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Old 10-12-2001, 05:37 PM   #1
eternalparadox
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1998 Honda Accord-Blown Head Gasket?

Hello,
I have a 1988 Honda Accord, I recently took it to the mechanic for a routine oil change, he noticed the radiator fluid extremely low, and filled it. The very next day, I began to notice the temperture rising, extremely high, I drove for a bit and finally add water. About 4-5 days later, I was driving (temperture normal) when I noticed a hissing from under the hood. Looking under it I noticed a crack in the radiator along the top front edge of the car, running from about the base of the radiator cap half an inch. From then on my car has record medium temperture, yet numerous power losses, I recently stalled while driving, I have added water but but nothing is working.

What I believe it is, is a crack in the radiator, but I have a suspicion that it may be more than that, Could it be a blown head gasket?
What signs can I look for other than high temperture and loss of fluid, can a blown head gasket cause a crack in the radiator or vice versa? And how through a visual inspection can I see if it is blown or not? I have not see any leaks anywhere. The car recently stalled at a light, and had a dead battery kind of droun to it, after several attempts it restarted (smoking a bit) I quickly pulled over and had it towed home.

Anyone with comments would help, I rather uneducated about this situation.

Thanks !

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Old 10-13-2001, 02:17 PM   #2
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Do you have any white smoke from your exhaust? This is a common sign of a blown head gasket, when coolant gets into your oil supply, and burns when it runs through the oil channels. Not having any leaks is a good sign, however, although a head gasket blowing does not always produce visible external leaks.

I'd get that radiator replaced first and foremost, and troubleshoot for additional problems from that point. Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2001, 05:34 PM   #3
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head gasket

Actually, no I don't have any white smoke coming from my exhaust, everything seems to be confined to the front end of the car.

And I don't know if this is a related problem or sign, but occassionaly ( i mean very occasionally) When i try to start my car, it seems like the batterey is dead or really weak, then the car finally starts....could this be something like when they say a a blown head gasket causes a loss of power?

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Old 10-13-2001, 05:43 PM   #4
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No.. I don't think that would be related to the head gasket. I'm tempted to say that's a different beast entirely, like another power source drawing energy from the battery preventing quicker starts. Listen, I'm no mechanic, so I unfortunately I don't have the experience of having seen lots and lots of situations like this to thoroughly diagnose what issues your car is having. Your radiator is definitely spent, so I maintain that is a good starting point, and then see what else needs fixing.

For additional help, I'll notify a couple people that might have a better idea than me what's up with you car. I hope this is of some use to you.
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Old 10-14-2001, 07:53 PM   #5
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other stuff

Yeah I understand, I am gonna get that radiator replaced.

I also think I may have a leak/crack in the radiator reservoir, I attempted to fill it up, but it would just drip through the bottom of the car. I think this could be part of the problem. I just want to have all avenues explored before I take it to the mechanic as for now I am not driving it. But I did run the car today and poured water into it. First I did not see any foam coming up from the radiator, which I understand is a sign that you have oil or gas in mixing. The only thing I noticed was that as I filled it, it would overflow, and bubble down, they come back up again, any thoughts?
Thanks for all your help
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Old 10-15-2001, 08:50 PM   #6
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without pressure being held in the radiator, the engine will definitely overheat during normal driving. JD is right, first fix that and then chase down the other demons. BTW, I have blown head gaskets in the past, one of the best tests you can do is take it down to your local auto shop (any will do) and have them test for the presence of oil in the coolant. In my case, I had no white smoke in the exhaust, no foam or any other indicators in the coolant, but the oil test ran positive and I rebuilt my top end that same weekend.

Slow starting can be caused by a ton of things, is your engine cranking slowly or is it just not firing right away?
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Old 10-16-2001, 12:48 AM   #7
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okay I think I got it.

I think I figured out what is wrong, now I need some help with it, could the leak in the resevior be letting the excess coolant from escaping. The honda radiator are set at around 15psi right? After that boiling point it pushes coolant to the resevior, if it is leaking there, when the car cools again and the pressure comes down it sucks what should be coolant back in to the radiator, but if it has leaked out, then it is sucking air in? Is this a correct assumption? So this being repaeted over and over again could have caused all these problem? (any help?)
I did hit a dip in the road, going rather fast a few days before all my troubles began, this could explain the mechanics saying my radiator fluid was low,filling it, then my car overheating...
So the crack led to the low coolant, which eventually lead to the crack in the radiator, now the question is if the head gasket blew? Is this happen easily?

Now the real question is, how much are you thinking this would run, understandably your not mechanics, but lets say

I need to have that crack,leak whatever sealed up under the car? Radiator$115+labor, any thoughts on the cost of a pressure test, Estimates?
Any help would be appreciated...

-a starving college student...
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