1996 Honda Accord 113,000 miles running HOT

I have two problems. My car is running hot in the red. smoking under hood. I added water to the radiator but it still ran in the red. Only drove about 5 miles after putting water in. What do you think the
problem can be. blower is working. turning on the heat only minimally lowered temp. Second problem The hood wont close now. checked the latch and release still wont close. Thanks for your help.
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gasket problems, but overheating is both a cause and a symptom of head trouble. Overheating can warp the head and cause the center of the head gasket to fail.
A quick test for this sort of failure (typically combustion gasses getting into the coolant) is to start with a cold car and remove the radiator cap. Start the engine, pinch closed or kink the rubber hose to the coolant reservoir and place the palm of your hand over the radiator opening. If you feel a steady rise in pressure within a second or two - or worse yet, pulsations from the engine running - it is bad news. If the radiator bubbles up or disgorges coolant, same thing. If you don't/it doesn't, look for other causes for the overheating. If the head is warped it can usually be milled flat to save you the expense of a new head, but there is no way of knowing it's actual condition without removing the head - a big job.
If the car passes the head gasket screening test (and maybe even if it doesn't) we need to know: you mention adding lots of water... has the system had antifreeze/distilled water mixture this whole time or has it had tap water? Hondas especially don't like tap water.
For the hood release, if you have some spray lubricant to spray on the latch mechanism - silicone is my preference, but WD-40 will do in a pinch - give that a try. Also pull on the release lever in case it sprung (is in the closed position). If all that fails, the mechanism isn't all that complicated. It is uncomfortable to look closely at but if you can twist yourself around to see it you can probably figure out how it should work and what is wrong. A good start is pushing on the slanty (technical term) part that gets pushed aside at the very bottom of the latch... it should work against a stiff spring and then the mechanism should clank closed. Release it with the release lever. A few minutes investigation should reveal what isn't working right.
Mike
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Nurseloree wrote:

are expensive. follow mike's advice for the quick head gasket test.
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1) Does the car overheat when it's idling, or when you're actually moving? 2) Was the rad low when you added water? Does it get low again fairly quickly? 3) When it starts to overheat, does revving the engine drop the temperature?
Hood latch may be rusted. Spray with WD-40 & wiggle until it's loose. Then put lots of oil on it.
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