1988 Prelude 2.0SI, 2.0 liter 4 cyl, 118,000 miles, it started overheating out of the blue last Friday night. It was steaming and smelled, the engine was wet when I popped the hood. I added coolant the next day, but it still was running hot and redlining the temp gauge even after a short 1/2 mile trip. I can not find any leaks/burst hoses. Would this indicate a thermostat problem?
This is a problem you must take care of right away. Dont' drive it hot, that will kill the engine. My first suspect is usually the thermostat. It is a mechanic part that must sense the temp and open to allow the hot fluid from the engine to exit and flow through the hose to the radiator for cooling. Start with that and replace it. A pretty easy job, quite straight forward.
When you do replace the thermostat, make sure that there is no old gasket material left on the two halves before you put it back together with the new thermostat and the rubber gasket that should come on the thermostat.
Fill the car with coolant and also the overflow as well.
There are a couple of other things to check as well. Do the fans on the radiator work and run? Was the overflow empty when the overheating occurred? If not, then I might consider replacing the radiator cap.
June, 20, 2006 AT 5:07 PM
I did replace the thermostat yesterday. That did the trick for the overheating, it was stuck shut. But after reassembly, found a coolant leak, and had to have my local Honda shop tackle that one. Thanks for the help and service that you guys provide.