1995 Honda Prelude radiator fluid bubbling

Tiny
JAYBIRDJTSKI
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA PRELUDE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 260,000 MILES
Symptoms: cooling system losing fluid and bubbling after hwy driving. Never overheated. Ever. No smell or white smoke from exhaust pipe. I change oil every 3k and I can't really tell if there is water in oil.
Had it pressure tested and found only that it needed new radiator cap.
Change thermostat? Water pump? Had it replaced about 30k ago. Should I simply try to replace thermostat? Should I simply add Steel Seal as it might be a leaky head gasket. This has been a great car but it does have 260k miles and, since it has other small issues, like cracked exhaust manifold, warped rotor, etc, and might be worth $3000 I cannot see dropping alot into it.
I drive about 35k miles per year so need a reliable car.
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 9:10 AM

2 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi jaybirdjtski,

If the radiator cap is bad, it would result in bubbling and coolant losses. Replace it first.

Stop leak chemicals are good only for cooling system leaks such as seals, hoses minor cracks. For head gasket faults, they are no use as the compression leak is at high pressure. Some checmiclas do not react kindly to the coolant and might cause clogging of the radiator.

Water in oil would cause the oil to turn cream colored. The oil filler cap would have traces of vapour when it is opened at cold engine temperature.

Honda seldom have water in oil condition and if it happens, there would be many tell-tale signs.

If there is no pressure leak and overheating issues, why replace the water pump and thermostat?
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 2:45 PM
Tiny
JAYBIRDJTSKI
  • MEMBER
The cap was replaced. The system pressure tested and that was the diagnosis. I drive 20 miles or so, hwy speeds, stop and fluid is bubbling in the overflow tank. The car has idiot lights, not a gauge, but I've never had it overheat. It did get warm and I did have to drive with the heater on but it returned to normal. I refilled the radiator and drove 300 or so miles with no problem.
Something isn't right and I drive this car 36k hwy miles per year.
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 9:16 AM

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