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Old 02 Dec 2009, 02:01 am
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Default overheating 2002 honda civic?

my car keeps overheating. heres what i've done so far

- changed the thermostat

- made sure the fans were working (they were)

- new radiator

and its still overheating ! it can't be a blown head gasket because my car is not leaking oil and it doesn't look milky either when i look at it. there ARE little leaks under my car when it's sitting but when i check the coolant, it's pretty full. whats going on ?

i changed the radiator a week ago, ran it normally, and nothing. today, (a week ago) i had 3 other passengers in my car and i noticed that when they were out and i was driving home (with heater on), the temperature started fluctuating and instead of being at 50% (normal) it reached 75% while i was sitting in my driveway observing.

btw; the coolant goes in that little white bottle thing on the side, right? i don't have to open the radiator cap to pour the coolant in, right?
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Old 02 Dec 2009, 02:16 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 84

why do you think it's overheating? is there steam coming out or is the temperature gauge showing hot? the impellers on the water pump can get loose and not circulate the water, blown head gaskets blow oil into the coolant not coolant into the oil, pressure in cylinder 1400+psi pressure in cooling system 8-12 psi, could just be a faulty gauge modern cars run at 97-103C 200-220F
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Old 02 Dec 2009, 02:31 am
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 32

Well since you changed all those parts and the oil is not milky and the fans work, is there any chance the thermostat got put it backwords? So i guess you did it your self since your asking here instead of taking back to the shop. If everythings done right it sounds like a gauge problem. I just haven't heard of too many problems with those gauges.
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Old 02 Dec 2009, 02:46 am
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 881

First off, you should have started with the fluid to begin with and not just jump to conclusions and start replacing things like a thermostat that may have been perfectly fine (Make sure the new one is the same temperature setting as the old one). I'd start with bleeding the cooling the system, this way if there are any air pockets you will eliminate them. Air pockets will cause overheating.

Second thing, the car is a 2002 and it's currently 2009. I'm assuming that is still the original radiator cap still on the car. Those go bad every 3-4 years or so and need to be replaced, when they go bad they don't hold the appropriate pressure for the cooling system to function properly anymore which leads to overheating or the car running cold.

Third you said there are some small leaks, one possible location is they're coming from what's called a weep hole in the water pump and when fluid starts leaking through it that's a sign that your water pump is failing and needs to be replaced soon. You can find the weep hole either facing the ground or to the side on the water pump."btw; the coolant goes in that little white bottle thing on the side, right? i don't have to open the radiator cap to pour the coolant in, right?"

-Wrong, you add coolant to the vehicle through the radiator cap. The white bottle thing to the side as you call it is actually called the Reservoir. It allows for excess coolant to either flow into it when the coolant is heated and needs to expand or it allows for coolant to be sucked up back into the radiator through a vacuum effect created by the radiator cap once the car cools. The coolant needs room to expand or contract due to heat or cold and that's what the reservoir is for. It should be filled separately when the car is cold to whatever lines are marked.

There are some other causes like a cracked head or blown head gasket or incorrect ignition timing, but I don't think these things are the case in your situation.
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Old 02 Dec 2009, 03:01 am
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 103

The car has coolant jackets that go around the outside of the cylinders. The head gasket stops it from mixing with the oil in the seperate oil jackets, if it mixed it would make the oil cloudy. But the head gasket may be bad and allow the anti freeze to go out the exhaust. If there is a white than usual exhaust this is a tell tale sign of the problem. But if the antifreeze does not leak or go into the oil it is getting burnt up in the cylinders.

The little white bottle that will be marked so you do not put it into the windsheild wash bottle is the overflow. The car is supposed to suck out antifreeze from it when it is low, and spit it in when it is high or over pressurerized.

When the car cools down open the radiator cap and fill with a 50/50 antifreeze mix. Leave the cap off and run the engine. if you do not see the anti freeze moving the water pump is bad.

Also check for anything blocking air flow to the radiator.

Lastly you may want to try a lower degree thermostat. It opens up quicker to prevent the car from running so hot.
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