2002 Honda Civic Overheating

Tiny
VITAMIN
  • 2002 HONDA CIVIC

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 85000 miles

My engine keeps overheating while I'm driving slow, stopping on stop lights, in traffic, etc. When I start driving again, it starts falling. When I accelerate really fast, for example, to pass a vehicle, the temperature shoots up almost immediately. When I'm on the highway, everything is fine. I have changed the thermostat and the antifreeze and coolant is at the level it should be. Any suggestions of what could be the cause for this?

Thank you in advance!

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 AT 4:28 PM

49 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,958 POSTS

Hi there,

Overheating during slow driving can be caused by the cooling fans not operating or are weak but you mentioned hard acceleration will cause the reading to shoot up, I think it could be due to air trapped in the cooling system.

You said coolant level is ok is it the reserve tank? What about the radiator? Is it full when cold?

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 6:12 AM
Tiny
VITAMIN
  • MEMBER

The reserve tank level is always normal, but the radiator fluid level is not visible when it is cold. Today when I used the a/c and it started overheating, it stopped blowing cold air and was blowing warm instead. When accelerated, everything went back to normal. Also, radiator has been changed recently. Should I do a flush to the radiator?

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Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 9:48 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,958 POSTS

Hi

When the engine overheats, the AC would stop operating.

Since you just changed the radiator, there is no need to flush it. Most probably the system was not bled to remove air pockets.

Since the radiator fluid is not visible, then you need to top it up and run the engine for a short while without the radiator cap to bleed the air out of the system. Keep topping up when the level drops until the the level stop dropping. If you keep the engine running more than 5 mins, turn on the Ac to get the fans working so as not to allow the coolant to heat up to much which might splurge out.

Replace radiator cap and it should be ok.

After bleeding the system keep monitoring for a few days, fluid should be visible when cold. Top if necessary because there might still be minimal air trapped.

Now for the bad news part.

If overheating still occurs and fluid level drops in the radiator but not the reserve tank, then you might have a blown gasket.

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Monday, May 26th, 2008 AT 8:46 AM
Tiny
VITAMIN
  • MEMBER

I went ahead and ran the car without the radiator cap, filled the levels to full and replaced the motor to a fan that sometimes was acting up, and it still is overheating only when the heat is turned up. The AC works perfectely now. What's weird is that when I turn the heat on, I don't get any warm air. Not sure what is going on. I appreciate your replies, thank you.

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Monday, June 9th, 2008 AT 11:39 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,958 POSTS

Hi vitamin,

If no heated air, check the following

1. Clogged heater hoses.

2. Clogged heater valve.

3. Faulty air mix door.

4. Air mix control cable adjustment.

I believe you need to check the coolant level again when cold. You might have a leakage in the heater core.

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 AT 9:34 AM
Tiny
JOELAO
  • MEMBER

I know this thread is old but I like to share this with everyone hoping to help someone else. My sister have a civic xe 2002 engine overheat problem. She had someone else replaced thermostat, upper & lower hose and still overheat. Here's what I did to solve the problem. I replaced the Fan Thermo switch cuz fan not come on, replaced new radiator cap (some overheating problem had been linked to bad cap), replaced radiator reservoir hose cuz cracked, and do radiator flush it solve her overheat problem.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 11:31 PM
Tiny
MY2002CIVIC
  • MEMBER

I have a 2002 Honda civic ex with overheating problem. The car has 209,000 miles. My symptoms were radiator coolant bubbles and I'm unable to bleed the air out completely. Replacing the radiator and fan switch did not help. In two weeks the car would consume 1 gallon of coolant and needed to be refilled.
Visual inspection showed no external leaks but I can smell coolant evaporating from the engine area. No visible signs of a white gases coming from the tail pipe.

Finally I took it to the mechanic and they tested coolant in the exhaust and confirmed a leak in the head gasket. Total cost with timing belt change, water pump, parts and labor $2400.

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Friday, March 11th, 2016 AT 9:25 AM
Tiny
PAMSPLACE00
  • MEMBER

I have a 2001 honda civic ex with 213,000 miles on it.I had an overheating problem. The water pump was bad and so was the head gasket.
The garage put on a new thermostat / gasket, sensor, water pump ( timing belt also done same time), and new head gasket kit last week.
Drove the car a few days and didnt run on H like before would go up 3/4's of the way.
Today, when parked and sitting idle, it went up to H.I shut the car off and when I got out and checked, there was antifreeze spewed out on the ground under my car. HELP ! What else could it be? I appreciate any info/inputs/ideas. Thank you

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016 AT 9:57 AM
Tiny
MY2002CIVIC
  • MEMBER

I think it's your head gasket they go out at about 200 thousand mi I would have the shop test your exhaust for coolant chemicals to confirm

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016 AT 10:52 AM
Tiny
JUANA ISLAS ARVIZU
  • MEMBER

Hi my name is Juana, My car is over heating I changed the fan, the thermostat, the hoses, the cap, the switch and still over heats, the radiator always needs coolant but the other back up tank is always full cam you help me figure out please?

Sent from my iPhone

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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 5:04 PM
Tiny
MY2002CIVIC
  • MEMBER

Hi Juana if your civic is over 140,000 and you've replaced parts like cap hoses and the fan switch etc, it's probably time for a head gasket. Most Honda Civic usually need this replaced around this mileage

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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
KELLYBOY3
  • 2002 HONDA CIVIC

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 900000 miles

My engine just started to overheat today. It goes to the high mark on the dial on the dashboard within 5 minutes of driving. Is there a quick fix? I was thinking of putting some water into the radiator to cool it down. Does that work? And if so do you know where the radiator and the tube that goes to the radiator is on a honda civic? Thanks

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
  • 3,319 POSTS

It is critical that you do not let your engine overheat like that again. If it starts to overheat, turn the blower fan on hot and high to pull some of the heat away from the engine and shut off the vehicle.

As to why your engine is overheating, it could be numerous things. Faulty water pump, thermostat, low coolant, coolant leak, etc.

First check is to much sure you have coolant, if you are low on coolant you have a leak and must get the system pressure tested.

Goodluck.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KELLYBOY3
  • MEMBER

I appreciate the help I checked and Added more coolant and that didnt help so I am going to take it into the shop today.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
  • 3,319 POSTS

Well hopefully it's not a major issue.

Goodluck with the vehicle.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MATTYMEDALS
  • 2002 HONDA CIVIC

Engine Cooling problem
2002 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 142000 miles

I just read about somebody who was having radiator problems. You mentioned that if the car is overheating, losing coolant but the resevoir level stayed the same it could be a blown gasket. Could you elaborate on this. Blown head gasket? Is this a major repair? Costly? How can I check for this?

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,958 POSTS

Hi mattymedals,

Thank you for the donation.

If you are loosing coolant and the reserve tank remains the same, it could mean the following :

1. Bad radiator cap.
2. Leaks in hose from radiator to reserve tank.
3. Excessive air in system.
4. Bad head gasket. This problem usually increases the coolant level in reserve tank.
5. Fast leaks in cooling system.

If it is a bad head gasket, repairs can be more than $1000 depending on what needs to be done.

A pressure test would determine if the system is leaking.

To check if the head gasket is bad, here is a simple way.
Ensure there are no air in cooling system. Run engine with radiator cap open and top up if necessary. If coolant level does not drop, close radiator cap.
Remove hose from reserve tank.
Insert hose into a transparent botle filled with water.
Start and run engine.
Run till radiator fan comes on.
If there are bubbles in the bottle, run for a while longer till the air has been bled out of cooling system.
If bubbles continues and does not stop, the head gasket is bad.
Try sudden reving of the engine and note if the bubbles increases at that instance. If yes, gasket is bad and compression is leaking.

And use a transparent bottle filled with water.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MATTYMEDALS
  • MEMBER

Thanks for the info. When the car overheated the hose to the reserve tank was more or less blown off. Could this indicate anything.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,958 POSTS

That should not happen. Check if the hose to reserve tank is clogged or kinked. That would cause pressure to build up and blow the hose off.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ZIMMER7
  • 2002 HONDA CIVIC
  • 120,000 MILES

I was driving my car on the interstate, and my car started to over heat. I turned off the engine, and it would not start after cooling down. Ihad it towed to a local place who told me my cooling fan was busted and possibly could have a blown head gasket, because there was coolant on the engine and steam coming out of the radiator when he would try and start the car.I then had my car towed to my mechanic who ran a pressure test and found no leaks. He fixed the fan and said the car didnt overheat when he test drove it. I picked it up today and my heater would only blow warm air when I was at a high rpm, and then my temp gauge kept going up and down. It runs, but there is definitely something wrong. Any suggestions?

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017 AT 10:16 AM (Merged)

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