Mechanics

OVERHEATING. TRIED EVERYTHING

1990 Acura Integra

Engine Cooling problem
1990 Acura Integra 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 210000 miles

my car is overheating. It does this just sometimes. I tried replacing the thermostat. Even taking it out. The coolant level is right also and not leaking. Also found out that one of my fans had a short in the wire, fixed that and works fine now. And the fans were both on during overheating. The water pump is brand new, not leaking and I cant hear anything like a bad bearing in it and I just did a coolant flush not even 2 weeks ago. The wierd thing is it will get really hot then just all of a sudden start cooling down back to normal temperature. Then a few minutes later it climbs back up to the red. And when I open the hood to see if it is actually hot, I see water boiling out of the resivor. What else is there?
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Jsl129
June 12, 2010.



Hi jsl129. Welcome to the forum. This sounds like a leaking head gasket. To verify, find a mechanic with a " leak sniffer" which is a fancy name for a tool used to detect conbustion gases in the coolant. It is a glass tube filled with a special dark blue liquid. Air is drawn from the neck of the radiator while the problem is occurring. If combustion gases are present from a leaking head gasket, the liquid will turn bright yellow.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jun 12, 2010.
There is a brand new head gasket on it. I recently put a new head gasket set on it and it is not burning anything. White or blue. I also had the head redone. I have been driving it all day today, and it started to get hot but didnt go to the red. Just about 3/4 of the way when I was driving. Then when I hit the gas or put it in a gear with higher rpms, it went back down. After that, about thirty total minutes of driving today, it didnt do it again. The timing belt is also tight because I had a valve adjustment a few days ago.

Tiny
Jsl129
Jun 12, 2010.
I had a similar situation with my '88 Grand Caravan a number of years ago. It was caused by the cooling fins on the radiator being corroded away. Running the front or rear heater always brought the temperature down very quickly.

Also check for anything that is obstructing air flow through the radiator such as a bug collection, and look for holes in the core support that allow air to bypass the radiator on the sides. Most cars also have a rubber seal under the front of the hood to force air to go through the radiator. Be sure that is in place if there is supposed to be one.

Another unusual problem is caused on some engines when the thermostat doesn't have a tiny bleed hole. The hot coolant reaches the temperature sensor for the dash gauge long before it reaches the thermostat. By the time the thermostat opens, the gauge has gone unusually high, then, when the coolant starts to circulate, the cold coolant comes in from the radiator and the gauge goes down and the thermostat closes. This cycle repeats a number of times until the system stabilizes. This also happened on my Caravan but not with a new thermostat. It started acting up many years after it was installed. Drilling a tiny hole in it solved the problem. That allows the hot coolant to get to the thermostat faster.

Caradiodoc

Caradiodoc
Jun 12, 2010.