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Old 10-08-2010, 11:11 PM   #1
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Overheating, no heat inside...head gasket????

97 TL 3.6 217K

Car running poorly at times, usually when started warm. Kind of a chugging, surging at low idle like something was creating back pressure. The whole car would shake at times. Usually straightened out under acceleration. Then temp gauge started intermittently bouncing up to the top and then slowly drifting back down to the normal range. No heat coming through the vents even though temperature gauge was pinned to the top. Then suddenly lots of heat.

Had the thermostat replaced twice. Problem seemed to go away for a week then return. Had another shop do some diagnostic work (radiator combustion test?) and they say the head gasket/s is/are shot or the heads themselves need replacing.

My oil looks normal, no smoke from pipe, coolant is at normal level and I am not adding any.

Went for a drive today and temperature gauge started to slowly climb. Turned the heat to max. No warm air from the vents, temperature continues to rise to max, then suddenly really hot air and temperature falls to normal and stays at normal for the rest of the drive. How can this be head gaskets? I am thinking heater core or some kind of air lock.

I want to sell this car and do not want to spend $2-3K on top end work on a car that is probably not worth more than $2.5K Any suggestions?
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Old 10-09-2010, 3:51 PM   #2
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Try bleeding the system of air. 2.5 or 3.2?
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Old 10-09-2010, 5:02 PM   #3
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I had the same issue, it was just an airpocket and the system needed to be bled.
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Old 10-09-2010, 5:03 PM   #4
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check all your radiator hoses
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Old 10-09-2010, 5:37 PM   #5
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3.2 engine.

Is bleeding the system a DIY, or does a shop have to do it?

When I drove it today, I cranked the heat to max on start up. The temperature gauge stayed in the normal range, and heat came through the vents in a normal amount of time.
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Old 10-09-2010, 7:29 PM   #6
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There is a bleeder on the engine, close to where the top hose goes in. It's a 12mm. Open it carefully when the engine is cold, then start it. After a few min, close it, and let the engine warm up. Then turn it off and crack open the bleeder again. Coolant should ooz out
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Old 10-09-2010, 8:47 PM   #7
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Definitely air pocket if it works intermittently. Try parking on an incline when you bleed it, and search the forum for the step by step instructions. I think I posted them not too long ago.

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Old 10-10-2010, 3:17 PM   #8
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Also, replace your radiator cap
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Old 10-10-2010, 7:56 PM   #9
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Bled the system as per the operating manual. Car now idles smooth, throws heat in a normal amount of time, and the temp gauge stays just below half all the time. Looks like problem solved. So why did the "experts" at a local garage insist replacing the head gasket/ head was the only solution? What a waste of $250 for their diagnosis.

Thanks to all who posted on this thread.
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Old 10-10-2010, 8:10 PM   #10
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Sad to know you had to pay this much for something so simple.
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Old 10-10-2010, 8:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swatter View Post
Bled the system as per the operating manual. Car now idles smooth, throws heat in a normal amount of time, and the temp gauge stays just below half all the time. Looks like problem solved. So why did the "experts" at a local garage insist replacing the head gasket/ head was the only solution? What a waste of $250 for their diagnosis.

Thanks to all who posted on this thread.
Definitely a waste of $250!

They're either immoral or incompetent.
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Old 10-10-2010, 9:11 PM   #12
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Diagnosis, unless having to bring out machinery, should be free. One sure way to know about the headgasket is to look at the oil cap. If it looks like a milkshake, you've got a blown headgasket.

Ken, I think they were both. Almost any one of us could read about what's going on, and provide an accurate assessment of the problem.

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Old 10-10-2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go90go View Post
Diagnosis, unless having to bring out machinery, should be free. One sure way to know about the headgasket is to look at the oil cap. If it looks like a milkshake, you've got a blown headgasket.

Ken, I think they were both. Almost any one of us could read about what's going on, and provide an accurate assessment of the problem.

~Cheers~

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Old 10-11-2010, 7:44 AM   #14
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Why not? It costs nothing to hear out a potential customer. Now that this shop has taken $250 of his money AND given him the wrong diagnosis, he will most likely never return, and most definitely wouldn't refer friends/family to it. That's now a group of customers and cash this shop will never see.

The guy that did the diagnosis also probably doesn't know much about cars, otherwise he would've known to first check for air in the system. If he did know about that and still said it was the headgasket, then it's a rip-off shop that should be avoided.

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Old 10-11-2010, 11:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go90go View Post
Why not? It costs nothing to hear out a potential customer. Now that this shop has taken $250 of his money AND given him the wrong diagnosis, he will most likely never return, and most definitely wouldn't refer friends/family to it. That's now a group of customers and cash this shop will never see.

~Cheers~
Your opinion sucks. If you were a mechanic, would you spend 2-3 hours working on a car that is taking up your shop space for free? The shop that diagnosed his car may be incompetent. They spent time to check it out and therefore should be paid, but they might have just gotten the problem wrong, as not too many people know how to work with these engines. Which brings me to my next point.

You cannot be sure it is not a blown headgasket yet. it can take a few days of driving for air to build back up in the cooling system after you've bled it if you have a seeping head gasket. hopefully that is not the case. A head gasket is not as simple to check as just opening your oil cap to see if the oil is milky. In some cases, oil and air escapes into the cooling system. In other cases it could be the opposite, where coolant goes into the cylinder, or it can always be both. The sure way to check to see if there is a blown head gasket is take out each spark plug, turn the cylinder to TDC and hook up a air compressor (around 150psi) to the each cylinder with the radiator cap off. If there are bubbles of any sort, or even a single bubble, you have a blown head gasket. It takes time to check for a head gasket problem, especially depending whether or not a shop knows exactly how to on these types of engines. You can't expect a shop to work for free.
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Old 10-12-2010, 1:12 AM   #16
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Another way to check for blown head gasket is to use the smog machine probe to look for hydro carbons in cooling system. Open the radiator cap and start the car, then bring the probe close to radiator neck and wait for machine to pick up hydro carbons from coolant. If it reads above (don't recall the number) PPM, its blown head gasket.
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Old 10-12-2010, 1:36 AM   #17
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hey the emissions analyzer is good to use also there is some chemical that you test the coolant for hydrocarbons. I have also seen cracked heads that use up coolant but does not get in oil. Probably best way to pressure test system hot and cold as well.
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Old 10-12-2010, 3:07 AM   #18
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Now, didn't I say that if equipment was taken out and used it shouldn't be free? The OP never said if the guy just listened to him and checked it out or actually tested it.

THAT is why I said if he just listened and said something, then it should be free, not that it should be free all the time.

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Old 10-16-2010, 11:19 AM   #19
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I will second this. Keep an eye on the cooling system now. My problems with both of my motors in my 3.2 are well documented on here. My Type II blew a second head gasket which is when I got rid of the car. Coolant level kept dropping, no milk in the coolant. These head gaskets will go and not always mix with the oil, trust me. Just keep an eye on it and if the rad keeps losing fluid, you need a head gasket.
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Old 07-03-2014, 8:49 AM   #20
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2005 acura rl

Is it possible for the acura to just all of a sudden blow a gasket. I just had my spark pluga and 2 core packs replaced #3 and #6. My brother drove it to make sure the check emission light didn't come back on. He might have dirven 1 1/1 miles and he said the temp gauge started to go up. He stopped and purchased some coolant and put some in. He thought I may have had a hose that was leaking. He drove to destination and he noticed the temp gauge goin gup again. pulle dover and checked to see if he saw anything and he saw water dripping in thebakc but couldn't see exactly where casue the exhaust was hot coming off of the car. Got it back home he said car never cut off, he never let it get up to the H level.


Friend checked the dip stick and saw where the water was just starting to mix with the oil and he said it was a blown gasket and he could tell it had just happened.

Has anyone known this to happen and no signs or nothing just blow?
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Old 07-03-2014, 9:14 AM   #21
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The car was probably loosing coolant somewhere and got hot, which triggered the check engine light for misfiring of cylinder #3 and #6. Continued driving again with the temperature gauge going up before adding in coolant probably made it worst. The head gasket didn't blow out of nowhere; the car had to be running hot at some point. Good luck with everything.
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Old 07-03-2014, 9:14 AM
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