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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18 Feb 2008, 03:20 pm
mjc13
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Default Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
"quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from NM,
with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not topped
off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving, I see the
reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive white smoke in
the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I haven't sniffed it
specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I don't smell coolant
inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet
Winter weather. How common are internal head gasket leaks in this
engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 18 Feb 2008, 03:30 pm
Tony Hwang
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Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from NM,
> with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not topped
> off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving, I see the
> reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive white smoke in
> the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I haven't sniffed it
> specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I don't smell coolant
> inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet
> Winter weather. How common are internal head gasket leaks in this
> engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?

Hi,
First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 19 Feb 2008, 04:07 am
mjc13
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

Tony Hwang wrote:
> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>
>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
>> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from NM,
>> with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not
>> topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving,
>> I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive
>> white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I
>> haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I
>> don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot a
>> slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How common are internal head
>> gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?

>
> Hi,
> First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.



Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
doesn't work. Thanks.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 19 Feb 2008, 03:48 pm
mjc13
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
> Tony Hwang wrote:
>
>> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>
>>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
>>> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from
>>> NM, with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not
>>> topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving,
>>> I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive
>>> white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I
>>> haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I
>>> don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot
>>> a slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How common are internal head
>>> gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?

>>
>>
>> Hi,
>> First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.

>
>
>
> Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
> problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
> doesn't work. Thanks.



I took the car to a local shop today. They do free pressure tests (I
gave them $20 anyway). No leaks, including the cap. Unless I'm missing
something, it has to be the #@!@# head gasket, right? Assuming it's
going straight to the exhaust and not burning much, how safe is it to
leave it alone? Any suggestions?
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 19 Feb 2008, 04:15 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>> Tony Hwang wrote:
>>
>>> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>>
>>>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to
>>>> add "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came
>>>> from NM, with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was
>>>> simply not topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only
>>>> moderate driving, I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I
>>>> don't see excessive white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze
>>>> in it - although I haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet.
>>>> The oil looks fine. I don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It
>>>> would be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How
>>>> common are internal head gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to
>>>> slow leaks in the reservoirs?
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>> First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.

>>
>>
>>
>> Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
>> problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
>> doesn't work. Thanks.

>
>
> I took the car to a local shop today. They do free pressure tests (I
> gave them $20 anyway). No leaks, including the cap. Unless I'm missing
> something, it has to be the #@!@# head gasket, right? Assuming it's
> going straight to the exhaust and not burning much, how safe is it to
> leave it alone? Any suggestions?


go for at least a 20 minute run, then look at the coolant reservoir
while the engine's still running. [make sure you can see in, but don't
lift the hose above the coolant surface!!!] any bubbles? if so, it's
gasket. also, check under the car and look at the bottom of the timing
belt cover. any coolant? if so, it's the pump.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 20 Feb 2008, 12:43 am
Ray
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

On Feb 18, 4:20*pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
<"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:
> * * When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from NM,
> with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not topped
> off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving, I see the
> reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive white smoke in
> the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I haven't sniffed it
> specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I don't smell coolant
> inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet
> Winter weather. How common are internal head gasket leaks in this
> engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?



low odds but this happened to me

i used some type of radiator additive that was supposed to kep things
cooler instead it made my honda go through radiator fluid and make me
think that i had a blown head gasket. I would try to flush the system
first and start fresh. Next feel the upper rediator hose with your
hand after warm up. Do you feel fluid and is the hose good. Low odds
but upper radiator hoses can collapse internally and are soo tough to
diagnose. Possible that the thermostat is sticking if no fluid
passing you have a problem. Next burp the system get excess air out by
adding water and squeeze the upper hose till bubles come out of the
radiator top fill hole repeat over and over till no more bubbles.

if still no progress either radiator shot, head gasket, water pump


start low cost and confirm all low cost items are good




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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 20 Feb 2008, 01:56 am
mjc13
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

Ray wrote:
> On Feb 18, 4:20 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
> <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to add
>>"quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from NM,
>>with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply not topped
>>off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate driving, I see the
>>reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see excessive white smoke in
>>the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it - although I haven't sniffed it
>>specifically for that, yet. The oil looks fine. I don't smell coolant
>>inside the car, either. It would be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet
>>Winter weather. How common are internal head gasket leaks in this
>>engine, as opposed to slow leaks in the reservoirs?

>
>
>
> low odds but this happened to me
>
> i used some type of radiator additive that was supposed to kep things
> cooler instead it made my honda go through radiator fluid and make me
> think that i had a blown head gasket. I would try to flush the system
> first and start fresh. Next feel the upper rediator hose with your
> hand after warm up. Do you feel fluid and is the hose good. Low odds
> but upper radiator hoses can collapse internally and are soo tough to
> diagnose. Possible that the thermostat is sticking if no fluid
> passing you have a problem. Next burp the system get excess air out by
> adding water and squeeze the upper hose till bubles come out of the
> radiator top fill hole repeat over and over till no more bubbles.
>
> if still no progress either radiator shot, head gasket, water pump
>
>
> start low cost and confirm all low cost items are good
>
>
>
>

Here's the problem: I have an appointment *tomorrow* to drop the
car off to have the timing belt and water pump replaced, to take
advantage of a 2 week service sale. They will be replacing the coolant,
but I have to decide if I'm having them do the head gasket then,
obviously. BTW, the engine has always run perectly cool, even in very
hot weather, so I'm inclined to think the flow is ok...
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 20 Feb 2008, 05:39 am
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote in
news:_8Iuj.4853$0%3.3542@trnddc06:

> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>> Tony Hwang wrote:
>>
>>> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>>
>>>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to
>>>> add
>>>> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from
>>>> NM, with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply
>>>> not topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate
>>>> driving, I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see
>>>> excessive white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it -
>>>> although I haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet. The oil
>>>> looks fine. I don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It would
>>>> be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How common
>>>> are internal head gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to slow
>>>> leaks in the reservoirs?
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>> First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.

>>
>>
>>
>> Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
>> problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
>> doesn't work. Thanks.

>
>
> I took the car to a local shop today. They do free pressure tests
> (I
> gave them $20 anyway). No leaks, including the cap. Unless I'm missing
> something, it has to be the #@!@# head gasket, right? Assuming it's
> going straight to the exhaust and not burning much, how safe is it to
> leave it alone? Any suggestions?
>




The pressure test needs to be performed in two places.
1) the cooling system, and
2) the combusion chambers.

the first is done in conjuction with the introduction of UV dye to the
coolant, this being detected on the outside with a black light. The
second consists of shop air being blown into each combustion chamber,
then the rad filler neck being then inspected for bubbles.

There is a third test that uses special paper test strips dipped into
the rad filler neck. These change color in the presence of combustion
gases in the coolant.

Your problem is NOT the rad cap. If it were, the reservoir would be
FULL.

There is also the possibility of a worn water pump. In that case the
coolant would drip down the block under the timing belt cover and may
not be obvious. Findinig that leak means carefully inspecting the crank
pulley area.

Do not put this off. You WILL damage your engine, possibly badly. You're
supposed to check your coolant level every time you open the hood, or at
least once a week.



--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 20 Feb 2008, 06:20 am
mjc13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs

Tegger wrote:
> "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote in
> news:_8Iuj.4853$0%3.3542@trnddc06:
>
>
>>mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>
>>>Tony Hwang wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to
>>>>> add
>>>>>"quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from
>>>>>NM, with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply
>>>>>not topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate
>>>>>driving, I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see
>>>>>excessive white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it -
>>>>>although I haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet. The oil
>>>>>looks fine. I don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It would
>>>>>be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How common
>>>>>are internal head gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to slow
>>>>>leaks in the reservoirs?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Hi,
>>>>First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
>>>problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
>>>doesn't work. Thanks.

>>
>>
>> I took the car to a local shop today. They do free pressure tests
>> (I
>>gave them $20 anyway). No leaks, including the cap. Unless I'm missing
>>something, it has to be the #@!@# head gasket, right? Assuming it's
>>going straight to the exhaust and not burning much, how safe is it to
>>leave it alone? Any suggestions?
>>

>
>
>
>
> The pressure test needs to be performed in two places.
> 1) the cooling system, and
> 2) the combusion chambers.
>
> the first is done in conjuction with the introduction of UV dye to the
> coolant, this being detected on the outside with a black light. The
> second consists of shop air being blown into each combustion chamber,
> then the rad filler neck being then inspected for bubbles.
>
> There is a third test that uses special paper test strips dipped into
> the rad filler neck. These change color in the presence of combustion
> gases in the coolant.


The procedure in the Honda manual online in the UK is to just use a
hand pump-operated pressurizer with guage, and see if the pressure drops
in the cooling system or cap. I don't know which they used at the shop...

>
> Your problem is NOT the rad cap. If it were, the reservoir would be
> FULL.


Good point.


>
> There is also the possibility of a worn water pump. In that case the
> coolant would drip down the block under the timing belt cover and may
> not be obvious. Findinig that leak means carefully inspecting the crank
> pulley area.
>
> Do not put this off. You WILL damage your engine, possibly badly. You're
> supposed to check your coolant level every time you open the hood, or at
> least once a week.
>
>


What I'm going to do, assuming I can even afford the cost of a new
gasket done by the dealer, is to tell them to look for leaks, especially
at the water pump. If they find none, I'll have them replace the head
gasket. Shouldn't they install the new timing belt and water pump for no
extra labor charge (they will be providing the parts, not me) when they
do the gasket? I'm also having the front oil seals replaced as a
preventive measure. Thanks for your response. If you could answer this
post before this evening, when I drop it off, I'd appreciate it greatly.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 20 Feb 2008, 10:18 am
E Meyer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Coolant Vanishing: '95 Civic EX 1.6 - Attn Tegger and Techs




On 2/20/08 6:20 AM, in article gWUuj.16648$FK2.1405@trndny08,
"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:

> Tegger wrote:
>> "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote in
>> news:_8Iuj.4853$0%3.3542@trnddc06:
>>
>>
>>> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Tony Hwang wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> When I had the oil changed in November, I was told they had to
>>>>>> add
>>>>>> "quite a bit" of coolant to the reservoir. Since the car came from
>>>>>> NM, with a spotty service record, I had hoped that it was simply
>>>>>> not topped off ever. Now, three months later, with only moderate
>>>>>> driving, I see the reservoir is virtually empty again. I don't see
>>>>>> excessive white smoke in the exhaust, or smell antifreeze in it -
>>>>>> although I haven't sniffed it specifically for that, yet. The oil
>>>>>> looks fine. I don't smell coolant inside the car, either. It would
>>>>>> be hard to spot a slow drip in this wet Winter weather. How common
>>>>>> are internal head gasket leaks in this engine, as opposed to slow
>>>>>> leaks in the reservoirs?
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> First I'd replace the rad. cap and see.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Good idea. I didn't realize that pressure leaks were such a common
>>>> problem. I may have the system pressure-tested if replacing the cap
>>>> doesn't work. Thanks.
>>>
>>>
>>> I took the car to a local shop today. They do free pressure tests
>>> (I
>>> gave them $20 anyway). No leaks, including the cap. Unless I'm missing
>>> something, it has to be the #@!@# head gasket, right? Assuming it's
>>> going straight to the exhaust and not burning much, how safe is it to
>>> leave it alone? Any suggestions?
>>>

>>
>>
>>
>>
>> The pressure test needs to be performed in two places.
>> 1) the cooling system, and
>> 2) the combusion chambers.
>>
>> the first is done in conjuction with the introduction of UV dye to the
>> coolant, this being detected on the outside with a black light. The
>> second consists of shop air being blown into each combustion chamber,
>> then the rad filler neck being then inspected for bubbles.
>>
>> There is a third test that uses special paper test strips dipped into
>> the rad filler neck. These change color in the presence of combustion
>> gases in the coolant.

>
> The procedure in the Honda manual online in the UK is to just use a
> hand pump-operated pressurizer with guage, and see if the pressure drops
> in the cooling system or cap. I don't know which they used at the shop...
>
>>
>> Your problem is NOT the rad cap. If it were, the reservoir would be
>> FULL.

>
> Good point.
>
>
>>
>> There is also the possibility of a worn water pump. In that case the
>> coolant would drip down the block under the timing belt cover and may
>> not be obvious. Findinig that leak means carefully inspecting the crank
>> pulley area.
>>
>> Do not put this off. You WILL damage your engine, possibly badly. You're
>> supposed to check your coolant level every time you open the hood, or at
>> least once a week.
>>
>>

>
> What I'm going to do, assuming I can even afford the cost of a new
> gasket done by the dealer, is to tell them to look for leaks, especially
> at the water pump. If they find none, I'll have them replace the head
> gasket. Shouldn't they install the new timing belt and water pump for no
> extra labor charge (they will be providing the parts, not me) when they
> do the gasket? I'm also having the front oil seals replaced as a
> preventive measure. Thanks for your response. If you could answer this
> post before this evening, when I drop it off, I'd appreciate it greatly.


Seems like you're jumping the gun a little bit here. How low was it in the
reservoir? When you say reservoir do you just mean the overflow tank, or
the radiator?

In normal use, the system will settle out to where the overflow tank sits at
the "min" mark when the engine has cooled & the level will rise to around
the "max" mark when the engine is hot & has been running for a while.

I certainly would not spend money replacing a head gasket that has not even
been diagnosed. There is not enough info here to even say for sure that
there is a problem.

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