Big problem maybe

Tiny
PMP
  • 1998 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 149,500 MILES

I have this 1998 honda civic which I believe is a piece of garbage lemon. Its in the shop right now they said they were running a pressure test overnight and going to check the cylinders for water in the morning what test is this? My radiator was almost empty and the temp guage kept moving up and down when I was driving but never went dangerously high. He kept adding coolant to the radiator with the car running and there was air bubbles that kept coming out/ he said its a symptom of a blown head gasket. Since ive had the car ive never overheated the car and the guage has never had a problem. There is a small leak in a heater hose thats not on all the way that I found was leeaking when I ran a pressure test. Im ready to junk the car im sick of it its the worst car I ever had. The junkyard will give me 500 bucks. What do you think the problem is and what should I do?

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 5:59 PM

19 Replies

Tiny
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Also the coolant has no oil in it and the oil has no coolant in it. The dipstick looks clean and smells good. Nothing under the oil cap. I just had the spark plugs changed and I didnt notice anything funny like a green tint on the plugs.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:02 PM
Tiny
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I also forgot to say that the car idles fine and drives fine

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:05 PM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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If the anti-freeze was not replaced at proper intervals, which depends on the brand most are a year to two years, that would cause it to not have the anti-freeze capabilities necassary to prevent things like a blown head gasket from happening. The mileage is not a factor it is how old the anti-freeze is. However, high milage can shorten the service life of anti-freeze some, but more of its lubrication qualities get lost as opposed to it anti-freezing capability.
Sometimes head gaskets do go for other reasons.
The test they are performaing is a leak down test. This will see if the sytem is holding pressure for as long as it is suppose to anmd it will puch fluid in the area where it is leaking. This will help to dtermine if it is just a head gasket or if there is possibly a crack in the head or block.
The decision to junk it is up to you, the mileage is rather high though and you are going to at least need a head gasket, even with a good fix or used motor, the car won't make it past 200,000 miles in most case. I have seen some make 300,000, but only if they are really amintained. Then you have to think of things like replacing suspension components and body bushings if you want to get that kind of mileage out of it.
I hope this information helps.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:24 PM
Tiny
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What if the shop calls me and tells me there I no leak in the head gasket. What else would make it have bubbles coming out of radiator with the car running

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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When air is trapped in system, you have the symptoms described.

The leaking heater hose is the initial cause of the problem and if the oressure test does not show anything wrong with the head gasket, after repairing the heater hose leakage, check for other leakages and rectify them if any found. Bleed the system and you should be able to drive the vehicle.

KJeep tab of the coolant level and if the recovery tank does not overflow, the problem should be resolved, unless you have a leakage somewhere that was not rectified.

For this engine, a head gasket problem does not necessarily mean coolant would get into the engine oil or vice versa.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:41 PM
Tiny
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Does a leak down test check the pistons

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
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No, it would only detect leaks in the cooling system.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
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How would u check the pistons

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:02 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Any faults with the pistons would not affect the cooling system and the only way to check is to disassemble the engine.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:14 PM
Tiny
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Can they check the pistons if the head is off the car

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:15 PM
Tiny
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I basically wanna see if the engine is strong and worth fixing can they check that

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:16 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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A cylinder compression test should be able to indicate if the pistons rings are good. This is a very reliable engine that should not be a problem with the mileage you are at but due to age, there could be some engine oil consumption due to worn vave seals.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
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I dont have any smoke out of the muffler or oil loss at all. When the car was running I felt air coming out of the crankcase filler when the cap was off is this normal

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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With the head off, you can see if there are any wear on the cylinder liners which would give an indication of the condition of the engine but most probably you would not see anything wrong as honda engines very seldom has any wear on them.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
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If there so good why have I had to replace almost every part on this lemon. Iac transmission, tie rods, studs broke off a wheel, pcv valve, radiator hoses, distributor, valve cover gasket, spark plugs and wires, thats all I can think of for now

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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I mentioned the engine is good. Other parts can fail over age and some of the components that you mentioned are due to improper torquing, maintenancve and also some could be due to neglect and improper diagnosis.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:44 PM
Tiny
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He said theres no blown head gasket

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
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Ill talk to him more when I go to the shop in about an hour and see whats next. He said its not overheating on the highway

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 7:53 PM
Tiny
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I believe it is air trapped in the system causing the problem but if the engine had overheated, the head gasket might not indicate anything now. The problem could resurface after a few months when the damage really kicks in and that is when you would have coolant being pushed out of the recovery tank. If no overheating had occurrec, then theere should be no problem.

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Friday, November 11th, 2011 AT 8:03 PM

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