Blown Head Gasket

Tiny
MUSTANGEJBJR
  • HONDA CIVIC

Honda Civic 6th generation (98), 187,000 miles on 1.6L SOHC Vtec, D16y8, OBD2. Nothing wrong with the car until the fatal mistake of not tightening the radiator cap. Order of events: Driving on freeway, engine light on, white smoke blowing out of pipe in short, overheating, redline hot for 2 miles before eixiting freeway, car dies as it pulls into rest stop. After getting cap and refilling radiator again, the car starts. End of events) Is it more feasible to just buy another engine? My guess is yes, but if so do you know a credible online store? How specific/exact engine can be used to replace this one?

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Monday, June 18th, 2007 AT 7:30 PM

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Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
  • 3,758 POSTS

Before I would throw in the chips on the engine you have, ask yourself what the engine was like prior to this? Did it use oil? Did it loose or consume any coolant? If the answer is generally "no", don't give up on it. Why was the radiator cap off?

I would pull off the valve cover and the head. I would take it in and have the head checked for warpage and cracks. If it passes or has to be planed, a new head gasket and you can be on the road again.

Obviously there are some other things to look at and be careful not to mess up when taking it apart but you get the point. Much, much cheaper to find out if this one is salvagable.

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 AT 7:48 AM
Tiny
MUSTANGEJBJR
  • MEMBER

We were able to save head, and pressure tested it at the machine shop. Now I will be putting the head back on and changing seals. One question, do you have a reference to diagrams of this engine or info to where to find specifications with brief descriptions of what needs to be replaced when putting the head back on?

Ty.

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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 AT 9:53 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
  • 3,758 POSTS

Obviously you need a new nead gasket. I strongly suggest a new intake and possibly a new exhaust manifold gasket. Many people recommend and Honda does too that you replace the bolts for the head. Get a new valve cover gasket and the seals for the plug holes.

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
BILLBO311
  • 2004 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 160,000 MILES

The car takes forever to put warm air out of the heater. Coolant can be in tip top shape, does not matter. And also has a problem with coolant, every now and then the radiator is just empty, as if spaceships in the night removed it. Then you wont have that problem, just long enough to forget you had it, then POW, its gone again. Im not making this up. And I have had 2 Accords, 4 civics in my lifetime. This is the first Post 2000 model. Never came across this.I think blown head gasket, fill res. And it wont move. Too wierd.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOHNNYT73
  • EXPERT
  • 945 POSTS

You need to have the system pressure tested to see where the coolant is going. Also, filling the reservoir does not fill your radiator. You need to remove the radiator cap and fill it directly. Fill it and leave the cap off, start the car with the heat on, let it idle till it reaches operating temp, then raise the rpm to 2500 rpm and hold it for about 5 seconds (do this till you no longer see bubbles at the radiator, check to be sure you have heat at idle, then replace cap. That procedure will burp the air out of the system. If do that and still have coolant loss issues then you need to have the system pressure tested for leaks.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BILLBO311
  • MEMBER

Thanks, im actuall burping the car right now, to eliminate that gremlin. And yes, I typically add to radiator, unless im driving it.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 8,686 POSTS

Good answer Johnnyt73

here is some more information on the subject

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-heater-not-working

please let us know what you find

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BILLBO311
  • MEMBER

Thanks for all the input.I liked the "air lock" idea from the beginning, but continued staring under the hood for hours.I tried using a spillproof funnel, got lots of bubbles, but had an overheat, and took a step back.I threw in the towel, convinced it was my heater core being plugged. The shop I use, stood the car up" practically on its back bumper, and ran it. Car is in a state of warmth it has never known. This approach made sense, I just never saw it comin.I.E, the approach.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 8,686 POSTS

That is some good info my man, nice work JohnnyT73, it will help many, thanks for getting back to us, thanks for using 2CarPros.com I will update this article to include this info.

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-heater-not-working

Thanks again, Ken

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BILLBO311
  • MEMBER

Excited to think it may help someone avoid uneeded downtime. GO BLUE!

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MISS.RUBY
  • 1995 HONDA CIVIC
  • 160 MILES

I'm running a b16a type r engine in my 95 civic eg at the moment, the past 2 weeks its been over heating so I've been avoiding driving it since flushing and replacing the coolant in the radiator, the fan is working but not to its best capacity, the thermostat is opening a little late but its all working none the less. I have done some research online and the symptoms my car is showing is pointing to a blown head gasket (coolant dissappearing with no leaks, tiny amount of oil in the coolant, loss of power while driving, over heating then cooling again within minutes, tiny puff of white smoke occasionally coming out my exhaust) I was just wondering if there was a difference in symptoms between a blown head gasket and a cracked head? As obviously there is a major price difference in repairing either one of them.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
  • 30,939 POSTS

You really cant tell the difference you just have to remove the head and have it pressure tested for cracks and checked for being warped. They have a chemical head gasket tester they rent at auto zone they can tell you if you have exhaust gases in your coolant.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MISS.RUBY
  • MEMBER

Thanks heaps, I'm actually based in western Australia so might just have to call around local mechanics for pressure testing

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
  • 31,192 POSTS

Most work shops can do the head check, with the head off take it to a automotive machinist, or your local repco can send it to one of there accredited shops in your town.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
  • 41,965 POSTS

If problem had been ongoing for some time, check the cylinder block surface. This engine is known to have damaged block face when head gaskets goes bad.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DENNY75
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC
  • 165,000 MILES

Brought car to shop. Was overheating slighty, leaking coolant intermittently for 3months. We kept topping it off. Prior to that had heater issues for a year where it would heat sometimes, and blow cold air at others. Shop said waterpump was leaking, radiator was leaking, and they replaced. Replaced timing belt because it was old. Day after out of the shop, car overheats into the red zone, and we pull over and leaking coolant all over the ground. Opened the radiator and it was almost full, the overflow still had some fluid. We alsofound that the fan and the coolant overflow tank were jiggling and loose, never being reattached to the front of the car with, coolant all over the road, When we checked, both the radiator and the overflow were full.

Took it back to the shop and they said the head gasket had blown. Whose fault is this?Did the shop do something, did it just magically wear out the next day? Very upset with shop.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
  • 20,814 POSTS

Your first sentence says it all. The previous overheating is what did the damage to the head gasket. On these aluminum heads it only take seconds at the right temp to do serious damage.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DENNY75
  • MEMBER

Thank you for your answer. If you have a moment to answer two more? Would a shop check for head gasket problems when replacing a radiator and water pump? Couldn't the damage have occured when the engine went into the red zone? There was not a problem in the oil visually or any exhaust smoke to indicate damage previously to our taking it in to the shop. Thank you.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
  • 20,814 POSTS

Head gasket problems are not easy to spot until they get real bad. Sometimes the only way to find them is continuous driving to look for a pattern in the way the temp acts. You always have to suspect it after an overheat but it's not easy to confirm.

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DENNY75
  • MEMBER

I see. The diagnosis was made using a very nifty tool that was put in the opening of the radiator filled with a liquid that changed color to indicate the blown gasket. I was hoping that would be part of standard procedure to rule out head gasket problems after all the other work had been done. Either way, its blown and I am just trying to determine when and why. Thank you for your help!

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 AT 2:58 PM (Merged)

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