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Old 28 Aug 2005, 06:03 pm
MajBach
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Default overheat on 96 accord

Hi, all.
1996 Accord EX-R Vtec
5-speed
320,000 kms

I have a somewhat perplexing overheating problem. Starting last summer, I
noticed the temp gauge would slowly rise at highway speeds with the A/C on
and while I was pulling a heavy boat (it didn't overheat for 4 years
previous with in this condition). I shrugged it off as being something I
should expect to happen under those conditions. To make a long story short,
as of now, on moderately warm days, the car will overheat with just me in
it, no boat no A/C. The temp gauge climbs only slightly, but putting on A/C,
climbing a hill or obviously, pulling the boat worsens it to the point where
I need to throw the cabin heat on full to keep the needle from climbing.

This is what I have done/noticed during the past year. The rad seems to be
in fine condition ( I've had worse) and the coolant always looks as new. I
took it into Honda and they diagnosed the sensor that turns on the fans (the
same two fans that the A/C opereates but this switch turns them on when the
car is running even if the A/C is off) as faulty. (I had already determined
this as the first time I noticed a severe overheat condition was when I left
the car running for 4 minutes to get a coffee. After returning, the needle
was all the way in the red. If I hit the A/C button, the temp dropped
rapidly when the fans kicked on.). Being a student, I couldn't afford the
$50 for the sensor so what I did was short-circuit the switch, making both
fans run full time. The condition persisted.
I was convinced the entire time it was my [original] thermostat but Honda
told me it was fine. I changed it anyway and Honda was right, as the problem
is still there. Bottom line is, it's not the thermostat and the cooling fans
run al the time and the car overheats.

I have read on these N/Gs that there are often faulty temp sensors. I'm sure
Honda checked this out. I also believe this to not be the problem as the
symptoms seems to point to an actual high heat condition.
So what are my next possibilities? The only two I can think of is restricted
flow through the cooling system and/or a rad that needs replacing. Can
someone recommend to me how to check for either? IS there such a thing as a
cooling system flush that removes built up residue? Advice on changing a
rad?

Thanks a million in advance,
MajBach



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Old 28 Aug 2005, 07:13 pm
jim beam
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Default Re: overheat on 96 accord

MajBach wrote:
> Hi, all.
> 1996 Accord EX-R Vtec
> 5-speed
> 320,000 kms
>
> I have a somewhat perplexing overheating problem. Starting last summer, I
> noticed the temp gauge would slowly rise at highway speeds with the A/C on
> and while I was pulling a heavy boat (it didn't overheat for 4 years
> previous with in this condition). I shrugged it off as being something I
> should expect to happen under those conditions. To make a long story short,
> as of now, on moderately warm days, the car will overheat with just me in
> it, no boat no A/C. The temp gauge climbs only slightly, but putting on A/C,
> climbing a hill or obviously, pulling the boat worsens it to the point where
> I need to throw the cabin heat on full to keep the needle from climbing.
>
> This is what I have done/noticed during the past year. The rad seems to be
> in fine condition ( I've had worse) and the coolant always looks as new. I
> took it into Honda and they diagnosed the sensor that turns on the fans (the
> same two fans that the A/C opereates but this switch turns them on when the
> car is running even if the A/C is off) as faulty. (I had already determined
> this as the first time I noticed a severe overheat condition was when I left
> the car running for 4 minutes to get a coffee. After returning, the needle
> was all the way in the red. If I hit the A/C button, the temp dropped
> rapidly when the fans kicked on.). Being a student, I couldn't afford the
> $50 for the sensor so what I did was short-circuit the switch, making both
> fans run full time. The condition persisted.
> I was convinced the entire time it was my [original] thermostat but Honda
> told me it was fine. I changed it anyway and Honda was right, as the problem
> is still there. Bottom line is, it's not the thermostat and the cooling fans
> run al the time and the car overheats.
>
> I have read on these N/Gs that there are often faulty temp sensors. I'm sure
> Honda checked this out. I also believe this to not be the problem as the
> symptoms seems to point to an actual high heat condition.
> So what are my next possibilities? The only two I can think of is restricted
> flow through the cooling system and/or a rad that needs replacing. Can
> someone recommend to me how to check for either? IS there such a thing as a
> cooling system flush that removes built up residue? Advice on changing a
> rad?
>
> Thanks a million in advance,
> MajBach


if you've eliminated the sender/switch already, that's obviously not it.
likewise the thermostat. next candidates are head gasket, bugs in the
radiator matrix, or lastly, internally blocked radiator core.

head gasket should evidence bubbling from cold with the radiator cap
off. bugs can sometimes be removed by flushing with lots of water, but
avoid excess pressure jets as they can ruin the matrix elements. if its
none of those, it's likely a blocked core. those can be cleaned by
flushing, but i don't liek to do that on my own cars in view of the
longer term effects the chemicals can have on the rest of the system.
replacement radiators are not wildly expensive, so my preference is
replacement rather than flushing. ymmv. my money's on the bugs.

when refilling, use distilled water with the antifreeze, not water from
the faucet. also, take care of the little things like checking ignition
timing.

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