1988 Honda Civic 4 door Wagon around 180000 miles

Tiny
MTNHARMONY
  • 1988 HONDA CIVIC

My car has been acting weirder and weirder. I am not even sure how to describe everything as it doesn't always happen.

It doesn't like to start. It hates starting unless it is parked on a slight up hill. It starts to crank but the engine won't fire or whatever. I have wondered if the plugs were bad.

Also, right after starting, when I go in reverse, esp. Up a slight hill it doesn't like it and also blows white smoke. Yesterday it was VERY bad. After that the engine light went on after pulling a long hill, going 25 lbs per hour. The engine lost power as well.

I have had to replace the coolant more and more too as one day it tried to overheat. Since then I check it all the time.

The engine also sounds rough and takes awhile, and some gas to get it ideling properly.

I know it might be the head gasket, but I wonder about what else migth be wrong. Plugs, timing, etc.

Any HELP would be appreciated since we lost our mechanic and I want some idea before trying a new one out !

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Saturday, August 19th, 2006 AT 1:47 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
MTNHARMONY
  • MEMBER

And it also seems to do better when it is cooler outside (under 90 degrees!), Which is maybe why I haven't noticed it as much. It seems to start better when the engine is cooler, or if I have just turned it off 1-3 minutes before and the engine it still very hot.

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Saturday, August 19th, 2006 AT 1:51 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
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  • 3,759 POSTS

Engine coolant is leaking but not on the ground. This I assume is correct. I would say that your head gasket is bad and leaking coolant into the engine. This would explain the harder starts, loss of engine performance, power loss, etc.

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Monday, August 21st, 2006 AT 10:17 AM
Tiny
MTNHARMONY
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Yes you are correct in assuming it is not leaking coolant on the ground. Which puzzled us at first. About 2-3 months ago we suspected this but I dont remember why! The guy didn't have a way to test compression and just going by the oil we didn't see anything.

Thanks for a response

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Monday, August 21st, 2006 AT 4:10 PM

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