1995 Honda Prelude losing coolant, bubbliing radiator

Tiny
JAYBIRDJTSKI
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA PRELUDE
Engine Cooling problem
1995 Honda Prelude 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual

Drat. Same problem. After driving on the highway, I pull into the garage and get bubbling sounds from the cooling system and the overflow tank is empty. I'm losing fluid somewhere. I refilled the tank this morning. Interesting tidbit. I had it 1/2 full yesterday and went into folsom, maybe 50 miles. I noticed a leak under the tank, popped the hood and had radiator fluid still on the battery housing indicating that it had overflowed.

I had the cooling system pressure tested and they only replaced the radiator cap which did not fix the problem. They could not detect any leaks when they pressure tested the system.

There is no smoke or odor of radiator fluid coming from the exhaust. I did notice that the oil darken much sooner than usual after changing it recently but I am not able to detect any fluid on the dipstick. It looks just like oil!

Any ideas? Leaky head gasket? Bad thermostat? Bad water pump?
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 9:44 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi jaybirdjtski,

If the reserve tank is overflowing, there is excessive pressure from the cooling system. Most likely the head gasket is bad.

If reserve tank is drying out, there should be a leak somewhere. Reconfirm with a pressure test.

While driving, did you notice any overheating issues?
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 2:50 PM
Tiny
JAYBIRDJTSKI
  • MEMBER
Very frustrating.

No overt head gasket symptoms. I do have a cracked exhaust manifold that I've been dealing with.
The radiator cap has been replaced.

I drive at highway speeds, 20 or so miles, pull into the garage and the fluid is bubbling. I am also losing fluid. A pressure test turned up nothing.
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 9:12 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Ok, we will continue with this post and forget about the other post.

Did you check if the cooling fans are working?
Problem seems to occur only when you stop so the cooling fans might not be working or one of it ihas failed.

A partially clogged radiator would also cause the problem but it would usually show a high or increasing temperature rerading at high speeds.

A partially opened thermostat cannot be discounted.
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
JAYBIRDJTSKI
  • MEMBER
Ah. Cooling system issues! Interesting that it began happening right after a major service that included replacing the water pump as the water pump wasn't replaced with the timing belt 40k miles sooner because the shop thought it was just fine! The service included doing the cooling system drain and flush. Perhaps I should take the vehicle to a radiator specialist and hope for the best! The radiator is about 10 years old!
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 10:46 AM

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