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95 Honda Accord LX running a little hot.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by warwick.hoy, Nov 3, 2013.


  1. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    1995 Honda Accord LX Station Wagon. 4 cylinder. Manual Transmission. 200k on the odometer. Well cared for although it's probably due for a timing belt change.

    In doing some running around yesterday, including some highway driving. I noticed my car running a bit on the hot side. The coolant level is low in the overflow tank so I intend to top that off. I'm a right in thinking that these cars require a different type of coolant than the green stuff?

    When I'm moving along the temp gauge hovers just below the halfway point, which is higher than it has run in the past. When I'm idling the temp gauge creeps up past the halfway mark.

    At one of my destinations after a hard drive up a long grade, I made a 3 point turn to position my car in a driveway facing towards the road. The temp gauge crept dangerously high. I noticed that hot engine smell. Shut the engine off and one of the two electric fans associated with the radiator was engaged (passenger side).

    I let the car sit for a bit while we visited with friends. On the trip back home is when I was really paying attention to the temp gauge and noticing the fluctuations when traveling and when idling. Upon arrival; this is were the temp gauge sat after idling the car for a few minutes.

    [​IMG]

    Let the car sit overnight and haven't driven it since.

    This morning I ran my car for about 20 minutes with the hood up and the temp gauge never got past where it normally runs at. Inspecting the engine I did notice that a small hose had worked it's way loose from the head cover. There was air coming out of the head cover where the hose would normally be attached. The hose runs from the air filter tube to the head cover.

    [​IMG]

    I've put the hose back on but haven't taken the car on a test drive as of yet. I'm waiting for my wife to come back home with the debit card before heading to NAPA to get some coolant.

    Perhaps that hose being off was dumping hot air into the engine bay and causing the engine to run abnormally hot? What is that hose for?

    I had initially intended to take the car into a Honda Specific mechanic (he get's all my business when it comes to repairs for the Honda, highly competent, excellent customer service, doesn't gouge you on labor). Is it worth taking it in?
     
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    The air is from the crankcase. As pistons move up and down air pumps. It contains gasses that will burn and the tube recycles it over to the intake. Shouldn't make the engine heat up. The temp is internal water temp.

    Increased heat could be a clogged radiator passage, collapsed coolant hose, thermostat faulty or many other things with that age of engine. Just keep your eye in it until you can get it in. It is ok the operate it at that temp for now.
     
  3. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Thanks.

    to clarify the coolant level in the overflow tank is at the minimum level mark. I haven't pulled the rad cap yet and I'm not really sure what to look for.

    Any explanation as to why the coolant level would be so low? I haven't noticed any antifreeze on the ground or leaks.
     
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    It evaporates. Also if it is leaking say at the water pump it may be trapped under a cover. It may leak at a very slow rate and pool on a lower engine splash cover if you have them. Some rads have plastic tops and when hot, the pressure blows steam out small age cracks. You may not visually notice it until it gets really bad.

    Have you had the timing belt and water pump changed?
     
  5. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Checking the records from the previous owner.

    Timing belt and water pump replaced at 127,000 miles. July of 2005.
     
  6. Junk420

    Junk420

    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    Is your rad fan coming on when idling? Could be a temp switch for your fan, thermostats and hostings tend to leak on a lot of older Honda's. Also, if your exhaust is white and smells sweet, it's burning coolant. That could be a head gasket or a few different things, but your car would run like **** if that was the problem.

    Park your car and put a piece of cardboard under the motor, check in the morning for leaks. A lot of older Honda's have aluminum rads with plastic end tanks. The tanks tend to crack with repeated temperature cycles.
     
  7. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Evansville
    Could be a head gasket , intake leak or even a very small leak you haven't found yet.

    Pull the oil dipstick and make sure your oil isn't whitish in color or an abnormal color . If it is that is where your coolant is going.



    I had a Toyota Avalon with 250k on it that I had to top off the coolant about every month or so . I just kept the bottle at the full mark.

    Never found a leak and it always ran fine .

    Could be any number of reasons .

    Good luck
     
  8. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I had wondered if it was a bad relay resulting in only one of the two electric fans coming on. The passenger side fan only comes on after I shut the engine off.

    Could be that it hasn't gotten hot enough for the fans to come on while idling. I don't know if it's normal for the fans to come on with the engine running.

    In the past (I've owned a 92 accord EX as well) the electric fans only seem to come on after engine shutdown when running the AC (or perhaps it's just on hot days and the AC running is just collateral).

    I haven't noticed any discoloration of the oil from the dipstick (it's a little dark, past due for an oil change). I rarely need to add oil.

    I haven't detected any sweet smells from the exhaust (having had a blown heater core in a previous vehicle, I know that smell) or anything other than condensation (it's gotten cold and rainy out this way).

    At this point I'm inclined to have my mechanic look at that car. I'll be giving him a call on Monday to get it in for a check up.
     
  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    on my honda, a different model, there are 2 fans. one comes on when the a/c compressor comes on. the other is triggered by the coolant temperature.
     
  10. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    That seems to make more sense.
     
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Check the coolant level in the radiator.

    Obviously wait until the engine is cold before removing the radiator cap.
     
  12. Junk420

    Junk420

    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    Hmm. If it's a slow leak from the head gasket and it's burning off in the combustion chamber you wouldn't really detect it; but you would notice a drop in the coolant level over a few weeks. If it was a bad leak, your exhaust would be white and fluffy.

    The AC condenser fan comes on pretty rarely. Normally when its 30 degrees out and you're sitting in traffic with the AC blasting. You will notice when it kicks in because both fans will start. You would hear an audible clicking sound and your engine revs will go up by 250-500rpms.

    Give your engine block a good check over, with 200,000+ miles you should expect to see some old caked on oil and grime, but if you see any fluid seepage around where the engine block and head meet, around the timing belt cover or the side of the motor. You may have a gasket issue. Is your car running sluggish? A leaky head would also cause a drop in cylinder compression and your car won't feel as responsive.

    One thing that comes to mind is on my old 91 Civic, I did the timing belt and when I refilled it with coolant I forgot to pump the rad hoses. This caused an air bubble in my coolant lines which made my engine temps jump all over. Open the rad cap when the engine is cool and squeeze the upper rad hose. If there is any air in the system, it should bubble out through the top of the rad and supplement the empty space with fresh coolant from the reservoir.

    I also had an old Ford Tempo that had heat issues. That one was simple, the thermostat was corroded and stuck in the open position. That was a simple $20 fix, new thermostat and housing.
     
  13. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I'm on it.

    I did just drive the car to a couple errands around town. City speeds, a few red lights and stop signs for around an hour or so. Enough to get the car up to temp and keep it there for 20 minutes-ish driving time. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, temperature spikes etc.

    I gave the exhaust a sniff. Hard to tell the difference between regular exhaust gas smell and that sweetness of anti-freeze.

    I'll let the car cool down and check and top off coolants.

    Thermostat sprang to mind immediately. I'm just trying to figure out if I'm tripping.

    As far as the cars performance. I've owned the car since 170k miles (about 4 years) and It's always seemed a bit sluggish/down on compression. I've always attributed that to the age of the car. It gets up and goes when I get on it but I've always felt some horses have gotten away over the years. I've never had a compression test done on it. It passed it's last emissions which was about two weeks ago.

    I also know the distributor assembly needs to be replaced.
     
  14. Junk420

    Junk420

    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    If you plan on keeping the car a while, a tune-up wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Change the oil, air filter, spark plugs and distributor cap and rotor. (Inspect the plug wires, if they look dried out and cracked they need replaced too) If you're mechanically inclined in the least, you can do these things in your driveway. If the distributor is cracked or the points inside are worn, it can cause misfiring. Basically all 4 cylinders will be firing at completely different temps. This can confuse your ecu as to when to turn the cooling fan on.

    Cars are great, eh?
     
  15. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Oh yeah.

    I've taken pretty good care of the car. Regular Oil Changes. Repairs performed as needed. I'd love to get another 200k out of it.

    Don't remember the mileage but I've had the Spark Plugs/Wire and Tube Seals replaced. It's probably time to replace the air filter. Past due for an oil change.

    Fairly certain there is a misfire. Replacing the distributor assembly has always been on the plate, just hasn't happened yet. Life and other priorities.
     
  16. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I can see the tops of the fins inside the radiator. The rad cap is in bad shape too. It's an aftermarket rad cap that I replaced probably about 3.5 to 4 years ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Get a new cap and fill it up. See where you're at then.
     
  18. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Yup. Topped off the coolant.

    Since this is the second time I've had to replace the rad cap; I'm going to try and source an OEM from the dealership tomorrow.
     
  19. Junk420

    Junk420

    Jul 19, 2012
    Cornwall, Ontario
    Can never go wrong with certain OEM parts. More money but normally last twice as long.

    As stated, replace the cap and top off. Use the car for a few days and see where you're at.
     
  20. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yup, get a real one. Probably a stupid price like $45 but oh well, it'll work right.
     

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