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Old 11 Dec 2013, 11:19 pm
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Default Over heating problem with 1993 Acura Legend?

I have a 1993 Acura Legend that i've owned for 6 months and never had a problem until recently.

It's been almost impossible to drive it anywhere over 20 minutes without it over heating. Especially if i'm driving slow, uphill, or stuck in traffic, or a long red light. Some times I get heat coming into the passenger compartment and some times I don't. When i'm traveling at high way speed I have no problems although still, I have heat sometimes and sometimes I don't.

I recently started the engine after running it just a very short distance with the radiator cap off and it started to gush out. Not a lot, just enough that it was coming out. No geysers or anything. I'm not noticing any white smoke from the engine or from the exhaust. My dad seems to think I just have a bad thermostat so we bought one to replace it but have yet to do so.

The fans never come on, even after idling the car for 20 minutes before the gauge starts to go up towards the red. I've never let it go that far as I'm to scared to. I always shut the engine off immediately as soon as I start to see it climb that far. After 20 minutes of idling sometimes it begins to act like it wants to stall out. It will idle very low and jump up a bit and down again and up again for a bit before going back to normal.

I don't notice any gunk in my oil or on my oil cap and radiator cap. No white smoke. I'm really hoping it's not a blown head gasket as I can't afford to have that fixed right now, that will be the end of me driving that car for a few months...

Anyone have any ideas. I don't notice any loss of power and the engine never feels like it's insanely hot to the touch or anything. Only near where the thermostat would be...? Maybe that is the cause? I really don't know.

I appreciate any help. Thank you!

No check engine lights or anything. I'm not noticing any loss of coolant. My levels are where they have been since I bought the car. I am due for an oil change but i'm only over by a couple hundred miles. (3000 mile oil change)

This all started out of no where and one day I was stuck in traffic because of an accident for 30 minutes and had the heat on. My engine did not over heat at all and I had hot air. It's on and off like I said. Sometimes it over heats and some times it doesn't. Some times I have hot air coming through into the passenger compartment and sometimes I don't.

It seems more prevalent when I'm going very slow following someone or if road conditions are bad and i am doing a lot of starting and stopping...

Maybe I have a vacuum leak causing the odd idling? Maybe a bad O2 sensor? For awhile I thought my oil smelled like exhaust but then I smelled the oil in my mom's brand new Chevy Cobalt and it smelled almost exactly the same so that put me a bit at ease.

Car only has 108,000 miles on it and is actually in really good condition for being 20 years old.
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Old 11 Dec 2013, 11:35 pm
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put iceon it
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Old 11 Dec 2013, 11:48 pm
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Take it to a shop and have them pressure test the cooling system for leaks. If there are no leaks found, have them look at the cooling fan and troubleshoot why is it not turning on.

When they get the fan to work, start the engine and let it idle. Turn on the heat. Do not turn on the heater/AC fan. Wait about 5 minutes. Test your upper hose for heat. if it is not warm, you have a stuck thermostat. Get a factory thermostat and replace. Repeat to test for warm upper hose. If it still cold, your water pump has failed. If you have a warm upper hose and the cooling fan is turning on, check the lower hose. It should be colder than the upper hose. If the lower hose is hot, your radiator is clogged and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

You can also disconnect the lower hose from the radiator and plug it and see if you have coolant coming out freely from the radiator. Do this only when the engine is cold.
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Old 12 Dec 2013, 12:03 am
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 141

The heater core might be corroded and almost blocked, check the hoses to & from the heater core, they should both be roughly the same temp, if the return hose is cooler then the heater core is blocked, thus needs replacing.

Many backyard mechanics forget about the heater core. Heater cores corrode when you don't change the engine coolant every 2 - 3 years, which many people ignore.
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