Engine overheating

Tiny
BABYLEGS81
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC

Engine Cooling problem 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 116000 miles

I have a car with 116,000 miles on it. I have been having overheating issues with my car for the past 6 months and no one seems to be able to figure out why. I've had my thermostat changed 2x's, still overheating. My radiator has been replaced. Still overheating. All my hoses have been checked for leaks. The check out fine. I have had the water pump checked by 2 different mechanics and they both say that it is working fine. When my car overheats it blows out antifreeze from the hose that connects the overflow to the radiator. I was told that if if run my heater it will pull the heat off and keep it from running hot, but when I run my heat while driving it causes it to shoot straight up to the H. Also when my car is sitting at a red light, in a parking lot, or anywhere where the engine is on but not moving the heat will blow cold. I don't know if it's related but the issues both seem to have started at the same time.

I know the top hose is hot. Iv'e never checked the bottom hose. The cooling fans have been checked and they to work

Please help me!

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Friday, November 6th, 2009 AT 5:17 PM

46 Replies

Tiny
KAWATOY
  • MEMBER

Hey babylegs81,

My 05' Civic EX was bought new and I'm sole owner.

Just over a year ago (@ 80K+ miles) I was in a fast food drive thru waiting when I noticed an abnormal sound going from the cooling fans, almost like they were strained or working really hard. What seemed like forever I finally noticed the temp had peaked to "H", this was a first. Luckly I was next in line, got my food and jammed to park and shut the car off. I was within 3 miles form my home so I let the car sit for about 10 minutes then jammed home.

Within days I took the car to a local Honda dealership. They apparently check everything they said it needed a thermostat. After getting my car back I noticed the heater did not work right such as when the car is stopped the heater blew cool air. Also I noticed the smell of coolant when I would come to a stop or getting out of the car after driving somewhere. This went on for about a week or so until the heater just started to work again. The coolant would come and go.

Here we are more than a year later with similiar issues. No "over heating" but the heater is not working right and the coolant smell is apparent. I did notice a flicker of the Temp gauge two weeks ago which made me realize there is a bigger problem.

Now that it's colder in the mornings for me the heat will not come on until I hit the freeway for a couple of miles then will it start to work, extremely frustrating.

My car went to the dealership today. They had it all day until close of business only to tell me that the Tech noticed a large amount of air trapped in the engine block. That he also noted that there was an excess of coolant in the reservoir. After troubleshooting and looking for signs he also noted that there was a continues amout of bubbles appering at the neck of the radiator. Signs of a blown headgasket. I approved the service to begin "tear down". They are telling me - YES, a blown headgasket is confirmed that they need to take the "HEAD" to a machine shop to make sure there is no damage to the cylinders or HEAD.

This was earlier this evening, Friday, Nov 20th 09. Im told that I am looking at about $1400 just as we are now.

I will keep you posted.

* I was told by the service advisor that my extended warranty was up at 105K and I'm at 106K+. WTF. I was not aware of that. I thought the warranty on my civic was up around 75K.

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Friday, November 20th, 2009 AT 11:01 PM
Tiny
HATEMY05CIVIC
  • MEMBER

Kawatoy. Sounds too familiar. My problem has been going on for about a year, but I REFUSE to take it somewhere for them to tell me it's a blown head gasket bc its not and I cannot afford to hand over money to someone taking advantage of me.
I thought I fixed it after changing the thermostat, then changing it AGAIN bc thought it could have been a faulty part. After that I replaced the radiator cap. All of these parts seemed to fix it at first but the problem keeps coming back randomly. My fans work but yet sometimes they don't. The switch is good. I know. Its weird. Water pump is good.
Oil looks totally fine so head gasket is fine. Plus the problem would always be there if it was a gasket problem.
But same as you. Idling too long, or running heat too high or even just using my rear defrost "Sometimes" can cause the temp to rise. I either use my a/c or heater to bring it back to normal. Depending on what time of year. Then theres times like lastnight when I havnt had the problem in months and BAM! It's back. And there's nothing I can do to bring the temp down besides pulling over, turnin it off and leting it cool. Drive for 5 mins and it does it again but yet turning the heat off cools it down, for a few miles. Then I have to pull over again. SO ANNOYING!
I sometimes smell a whiff of coolant when I stop or get out but no leaks anywhere. I'm at a total loss.

So that being said if you have any luck let me know. I never let it get to the H, so i'm pretty sure ive protected the engine but I might not be this lucky cause it happens so randomly I cant watch the gauge for 3 months before it happens again! There is no pattern to the madness

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 AT 9:09 AM
Tiny
KAWATOY
  • MEMBER

WOW! Sorry to hear this.

To respond to what you have experienced I must say that you have a more serious/severe problem. I did experience the temprature peaking 'H' one time which I had to pull over and allow my civic to cool before I ventured back onto to road to get home. I immediately (next business day) scheduled an appointment at my local dealership. They replaced the termostat stating it was sticking and was most likely the problem. After getting my car back shortly thereafter I still felt that something else was not right. For a little over a year I would get subtle hints that something was still a matter with my civic like wiffs of coolant, occasional idle changes and lastly the heater acting up and the flicker in the temperature which ultimately made me take the car back to the dealership.

Also allow me to remind you that our cars were in a class-action lawsuit which Honda settled by extending the warranty by 5% on the warranty experation of your vehicle. I bought an extended warranty up to 100K which meant my warranty was good thru 105K, which I was not fullly aware of until I brought my car in this last time at 106K. So with this serious issue I am now on my own with financing which was at $1,700+ at the last update.

I would like to take the opporitunity to follow up with my original post. Because of the dollar amounts thrown at me in the beginning I felt that the dealership was possibly trying to take advantage of me. I did some outreach and as it was explianed to me, there is three entities involved.
Honda Corp Ltd
Honda Care (warranty company - absolutely no cross with Honda Corp)
Honda Dealership

Honda Corp was my first call. They were very polite but blunt, experienced and professional and actually provided me some personal opinion which I asked for thinking they wouldn't dare but he did. I appreciated that but basically they could not offer me any support other than to create a compliant (case) number and review my whole situation. Given the odds he suggested I not go that route but to contact Honda Care to see if they would provide any payment assistance towards the completed work. Honda care also had bad news for me that because the vehicle is at 106K miles my warranty has since expired and they would not entertian my request for any issues with the vehicle.

After my desperate attempts for Honda to make this a better than negative experience I spoke with the service folks with no heavy hands. They seemed egar to find a way to make the service less painful and claim that they were able to push some assistance through from Honda Care to relief me from 25% of the total service bill. So, they did a new water pump, all new belts (including the timing belt), the engine head went to a machine shop for testing, testing came back OK but they resurfaced the head, oil change, coolant flush, washed my car and eat the rental car rate (35/day for a week) for $1,300+.

I have had my car for little over a week and I still smell coolant. WTF! Besides that everything else is A OK. Yes! I can go out start the car and kick on the defrost and watch the frost melt minutes after the car has been running, again.

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 AT 2:50 PM
Tiny
RDMIZE
  • MEMBER

Hello,

(I did a Google search and found this thread!)

I too have a similar problem with my Honda Civic 05' EX SE. However, my car's mileage is only 65,000. We changed the very cheap and most common problems associated with the temp gauge going up and down: thermostat, radiator cap, and fan switch. My car ran like normal for the next few days, but went back to 'overheating.' I suspected a blown head gasket, but I didn't want to believe it because my car ran and felt fine. Oh, my coolant kept on going down.

I finally decided to go straight to the Honda Dealer, and the mechanic did diagnostics testing. He did a series of tests and couldn't find out what happened. He then tried the Head Gasket testing, and my car indeed blew a head gasket. I had a very puzzle face, so he showed me how he found out. He redid the chemical test of the coolant for me. There were carbons in the coolant that shouldn't be in there and the coolant changed color. He told me that is how you can find out that there is something wrong with the head gasket.

Maybe you should go to your mechanic and have your coolant tested for engine carbons? I was quoted for $1300 to fix my blown head gasket. It is in the shop as I type. /Sigh Hopefully this solves the problem. If not, then I'm going to go berserk! (Honda did say we will have a 1-Year warranty on the repair, but he was very specific about only replacing what will be fixed).

Also, the mechanic told me that Honda Civic's head gasket is made of aluminum, so it is very prone to warping and/or cracking! Err.I will not be purchasing a Honda Civic anymore! (I had a 95 Honda Civic before and was a Honda Lover, but not anymore.)

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Saturday, December 26th, 2009 AT 5:21 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 11,022 POSTS

Hello all,

A blown head gasket was my first through when I read to post, we did many head gasket replacement on these cars which caused all kinds of overheating problems.

Here is a guide so you can check

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

Next, I have seen in rare occasion the water pump impeller will fall off and not circulate the coolant like it should.

Please let us know happens so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
IMAGIRLHELPWITHMYCIVIC
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 332,000 MILES

I have a 2005 Honda Civic, I have brought it to three different shops in the past 2 years always an issue with two things

1. My speedometer will start "bouncing" and not working right then with in a few days my car will start over heating
2. They say one has nothing to do with the other BUT it always happens together.
3. I have fixed the water pump, heating coil, radiator, hoses, even changed the engine 1 year ago
4. It works for 3 months then the water pump, three more months then the radiator, 2 months then a hose, 3, months then some heat coil or something
5. Starting again water pump replaced in Nov 2013
Can you give me any ideas of what to tell them to look for? If you can give me a solution I will gladly mail a donation
I really can't afford a to get another car but don't want to send more money to fix one that keeps having the same issue?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:57 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
  • 31,541 POSTS

The speedo problem is probably the transmission speed sensor, is the gauge going to hot, but is the engine actually over heating? May be it is an electrical problem that is causing the gauge to deflect to hot, but not an actual over heating problem.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:57 PM (Merged)
Tiny
IMAGIRLHELPWITHMYCIVIC
  • MEMBER

I will ask them to look for the fuse "there" I don't think they did that or if they did they didn't tell me for my speedometer
I am unclear of the about the question "is the gauge going to hot, but is the engine actually over heating? "
The temp will raise when I'm in stop and go traffic and it is using lots of coolant but when I fill it I don't see any leaks but the next day it is "empty"
Are the two connect or just be chance--is this an expense fix?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
IMAGIRLHELPWITHMYCIVIC
  • MEMBER

Do donations have to be done by credit card? Don't like to give my card info over the computer

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
  • 31,541 POSTS

If you are loosing coolant, get a cooling system pressure test done, this will locate any external leak, the two problems will not be related, as for donations, just follow the link, you can do it with PayPal if you like.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
IMAGIRLHELPWITHMYCIVIC
  • MEMBER

Thank you, I will bring my car on Monday with this "educated" guess. If you are right I will pay pal my donation tomorrow or when I get my car back.
Thank you ! I guess hope it's not to much to fix :(

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
  • 31,541 POSTS

OK, let us know how you get on with this problem

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL BRAYCE
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.7L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 373,490 MILES

I bought this car from someone. When I put on the air conditioning while the car is moving you will see the temperature start raising and if the air conditioning off after speeding and you brake because of traffic for a while then it starts overheating. I have replaced the reservoir cap and the radiator cap as well, but still doing the same. I am confused I do not want to be changing mechanics what do I do?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
  • 49,801 POSTS

After car is warm with engine off and fan disconnected check radiator for cold spots if any radiator is bad. Then pressure check for a blown head gasket. You can buy an additive at auto parts as well to chemically check it.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL BRAYCE
  • MEMBER

Please how do I go about this cold spots and pressure check for a blown? Thanks

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS RENEE
  • ADMIN
  • 699 POSTS

Hi MICHAEL BRAYCE,

Here is a link to an article that features written step by step instructions , pictures, and a video showing you how to check for a blown head gasket yourself.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/head-gasket-blown-test

If you need further assistance please come back to the site we are here to help you.

Thank you for visiting 2CarPros.com.

Kindest regards,

Renee
Admin

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICHAEL BRAYCE
  • MEMBER

Hi good morning hope all is well. Thanks for the answers so far. But yesterday evening I used my car I checked the water level but driving it for about ten km and back I parked it this morning I checked the water but it has dropped and I added some to it this morning I drove it to office about twenty km I parked it and waited for it to cool down, I checked it again and the water has dropped but because there were no traffic the overheating did not start what will be the problem?
Thanks so much for your help.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 11,022 POSTS

Hey MICHAEL,

Are the cooling fans working when the engine gets hot? if no they probably need replacing. here is a guide that will help you get the problem fixed.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replace-electric-fan-motor

Please let us know what happens so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ANNIEBELLE
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC
  • 150,000 MILES

I have read about the 2005 Honda Civic engine overheating issues. Most people say the same thing: the car first starts to not blow warm air when idling at a stop light but then the heat will kick in once the car starts moving. A scent of antifreeze is noted after exiting the car after driving it then the car overheats. This is what happens with my car. Also turning the heat on causes the car to overheat even more. Some people have replaced the head gasket only to find that the overheating problem begins again after about 800 post-replacement. Also if the temp gauge starts moving towards the hot zone turning on the A/C will cause it to go cool again.

What is the real problem?

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,937 POSTS

Did you check the coolant level in radiator? Do so when engine is cold, low coolant level would cause overheating and heater non heating issues.

If coolant level is too low, you would need to bleed system after topping up.

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Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 AT 7:58 PM (Merged)

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