1987 Honda Accord Leak & Carburetor questions

Tiny
ALYSONHEATHER
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 89,000 MILES
I let my Honda sit for 5 years and just recently had a lot of work done to get it running again. Replaced fuel pump, carburetor, rack & pinion, radiator, motor mounts, hoses, tires, brakes, and more. Other than a slightly rough idle, the car was running great when I got it back. It's been a little over a week and I am now having difficulties starting the car and when it does start a lot of white smoke is present. Also, there is a leak of some type of fluid which appears to be a mixture of oil & coolant. Despite all of this, once it's running, it runs great. I'm planning on taking it back into the repair shop this week but am wondering what to expect. Additionally, will driving it in its current condition be ok or should I have it towed to the shop?
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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 6:05 PM

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Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
  • EXPERT
White smoke is normally a sign of coolant being "brunt" in the engine.

Coupled with the hard to start problem, i'm going to guess that it's flooded and it's too much gas causing the smoke. Probably due to the new carb not getting adjusted just right when it was installed.
Especially if you've had a temperature change in the weather recently.

About your leaks.
How much coolant do you have to add to keep it full.
A cracked head or blown head gasket could cause the white smoke. So having to add a lot of coolant is a sign of problems.

How much oil do you have to add to keep it full.
It's expected to have some leaks by now.
As long as you can live with the stains in the driveway, and you dont have to put more than 1qt in every 1000 miles, then that's acceptable.

Good luck
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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 7:27 PM
Tiny
ALYSONHEATHER
  • MEMBER
I've only had the car back a little over a week and have driven it only about 125 miles in that time.

I'm sure the carb wasn't adjusted correctly when it was installed as it was taken to the carb shop twice by my repair shop's mechanic. So, I'm hoping that is all that I have to worry about.

As for the leak, the car never had a leak prior to sitting and/or getting repaired.

There is only one leak and it appears to be a mixture of oil and coolant. The leak is directly under the center of the engine/front end. The first time I noticed the leak it was only about the size of a nickle; however, it is getting larger. The odd part about it is that it seems to leak mostly when I start the car up as I see the leak as I'm backing out of the driveway. If there is anything under the car at all prior to starting it, it is very minimal. I've checked the oil and it is fine; however, I have not checked the coolant yet as I just figured out that is what the leaking mixture appears to be.

When my car was in the repair shop they tested the compression and it was fine. Could something serious have happened to the head/head gasket in such short of time with no reason or warning?
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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
BUDDYCRAIGG
  • EXPERT
Leaks.
Sitting long periods is hard on cars.
Bad for gaskets, and seals.

MAKE SURE THE ENGINE IS COLD WHEN YOU CHECK THE COOLANT, when hot, the coolant system is under pressure, opening the cap when hot would cause a geyser of hot sticky liquid to spray all over you.

To check what your stain is.
Coolant for your car is a greenish color.
Take your finger tip and touch the stain, and rub your finger and tumb. It will feel slick and will be hard to wipe off with a rag.
Now smell it, coolant has a fish smell.
And if you're really brave, tap your finger on the front part of your tongue (not on the tip of your tongue, that's the wrong type of taste buds) it will have a sweet taste, that's why cats and dogs go after it.

Can the head gasket go out with no reason or warning.
Yes, again sitting for a long time is bad for gaskets. Cars are machines.
Machines do 2 things, they work and they break.

I wouldn't worry too much about a problem with the head. Honda makes some pretty tough engines.
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Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 AT 8:01 PM

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