1999 EX V6 Accord, 111,000 miles, one owner (me), no problems for 8 years except for an alternator (fixed about 4 years ago). Timing belt and water pump changed at 95K.
About two months ago the car started to have a start problem. It would start normally but if I put it in drive or let it sit for 10-15 seconds all the lights on the dashboard would light up and the engine would die quietly. After 3 or 4 tries it would start and run ok for a couple of weeks. One thing I noticed is when it dies after the start - it idles very roughly and the car shakes noticebly. If I let it sit for a minute or two and it does not die the shakes would go away and it would run fine.
Took it to the dealer - replaced the battery and positive charge cable (corroded), it ran for a week, had a coupe of same start problems, then ran for another month without a hickup.
Recently it started dying after the start again (still intermittently) so the mechanic I trust says it's no use trying to diagnose a problem if it's not there when he is looking at it. On top of it he is between two garages now, so nowhere to take her to take a look.
Another problem developed about two weeks ago, and I don't know if it is related to the start problem or this is a totally separate issue.
After 5-7-10 miles on a highway the fan would continue to run after I turn off the engine. This morning the temperature gauge climbed all the way to red H after a five minute trip on a highway. I eased off the gas pedal (from 65 mph to 58 ) and the temperature came down a bit, but when I got off the ramp it climbed all the way up again and stayed there regardless of speed. The coolant was almost completely gone, so I added more, but on the way back home (another 5-7 minute trip) it overheated again.
Tomorrow it goes to the dealer but I wanted to have at least some picture in my head before I hand over my monthly paycheck to the dealer.
Can the two problems be related?
Assuming the coolant was topped off less than 2 months ago and there are no visible leaks in the garage (there are none) where could the coolant have gone?
After I drove my poor Bessie with the needle stuck at H for a mile or two - should I be worried about cracks?
What could cause the overheating even with the freshly added coolant? If there are several possibilities - could you give me a ballpark figure for fixing each of them?
Well, if Bessie is loosing coolant without visible leaks, running rough on cold start and overheating then I would have her tested for blown head gaskets.
April, 3, 2007 AT 3:38 PM
Thanks a lot for the answer!
So you think the stalling is unrelated?
It only runs rough sometimes (a couple of times in two-three weeks). Can a blown head gasket manifest itself intermittently?
Also, could you help with a ballpark figure for the repairs in case it is the head gasket? From what I read here sometimes people get rediculous quotes from mechanics, so a general idea of how much this might costs is really helpful.
April, 3, 2007 AT 10:51 PM
Well, the jury is back and it has the verdict. Coolant was poring out through a water pump (replaced 14K ago) or through some manufacturing-related plugs in the engine behind the waterpump (if the above makes little sense - I plead ignorance, I am just repeating the mechanic's words). The latter explanation seems to be unlikely according to both the service rep and the guy who actually performed the test.
Paid extra hundred for a leakdown test which came out fine, according to the same service guy. Hopefully, replacing the waterpump, although costly, will keep my dear Accord running for some time. We'll see tomorrow. If there are more unpleasant surprises I'll certainly share them here.