Mechanics

NEW RADIATOR

1990 Acura Integra

Engine Cooling problem
1990 Acura Integra 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 135000 miles

Just installed a new radiator in the car. The new radiator came with an oil cooler attachment(original radiator didn't have it). Since I figure its separate from the radiator, I wouldn't have to worry about it. I installed the new radiator started the car. Ran for about 10 minute, just when the car got hot. It started to have white smoke and drip water from the exhaust. Smell terrible. Now is the oil cooler attachment not self sufficient and possibly leaking. Or is the problem a warp head, leaking gasket or maybe a cracked head?
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Colsonr
July 13, 2010.



Hi colsonr,

The radiator with cooler attachment are for automatic transmission fluid cooling and is not related to what your are experiencing.

A little white smoke and some dripping out of the exhaust is normal if the humidity of the atmosphere is high, especially early morning or rainy weather.

However if the engine is running rough and the smoke, (actually is steam if it is white), then it could be a faulty head gasket.

After replacement of the radiator, was the system bled of air trapped?
Did you check the radiator coolant level?
Before replacement of radiator, did the engine ever overheated? Up to a few months back?

KHLow2008
Jul 13, 2010.
The car did overheat twice before the new radiator was replaced. The levels of coolant was ok. My concern is. It takes a while before the white smoke and the rough running. Is it worth taking it in to a shop and have it checked. Is it cheaper if it's faulty head gasket to a cracked head. How can I tell the differance. Thanks

Tiny
Colsonr
Jul 13, 2010.
Seems you have a head gasket problem. The prevoius overheating have caused latent faults which would surface after some time.

A gasket problem is cheaper than a cracked head. There is no confirmed way to know if it is a bad gasket or cracked head without taking it out to be tested.

KHLow2008
Jul 13, 2010.
I recently went through the same thing it ended up being a blown head gasket and a warped head
if you decide to fix the head gasket you must get the head checked to see if its warped. If it is and you replace just the head gasket your gonig to have the same problem again

Tiny
JDM954
Jul 15, 2010.