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Old 13 Apr 2011, 09:01 am
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Default 2001 Honda civic lx , temp gage wacko?

my 2001 Honda Civic Lx , runs great. The problem is the temp gage will go from cold to hot in a matter of second then drop down to normal the same way. I have changed the temp sensor, thermostat and replaced the radiator. The car doesn't actually get hot but I do have to add maybe 6-8oz of water every 2-3 days don't see where water could be going, no water in the oil or any of the obvious signs that would lead to a head gasket. This is a complete mystery to me, any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 13 Apr 2011, 09:16 am
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If the car is not overheating that's seems ok.But try bleeding the system.That might be the problem.Good luck
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Old 13 Apr 2011, 09:31 am
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May be the gage it self has an issue.
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Old 13 Apr 2011, 09:46 am
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the probability is that you have a leaking radiator. 6-8 ounces every 2 days is indicative of a leak. The Honda radiators have a plastic top tank (the part wher the radiator cap is) that is clamped to the metal of the radiator. there is a gasket under the plastic tank that is supposed to keep the coolant from escaping. typically the gasket starts to leak and the coolant escapes as steam. you don't see that happen as the air takes the steam away while you're driving.

so I would first open the hood and look at the metal top of the radiator, both front side and back side. look for a white powder around the area where the plastic top sits on top of the metal radiator body. if you see the white powder then you definitely have a leak. if you don't see the powder, then you should have a shop pressure test the cooling system to see where the fluid is going.

the erratic temp gauge is most likely caused by air that has gotten into the system as air replaces the coolant that was lost. you can have the air 'bled' out of the system but if there is a leak then it will only be a short term fix until you lose coolant again.

I would start by having a technician pressure test the cooling system and go from there.

you don't have a problem with the head gasket. if you did then there would be a visible white smoke coming out of the exhaust and your oil would be 'milky'.

Hope that helps
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Old 13 Apr 2011, 10:01 am
AJ AJ is offline
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Make sure you are putting in a 50 50 mix of water and antifreeze and not just water. If you are putting more in every few days, you must have a leak. Park your car on clean dry cement overnight and check under the car in the morning. Then check all hoses, it's possible that you are spraying some out slowly and it's hitting the engine and burning off and that's why you don't see the leak anywhere. Maybe the hose is emptying each night and the engine has nothing to cool it right away when you start it and that is why you see the immediate spike to hot until the antifreeze gets to the engine and cools it a little. Be care with an engine getting hot, you're taking a lot of life off that engine every time you start it if it truly is getting hot.
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