1995 Honda Accord boils over

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My daughter owns a 1995 Accord with about 125K on it and a new timing belt and water pump. The car was running fine for several months after purchase when it suddenly got hot and boiled over. She had the
thermostat replaced and that wasn't the issue. Here's what I know: It starts and runs normally, it heats up to normal operating temperature at idle and will happily stay there all day. With the cap off, the water level will come up and overflow the filler neck and if i accelerate the engine, the water will pull out of the neck into the system. Water does seem to move through the system and with the heater on, I get heat in the cab...lots of it. With the heater off and full cold with A/C on, temp remains the same and the cooling fans come on. The fans will run after I shut it off. If I drive it a short distance it is happy enough but (if the car is warmed up) after about 1/2 a mile, the gauge will jump to the halfway point and then climb. I can turn the heater on full bore and get it to cool some but it won't be happy for long. If I pull over and let it idle, it returns to normal temp. I have bled the system according to the Service Manual for the car. I have verified as best I can that there are no holes in the system and I see no leaks. When the engine warmed up, it looked like it was burping some air out, but the bubbles were random and they were not smoky. I see no steady stream of bubbles in the coolant as it passes through the radiator, but when the system is closed and it gets warm the behavior is that of an old car boiling over. There is a lot of action in the overflow tank and it begins to fill and bubble violently. I am out of options. I am getting conflicting symptoms as to whether or not it is a failed head gasket and I am not sure if the cooling fans are working while it is just running down the road since my wife won't let me strap one of my boys to the hood while I drive it to look and listen. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

sure. unless you do the job yourself, and know what you're doing, price out the options between having it repaired and simply replacing the motor with a jdm import. they're surprisingly cheap and labor to replace is substantially less than a gasket job and all the labor involved.
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On Sun, 29 Apr 2007 18:49:53 -0700, jim beam wrote:

Not necessarily. When the coolant overheats it boils. Since it is a closed system, the only place it can boil is...in the bottle.
Last summer my Supra (the Poster Child for bad head gaskets!) boiled over a couple of times. The first time was scary as hell! On the highway, temp gauge rising, a loud *SIGH* from under the hood and smoke kind of smoke! I still have NO idea what the smoke was! Opened the hood and the Overflow bottle was bubbling like a witch's cauldron! I let it cool and it ran fine for a few weeks.
Then, we were on our way to a gig in Vermont and it started overheating again. This time I was keeping an eye on the termp gauge and pulled over well before it sighed again. But the OF bottle was bubbling up again.We got to the place just as the temp was creeping up again.
In the next week I ran some tests and determined the fan clutch was shot, and on hot days there just wasn't enough air getting into the engine bay. I put in a new fan clutch (this was in late June, BTW) and I haven't had a problem since. No coolant disappearing, no boil overs, no overheating.
I consider myself LUCKY! (Knocking on my Pine desk!!!)
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Hachiroku $B%O%A%m%/ wrote:

that's supposition, not fact. run an infrared thermometer on the cooling system. check out the temperature delta between the main system and the expansion bottle on the end of the long skinny pipe. the only way for there to be gas bubbling in that bottle simply from "boiling" is if the vent on the radiator cap is stuck, /and/ the engine reaches way past boiling, /and/ this cap suddenly releases allowing sufficient superheated water to exit the long skinny pipe still at above boiling, and for that to heat and keep on heating the cooler liquid in the expansion bottle. it /can/ happen, but it's highly unlikely.

the fans don't work on the highway - airflow from car movement exceeds airflow from fan rotation by a country mile. if you were boiling, you had airflow restriction, thermostat problems or a gasket problem.

buy an infrared thermometer and scope the temp of the block.

summers ago. then she settled down, then she stated leaking again. and i ran it leaking for about 10k miles before i decided it was bad enough to fix.
you [and the op] should do an exhaust gas chemical test on the coolant - that'll show for sure.
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 20:24:24 -0700, jim beam wrote:

LOL! You come to Mass on a hot July day, and I'll take you for a ride. At 70MPH on the highway, when the fan kicks in it sounds like a B-17 trying to pass you! Oh, yeah, the fan kicks in! (It's attached to the crankshaft...not electric, and uses a heat-sensitive oil that thickens when hot and causes the fan to be driven, rather than just 'feathering'.)

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Hachiroku $B%O%A%m%/ wrote:

it comes on because it's just a "dumb" thermostat control, but it doesnt' mean it's contributing very much. how much additional airflow do you think is generated by 1 sq ft of fan vs 70mph on the full rad? if it's even 10% i'll be amazed.

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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 21:04:00 -0700, jim beam wrote:

Brings the temp down on the gauge, keeps the car from overheating. I'd say, enough!
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Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

snip
This is new to me... A fan attached to the crankshaft??? What is this vehicle?
That said, if you're going 70 mph and it (thermostatic clutch) causes the fan to come on, most likely you either have too little radiator or its plugged.
JT
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Not a Honda.

No kidding.When the thermostat on my Integra stuck open,just going 20 mph would cool the motor down to the C line(well below normal),In hot Central Florida,in the summer.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
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Jim Yanik wrote:

...which is a whole lot better than it stickin' closed!
<G>
JT
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On Tue, 01 May 2007 17:49:48 +0000, Jim Yanik wrote:

It was late...you know, not electric...at the front of the engine...Old School...

'88 Supra...the Poster Child for Blown Head Gaskets...
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Hachiroku gYǧG wrote:

I know that version of Supra had head gasket issues. But surely the real poster child for blown head gaskets would be a Dodge Neon, wouldn't it? :-)
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High Tech Misfit wrote:

Or Taurus' with the 3.8 engine. I can tell a long tale of woe regarding one of those POS...
JT
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On Wed, 02 May 2007 03:50:37 +0000, Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

I used to work for a guy that sold used Fords. We sold a lot of Taurus', but RARELY one with a 3.8. He *knew* better!
I was working at a CarQuest, and we had a small market across from us. A guy stopped with a Continental to get a paper and a cup of coffee. It was Feb, so he left the motor running.
Normal...a little steam..then a puff...and another puff...and a few more puffs...by the time the guy came out of the store there was a steady stream of steam flowing from the tailpipe. He stopped someone passing, pointed to the tailpipe, and the other guy just shrugged his shoulders and walked on. Before I could get to the door, the guy drove off.
Sure hope he went RIGHT to the Ford dealer down the street!
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I nominate the anything with the Subaru 2.5L and Renault turbos.
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On Tue, 01 May 2007 23:11:47 -0400, High Tech Misfit wrote:

When they designed the car, asbestos HGs were still in use. When building started, asbestos HGs were gone. I guess they went to a semi-metallic HG, which called for higher torque on the head bolts. Toyota *didn't* call for higher torque, and suffered a lot of BHGs.
Luckily, whoever had the car originally either had the head retorqued, or replaced the gasket and had it torqued to the new spec.
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On Tue, 01 May 2007 17:21:57 +0000, Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

I may be showing my age...I'm not sure if it's actually on the crankshaft...(I'm sure it's not...)

Everything seems OK, but the previous owner sunk $1100 into the cooling system...
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Hachiroku $B%O%A%m%/ wrote:

thousands on "cooling problems" for a rear engine, front radiator car he was trying to race. constant overheating. he, and a number of other "race mechanics" failed to see the significance of a 3/4" home-built water manifold bolted onto where the thermostat was supposed to be. whoda thunk to consider effect of such a small pipe on coolant flow!!!
bottom line, these vehicles ship from factory having been tested at full throttle, fully loaded, in summer, in death valley. if yours is overheating just tooling along the highway without aftermarket assistance, there's something wrong. and it's not the fan.
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jim beam wrote:

About thirty years ago while returning home from a car show with my 1956 Studebaker Hawk, the temperature gauge began to rise. I pulled over and saw that the fan belt had "disappeared." At any rate, the rest of the drive was on a freeway and I surmised that I could get home since the incoming air would drive the water pump as well as cool the radiator so long as I kept up a reasonable speed. The gauge never went above 180°.
Sometimes, "old" can be better...
JT
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Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

heat generator. with an electric radiator fan, no healthy car will use anything other than airflow cooling on the freeway.
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