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Old 08 Aug 2006, 07:46 pm
Pete from Boston
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Default '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak

In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.

The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 12:43 am
nm5k@wt.net
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Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak


Pete from Boston wrote:
> In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
> radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
> motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
> while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
> had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
> and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.
>
> The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
> says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
> for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
> spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
> real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
> tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.


Is the cap and reserve bottle ok? Sorta sounds like the radiator
cap, but I'm just guessing off the top of my head.. Normally , any
overflow should be routed to that bottle. The caps have two seals
kinda stacked. Maybe the seal for the overflow function is getting
funky. ??
MK

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 07:17 am
N.E.Ohio Bob
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Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak

Pete from Boston wrote:
> In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
> radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
> motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
> while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
> had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
> and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.
>
> The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
> says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
> for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
> spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
> real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
> tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.
>

Lotsa times it's just a loose hose clamp. Pressure test will help find
it. bob
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Old 09 Aug 2006, 09:05 am
Pete from Boston
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Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak


nm5k@wt.net wrote:
> Pete from Boston wrote:
> > In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
> > radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
> > motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
> > while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
> > had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
> > and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.
> >
> > The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
> > says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
> > for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
> > spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
> > real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
> > tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.

>
> Is the cap and reserve bottle ok? Sorta sounds like the radiator
> cap, but I'm just guessing off the top of my head.. Normally , any
> overflow should be routed to that bottle. The caps have two seals
> kinda stacked. Maybe the seal for the overflow function is getting
> funky. ??
> MK


I'll have to check on these later (sucks that the repairing shop is
prohibitively far away), but in the meantime, I think I've lost all or
most of the coolant. Have to check more closely later.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 07:59 pm
Don R
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Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak

Pete from Boston wrote:
> In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
> radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
> motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
> while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
> had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
> and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.
>
> The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
> says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
> for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
> spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
> real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
> tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.
>

Could it be a head gasket leak? If combustion gases are leaking into
the cooling system it could be causing an over pressure condition and
forcing coolant out of the system. Just a thought.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09 Aug 2006, 08:52 pm
Pete from Boston
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Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak


Don R wrote:
> Pete from Boston wrote:
> > In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
> > radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling fan
> > motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot even
> > while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair, I
> > had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled coolant
> > and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while parked.
> >
> > The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the receipt
> > says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled it
> > for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
> > spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare to
> > real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
> > tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.
> >

> Could it be a head gasket leak? If combustion gases are leaking into
> the cooling system it could be causing an over pressure condition and
> forcing coolant out of the system. Just a thought.


I picked up a pressure tester (gotta love Auto Zone's free loaners) and
I'm going to run it tomorrow to see what I see. Any tips on what to
look out for? I'm hoping I actually see a coolant leak. If it's a more
complex situation (like the head gasket) I'm not entirely sure how it
will pan out.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2006, 08:04 am
Don R
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: '90 Accord post-repair coolant leak


"Pete from Boston" <masspete@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:1155174740.811089.180610@i3g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
>
> Don R wrote:
>> Pete from Boston wrote:
>> > In the past two and a half years I've replaced my '90 Accord's
>> > radiator, water pump, thermostat twice, and just had the cooling
>> > fan
>> > motor and temp sensor replaced after the car started getting hot
>> > even
>> > while moving fast (without boil-over). Following that last repair,
>> > I
>> > had to drive the car 150 miles home, following which I smelled
>> > coolant
>> > and found a fair amount dripping from the radiator area while
>> > parked.
>> >
>> > The temp gauge reads low-to-mid-level, as it should, and the
>> > receipt
>> > says they did a pressure test (plus the mechanic said they'd idled
>> > it
>> > for 45 minutes to be sure the fan was working). So why the coolant
>> > spill? Any ideas? I don't know how pressure test and idle compare
>> > to
>> > real highway travel. I plan to call the mechanic when they open
>> > tomorrow, but any ideas from the crowd would be appreciated.
>> >

>> Could it be a head gasket leak? If combustion gases are leaking into
>> the cooling system it could be causing an over pressure condition and
>> forcing coolant out of the system. Just a thought.

>
> I picked up a pressure tester (gotta love Auto Zone's free loaners)
> and
> I'm going to run it tomorrow to see what I see. Any tips on what to
> look out for? I'm hoping I actually see a coolant leak. If it's a more
> complex situation (like the head gasket) I'm not entirely sure how it
> will pan out.
>


I'm not sure the pressure tester will show a head gasket leak. A better
test would be a compression test. If one of the cylinders is low that
would be a pretty strong indicator of a leak. There is also a chemical
test that will show when exhaust gases are present in the coolant. Not
sure how much this test costs, but I think it's on the expensive side
($90).
Try the compression test, it's cheap and fast. I suspect you will find
a low cylinder during the compression test.

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