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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2007, 07:25 pm
DCracker
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Default 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue

Hello everyone,
I have a 1990 Honda Accord EX with 176,000 miles on it. A
little less that a week ago I sat idle for a second while waiting on a
friend at the airport and I started smelling antifreeze, so I quickly
shut off the engine, opened the hood, and there was steam coming up
from the passenger side of the engine under what I think is the water
pump. Also, there was a good bit of antifreeze on the ground. The
car did not get hot so I checked the reservior and removed the
radiator cap and saw that there was some fluid left. I donít live far
from the airport, so I poured in some bottles of water I had and drove
home, watching the temp guage constantly, and there was no change in
temperature that was abnormal, even in idle. When I got home there
was a small amount of steam coming from the same spot, but the water
level seemed to be fairly stable. I checked all of the hoses and they
seemed fine. I had no time to take it in or do anything so I drove
the car to work the next day in a similar fashion and there was no
steam and the levels were stable (20 minute drive on the highway about
60 degrees outside). Same deal for a couple of days until this
afternoon. This afternoon leaving work I checked the level in the
reservoir, and it was fine, so I started driving and in a couple of
minutes I could see the temp shooting up so I pulled over. The funny
thing is I still had the heat on full blast and the air coming out was
cool even with the car reading hot. I let it cool down and then tried
to make it back to work. I drove for a second and the heat suddenly
came on and the temperature stabilized. This worked for a little
while even while the car was idle. Then suddenly the heat went away
and I noticed the temp start to rise again. I pulled over, let it
cool, then drove the car the last 200 yards to the office and as I
parked the car was running extremely hot again. When I got out the
fans were running full blast and the leak had returned, though not as
bad as the first time.

Money is tight so I would like to try and troubleshoot this myself
this weekend so, if someone could tell me what to check on the car to
gather more information I would greatly appreciate it. I have
replaced various parts on the car so I have to ability to do some
minor work on it, but this is the first problem I have had with the
coolant system so Iím kind of lost. I would be very grateful if
someone could give me a thorough reply to let me know what Iím up
against.

Thanks in advance

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2007, 09:15 pm
jim beam
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue

DCracker wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I have a 1990 Honda Accord EX with 176,000 miles on it. A
> little less that a week ago I sat idle for a second while waiting on a
> friend at the airport and I started smelling antifreeze, so I quickly
> shut off the engine, opened the hood, and there was steam coming up
> from the passenger side of the engine under what I think is the water
> pump. Also, there was a good bit of antifreeze on the ground.

<snip>

visual inspection is the only way. you may need to remove some of the
plastic inner fenders to see everything.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 04:24 am
nm5k@wt.net
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue


DCracker wrote:
Then suddenly the heat went away
> and I noticed the temp start to rise again. I pulled over, let it
> cool, then drove the car the last 200 yards to the office and as I
> parked the car was running extremely hot again. When I got out the
> fans were running full blast and the leak had returned, though not as
> bad as the first time.


Kinda sounds like the T-stat is sticking closed. But I'd also verify
that the water pump belt is ok, etc. But that you were not getting
heat seems to indicate the water was not pumping through the
engine, heater core. The stat would be one of the first things I
would be looking at if the water pump and belt are ok. On that
engine, the pump may be driven by the timing belt, but I'm not
sure. On mine, "89" it's not, but I think they might have changed on
your year model. Obviously if it's timing belt driven and the engine
is running, the belt is ok. Most timing belt driven water pumps fail
to bearing lockup, or seal failure. So if it's not squealing, or
gushing
water, it's probably ok. Which leads back to the stat. The fans
possibly could be an issue, but I doubt it. That wouldn't cause you
to lose heat.
MK

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 08:55 am
jim beam
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue

nm5k@wt.net wrote:
> DCracker wrote:
> Then suddenly the heat went away
>> and I noticed the temp start to rise again. I pulled over, let it
>> cool, then drove the car the last 200 yards to the office and as I
>> parked the car was running extremely hot again. When I got out the
>> fans were running full blast and the leak had returned, though not as
>> bad as the first time.

>
> Kinda sounds like the T-stat is sticking closed.


how does a defective thermostat cause leakage???

> But I'd also verify
> that the water pump belt is ok, etc. But that you were not getting
> heat seems to indicate the water was not pumping through the
> engine, heater core. The stat would be one of the first things I
> would be looking at if the water pump and belt are ok. On that
> engine, the pump may be driven by the timing belt, but I'm not
> sure. On mine, "89" it's not, but I think they might have changed on
> your year model. Obviously if it's timing belt driven and the engine
> is running, the belt is ok. Most timing belt driven water pumps fail
> to bearing lockup, or seal failure. So if it's not squealing, or
> gushing
> water, it's probably ok. Which leads back to the stat. The fans
> possibly could be an issue, but I doubt it. That wouldn't cause you
> to lose heat.
> MK
>

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 09:03 am
Grahame
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue


DCracker wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I have a 1990 Honda Accord EX with 176,000 miles on it. A
> little less that a week ago I sat idle for a second while waiting on a
> friend at the airport and I started smelling antifreeze, so I quickly
> shut off the engine, opened the hood, and there was steam coming up
> from the passenger side of the engine under what I think is the water
> pump.


The water pump is on the drivers side and is under the timing belt
cover.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 11:23 am
nm5k@wt.net
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue


jim beam wrote:
> nm5k@wt.net wrote:
> > DCracker wrote:
> > Then suddenly the heat went away
> >> and I noticed the temp start to rise again. I pulled over, let it
> >> cool, then drove the car the last 200 yards to the office and as I
> >> parked the car was running extremely hot again. When I got out the
> >> fans were running full blast and the leak had returned, though not as
> >> bad as the first time.

> >
> > Kinda sounds like the T-stat is sticking closed.

>
> how does a defective thermostat cause leakage???


Shouldn't really. I was assuming maybe the cap spewed a bit
for some reason. But I also missed the part where he says the
leak returned again. If thats the case, it's probably the pump,
hose, etc, and the loss of heat was due to a lack of water. I was
thinking
he had full coolant the 2nd time for some reason.
MK

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 03:24 pm
DCracker
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Default Re: Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue

Success,
Iím not sure if the thermostat was bad, but while I was
replacing it I noticed a hose that I hadnít seen before right under
the distributer that was totally shot. Turns out it was the heating
tube which was a pain in the butt to fix but I finally finished
replacing it and the thermostat in about 3.5 hours. Here is what I
believed caused the problem. When I removed the distributor to get to
the hose oil began to leak out. There was also oil all over the end
of the heating tube that had blown, which was right under the
distributor. The oil leak must have corroded the heating tube over
time.

What can I do to prevent this oil leak? Is it possible that its the
O-ring or some gasket somewhere?

Anyway, thanks for your responses. Itís great to have a community
that will offer advice for free. I spent a total of $40 for the hose,
clamps, and the thermostat so Iím sure I saved a load of cash

"nm5k" wrote
> jim beam wrote:
> > nm5k@wt.net wrote:
> > > DCracker wrote:
> > > Then suddenly the heat went away
> > >> and I noticed the temp start to rise again. I pulled

> over, let it
> > >> cool, then drove the car the last 200 yards to the office

> and as I
> > >> parked the car was running extremely hot again. When I

> got out the
> > >> fans were running full blast and the leak had returned,

> though not as
> > >> bad as the first time.
> > >
> > > Kinda sounds like the T-stat is sticking closed.

> >
> > how does a defective thermostat cause leakage???

>
> Shouldn't really. I was assuming maybe the cap spewed a bit
> for some reason. But I also missed the part where he says the
> leak returned again. If thats the case, it's probably the
> pump,
> hose, etc, and the loss of heat was due to a lack of water. I
> was
> thinking
> he had full coolant the 2nd time for some reason.
> MK


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06 Jan 2007, 05:02 pm
Grahame
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Default Re: 1990 Honda Accord Overheating Issue


DCracker wrote:
> What can I do to prevent this oil leak? Is it possible that its the
> O-ring or some gasket somewhere?


Distributor oil leak.
This is a bigger problem and is common to this generation Accord, just
Googe this newsgroup and you will find plenty advice.

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