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!

Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 AT 4:28 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,975 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?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
-2
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?

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, May 25th, 2008 AT 9:48 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,975 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.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
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.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, June 9th, 2008 AT 11:39 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,975 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.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
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.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+3
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.

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
-1
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

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
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

Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, June 16th, 2016 AT 10:52 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Other Engine Overheat Questions