, your radiator is most likely stopped up somewhere on one of the end tanks. If coolant is dumping into the overflow reservoir then its most likely on the outlet end IF its a stopped up unit. That could cause an overheating problem, overflow, and no circulation in the heater core.

Thats just the first scenario I thought of given the symptoms. Still, might be something else.

As to the idle, could be a bad TP Sensor or MAP sensor. Again, could be something else all together.
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Old 02-13-2009, 3:01 AM   #3
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first of all, do you have a 2.5 or 3.2?
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Old 02-13-2009, 9:48 AM   #4
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It's a 3.2

Thanks for your help Adam
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Old 02-13-2009, 9:57 AM   #5
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^^ either a radiator like mentioned before or head gasket in my opinion.. dont heat that engine up! you'll cook everything trust me
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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thermostat not operating properly
Possible plugged-dirty radiator
Possible blown head asket for idle and coolant loss

How is the level in the engine oil on the dipstick- brown- foamy- above full?
And the radiator- open cap when cold- is it full- is it nice green, has it ever been replaced with the water pump?
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:22 AM   #7
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cheap thermostat and radiator test is to feel the 2 hoses with the BACK side of your hand- one should be medium and the other hot
both hot or one cold is bad news

has the temp ever hit redline? even once?
plan on head gasket for at least one set of cylinders plus fixing the water pump or rad/thermo problem
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Is the exhaust leak at the rear muffler or more forward?

Exhaust leaks also allow much colder air back into the system and engine- with possible valve damage
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #9
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Yeah, the temp has hit redline a few times but only for a minute. But the engine never felt hot. I checked the oil, it was above full but it wasn't brown or foamy. The radiator is full and is also green. Don't know if it's been replaced. I've owned this car for two years and haven't had a single problem with it. I called a mechanic and he thinks it's the engine or something. Says it will prob cost $1500 to $2500 depending on the severity of the situation. I'm gonna take it in later to get tested but I thought some of you would give me a heads up. I'm sorry I don't know much about car problems, which is why I'm asking for help here....thanks for all your replys
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:31 AM   #10
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The exhaust leak it towards the front. Pretty much in the center of the car.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:36 PM   #11
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Start with this:

new thermostat
new radiator cap
new coolant + full flush
bleed system with heater on high following this DIY: http://www.acura-legend.com/vbulletin/883766-post7.html


are there any coolant leaks? How many miles do you have and has the radiator ever been replaced?

With the old coolant, check if theres a burnt oil smell in it. Is your oil milky or watered down looking?

get these things checked out and let us know.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
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before you replace parts -go borrow a pressure tester from the parts store
Pump the system to 15 psi and find out where the coolant is going- the res bottle doesnt empty unless the engine pulls it in- or its leaking itself

The oil should not be above full so keep an eye on it- water may be leaking in

great mechanic- must be the engine!! gee thanks for the diagnosis dude

Is there white smoke from the exhaust on startup?
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #13
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since its been redlined more than once- and I dont care about how hot it felt~
It should get a test for blown head gsasket
Simple sniffer used at radiator will say if exhaust is getting into it
Compression test will show if rings and valves are ok- or if a gasket is blown (most likely head gasket)
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Old 02-14-2009, 1:20 PM   #14
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If it is a blown head gasket that is $$$. My car was leaking a lot of coolant and then I got it checked out and it ended up being my radiator. I got my radiator replaced and it has been fine since. Good luck with everything.
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Old 02-14-2009, 6:47 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of your help. I'm gonna bleed the system as desired speeds suggested and see if that helps. I am also taking it into a mechanic for a diagnosis on Monday. I will let you what the problems are and maybe I can fix myself.
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Old 02-14-2009, 8:16 PM   #16
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definetly bleed the system- heater on high hot- cabin fan running-
follow the book directions exactly
https://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/...01_OMANUAL.asp
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Old 02-17-2009, 8:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justbre View Post
I am having troubles with my car. My heater hasn't worked (unless on highway) for weeks, even after car is warmed up. And my temperature gage sky rockets after the engine warms up when I'm driving. I've been told that it could be the thermostat. The coolant is emptying from the reservoir within minutes of driving and I have to refill. Could someone please help?

Also, I know my exhaust has holes in it and I think it might be causing the idle to oscillate up and down. I read on here that the lack of back pressure can cause that. Is that most likely the problem?
Well, either do a search on my recent postings, or do a little searching here. I did a heck (If I do say so myself) of basically exactly what you are seeing with my step by step diagnostics (doing the work myself) where I started with the basics. If you did a search with some of your symptoms it should have popped up.

Bottom line - Head gasket is in your future...

Pressure testing may not show anything (trust me, I've tested a number of engines...)

The job is pretty big. Time is the killer.

If you are around MD, let me know. Personally, I would want $1,600 in labor plus materials and an additional $100 to have the heads shaved.

Plan on changing the rear heater hoses while you are in there at a minimum.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:04 AM   #18
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As it turned out, I did have a head gasket problem. The mechanic quoted me $2500 but that it could be more if he came across any other problems. As much as I love this car, it's not worth the money to fix when other problems could arrive in the near future. It's also got a rebuilt title which means other problems are on the way. I live in Southeastern Washington state and no where around any mechanics that would cut me a deal. I'm gonna sell for $500 or so and buy another car. My dad's gotta 2003 Honda Element he's gonna sell for 5 grand so I think that's what I'll do. Thank you everyone who replied to try and help me out, I appreciate it.
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Old 02-24-2009, 7:34 AM   #19
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I don't know where you live, but I put in a used engine that cost me $750.00 and about $500.00 to install it with all the rings and gasket.
According to the car fax report, the new engine only had 39k m but I doubt that is true.

That's an option.
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Old 02-25-2009, 7:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
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As it turned out, I did have a head gasket problem. The mechanic quoted me $2500 but that it could be more if he came across any other problems. As much as I love this car, it's not worth the money to fix when other problems could arrive in the near future. It's also got a rebuilt title which means other problems are on the way. I live in Southeastern Washington state and no where around any mechanics that would cut me a deal. I'm gonna sell for $500 or so and buy another car. My dad's gotta 2003 Honda Element he's gonna sell for 5 grand so I think that's what I'll do. Thank you everyone who replied to try and help me out, I appreciate it.
No surprises in the outcome or price, or the figures.

Getting into the element is probably better for you in the long run.

If you were closer, could be interested - depending on the miles. My bet is you have around 150K

You could part it out, but that takes a ton of time and dealing with idiots locally sometimes.
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Old 02-25-2009, 9:49 PM   #21
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Meazz1 - I considered putting in a newer engine(mine has 140K) but when I looked into it, there were none in the area and I'm a full time student and don't really have time for that nor the skills. The TL's going bye bye.

racerock - I also considered parting it out but as you said it does take a lot of time. Something I don't have a lot of.

Thanks for your replies. It's nice to find people who know what they are talking about. I think most of you on here suggested that it was a blown head gasket. Good call everyone. Guess, I'll have to wait until I graduate then buy a new one.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:50 AM   #22
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sell the car for $500? are you retarded? and $2500 for a head gasket is to much.. do you really need the $500? if not go buy a different car or whatever and replace it yourself.. it might take you even a week, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.. ive been there before.
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Old 02-26-2009, 5:05 PM   #23
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sell the car for $500? are you retarded? and $2500 for a head gasket is to much.. do you really need the $500? if not go buy a different car or whatever and replace it yourself.. it might take you even a week, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.. ive been there before.
^ I agree with you on that. The parts on this car if parted out can get you over $500. Parts for our 1st gen are expensive man, even used ones. Save the car, and whenever you have the time experiment with it.
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Old 03-01-2009, 1:08 AM   #24
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justbre, what area are you from?

EDIT: Nm...I see that in an earlier post you mentioned SE Washington...

A also must agree with the other folks here though...$2500 is way too much to repair the BHG and swapping in another engine will give you a good solid car for quite a few more years...

Last edited by sam o nela; 03-01-2009 at 1:12 AM.
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Old 03-01-2009, 9:23 AM   #25
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Meazz1 - I considered putting in a newer engine(mine has 140K) but when I looked into it, there were none in the area and I'm a full time student and don't really have time for that nor the skills. The TL's going bye bye.

racerock - I also considered parting it out but as you said it does take a lot of time. Something I don't have a lot of.

Thanks for your replies. It's nice to find people who know what they are talking about. I think most of you on here suggested that it was a blown head gasket. Good call everyone. Guess, I'll have to wait until I graduate then buy a new one.
Yep, figured it was around 150K miles

The books say around 15 or 16 hours plus parts, plus any machine work for this job. Add to that the timing belt, water pump while you are in there, $2K - $2,500 from a good shop is reasonable.

If you were closer, I'd buy the car to fix - if it is the one in your avatar. You could put it on fleabay...
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Old 10-31-2009, 1:00 PM   #26
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sorry for stealing this thread. i cant creat my own thread yet thats why i am posting here.

basically. the same thing is happening to me.
1.) overheat only sometimes ( when it does over heat there are leakin coolant)
2.) Vents blow cold air
3.) idle kinda rough when it starts to over heat.

can some 1 help me asap!! thankss
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:10 AM   #27
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Similar Trouble

Hello all,

I have a similar problem with my car overheating and internal heater not working but I have different indicators of the trouble. Was wondering if you could help me diagnose.

I've got corrosion in the coolant tank - loose debris. My engine is overheating - when this happened with a previous car I owned, I would just turn the heater on to relieve the heat off the engine (just for a few days until I got it fixed). However, when I tried to do that with this car, the heater just blew freezing cold air and the engine temperature continued to rise.

I'm going to be getting a new car in the next few months so I only need this car to get me by until then. Does this sound like something that could be diagnosed and fixed or band-aided for a few months or does it sound like something more serious? I thought, given the debris in the coolant tank, perhaps something just got clogged?

Thanks!
Jude
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:43 PM   #28
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Yes something may be clogged, i'd do a full flush and then make sure to bleed any air in the system.
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