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Old 18 Feb 2013, 10:17 am
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Default 2004 Honda Civic EX Questions please?

1) How to determine my water level for radiator? Once I was shown how to do it using a flashlight and I did see the water level way down below. However, my garage is a little dark and even with flashlight, I could not see the water level, or maybe the outside of the white plastic that holds the water is a little dirty.

2) On my last car checkup at the Honda dealer, I think the stupid mechanic left one of the caps loose. To the right of the engine bay, is a round blue flat cap, not the twist-on kind, but one that presses snug against the opening. When I pulled out the blue cap, attached to it is a long flat jiggly wire and I don't know what that is to. It has no lines for oil level so it is not the oil stick.

I hope it being loosely placed over the opening did not damage my car over the months I had been driving. I live in the NW so mostly rain and not so hot yet.

Noticed also that it is a bit greasy and grimey, so I just tried to apply some Spic N Span over a towel and gently wiped some of the grime away under the hood.

I'd like to have it cleaned but I don't the idea of pressure hoses for fear it might dismantle and/or injure or loosen some of the wiring.

At my next maintenance I am told is an expensive one (it is major maintenance). I am thinking of having the dealership clean the engine for me, but they said it's part of complete detailing, they don't just clean the engine, but the entire car. I would not be opposed to that.

Thank you.
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Old 18 Feb 2013, 10:31 am
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I'd say if you've good eye sight and a good flash light even if it's at night or in a dark area you should be able to see the coolant level in the radiator.If not then more then likely the coolant level is low and you should make sure it's at the proper level.You should actually have a radiator cap that can be removed to check the rad and then there a coolant reservoir with it's own cap.The plastic reservoir will have both hot full and cold full markings on it.If you can't read these markings info try cleaning the plastic reservoir surface bec you should be able to see the fluid level and where the marks are compared to it.The rad should also have some kind of line or marking on it to be able to tell it's coolant levels.Note some fluid levels are checked via a dipstick of some kind and they too will have markings.

I'd recommend that you buy yourself a anti-freezer from a local part store or walmart etc, their only 7-12 bucks and as long as you follow the directions listed on them fully they are a great tool for any car owner to have.With the engine being off for a good 2-4 hrs you remove the cap and then use the tool to suck up coolant into it's plastic container, it will have markings that let you know what quality the coolant is and for what temperatures it's been mixed to.For example normally most vehicles have anti-freeze and distilled water mixed at 50/50 levels and if extreme temperatures in your part of the world exist it might require a 60% anti-freeze mixture.Here today it's been -20C temperatures so I'd want the tester to read a good -35c or up to -40c, so a 50/50 mixture is all I usually need here in Canada where I live.

The containers or reservoirs that may have wiring going to their caps usually don't sit completely flat bec of the wire that has to come out.Some of these fluid containers may use an external sensor and the wiring comes out at a different place.

It's a good idea to clean under the hood maybe get a professional cleaning done bec at least then if any known leaks exist or occur they should be easy to spot etc.Before I purchased my used Honda I had them clean the engine area and coat it so that the under hood area is not only clean but also somewhat shiny and protected.I worked it out in the purchase price to get a gasket fixed that was leaking oil so they basically included the engine etc cleaning.This saved me not only money but my time etc so I didn't have to do any work much on the car.

Hope that helps and best of luck.By the way the chances are you didn't loose and fluid or get dirt into the system that had the cap on it wrong and changes are the vehicle would of tried to over heat etc if the cap for for the reservoir etc. Also it's always a good idea to have and read your owners manual and may get a factory service manual too so you can not only get to know more about your car but also you will have a much better understanding about why and what type of regular maintenance's are involved.Be careful when getting detailing done bec some places want a lot of money to clean any car head to toe, some ppl want 250 bucks and more here to detail the whole car inside and out.Note some sites will give you owners manual and service manuals for certain yrs/models for a fee or for free.If you don't have a owners manual for your car you may want to check out a you pick/pull auto wreckers to see if any vehicles like yours they may have in the yard have a owners manual inside the glove box etc.
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