1997 Honda Civic just had oil changed, leaked oil and overh

Tiny
CYANIDE240
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
Engine Mechanical problem
1997 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 152xxx miles

OK so I just took my car to have the oil change (first time I haven't done it my self) and 2 days later I drive it 230 miles to south fl. The morning after I notice that there's a small oil spot on the drive way (about 2 inches in diameter) it continues leaking the same amount only when parked over night or so. After 5 days I go to drive back home, get on the high way and drive for about an hour and then notice its over heating, I'm not sure how long it was but it was smoking from the hood so I pull over, turn the heat on and leave it running for about 10 minutes and then turn it off so I could put it on the tow truck. What could of caused this? I checked the oil level before I left and it wasn't low at all. And what could be wrong with it now? Im going to be testing the compression today
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 11:59 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi cyanide240,

Thank you for the donation.

Did you check the coolant level in radiator?

The smoking could be due to leakages from the coolant and is steam from the overheating, not due to the oil leak. The oil leak could be another problem.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 12:40 PM
Tiny
CYANIDE240
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It was filled up when ii had the oil changed
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 2:24 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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If any leakages had occurred due to punctured hoses or othere coolant passages, they would not be full.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 3:12 PM
Tiny
CYANIDE240
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Ill have to check. The cooling system is completely empty now.

I did a compression test and its 180- these number are approximate and not exact
i can go out and redo them with pictures later on.

How would I know if the headgasket is blown?
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 3:31 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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You would have to perform a pressure test to know if the head gasket is gone.

The gasket might not fail immediately and might take up to 6 months for it to really fail. In the meantime, top up the coolant and test for leakages. Repair the leaks and you can continue to drive, hopefully the overheating was not too serious and did not cause any major damages.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 4:12 PM
Tiny
CYANIDE240
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I changed the thermostat and the spark plugs (they were bad) and it runs good. It just has a low idle (3-500) and it dries up the water in the radiator. I dont see any external leakage
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 8:47 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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After replacement of the thermostat, the cooling system has to be bled of air failing which the radiator would seem to dry up.

Top up the coolant, run engine with A/C turned on and radiator cap off. When coolant level drops, top up. Keep doing until the coolant level stabilises and close radiator cap.

Actually there is a bleeder bolt that you should have released while toppng up the coolant to bleed the air, but you have been running the engine for some time now so I believe you have minimal coolant drop in radiator and that is why I recommend the above bleeding process.

If the radiator and recovery tank keeps drying up, there must be a leak in the system. Get a pressure test done to confirm. Check the interior of vehicle for leakages as it could be from the heater core.

Note : If the radiator is drying up while the recovery tank is overflowing, the head gasket or radiator cap is bad. Check the hose between the recovery tank and radiator is not leaking.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 9:27 AM
Tiny
CYANIDE240
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After driving it around last night (probably about 40 miles) it didnt over heat, the radiator and reserve looked empty, I put more water in it and did as you said. Im going to get a pressure test done today. Would that tell me if the head gasket is bad?
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 9:58 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Thank you for the feedback, it is much appreciated.

A pressure test would let you know if there are any leakages and would indicate if the head gasket is bad.

However if there is a problem with the head gasket and the problem is new, the leak could be minimal and the pressure test might not show immediately unless the time holding the pressure is prolonged.

If after the bleeding and driving around does not show any indication of the coolant level dropping, then there is not necessary to perform the pressure test yet.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
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The mechanic said the leak was coming from the water pump and an o-ring on a pipe. So ill be taking a look at that today
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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If it is the water pump and the O ring of the pipe behind the engine, ensure the pipe is not corroded at the seats for the O ring.
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Friday, August 20th, 2010 AT 1:50 PM
Tiny
CYANIDE240
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Its been a few days and everythings been fine. Was driving tonight (about 230 miles) and everythings fine. Just the tempeture is a little up, when I get off at the exit and sit at the light the temptuter shoots up and when I start driving again it cools down and then goes up and down
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Friday, August 27th, 2010 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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When engine is cold, recheck the coolant level in radiator.

Also check the radiator fan to ensure it is running when the temperature goes up.
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Saturday, August 28th, 2010 AT 12:31 PM

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