96 Accord Running Hot in stop and go traffic.

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Hi Guys,
You've helped me in the past, hope I can get your advice on my current problem. I have a 1996 honda accord LX that runs hot when I'm in stop
and go traffic. On a straight away, the engine cools back down to the proper level. Also, when I'm stopped for awhile and the engine starts to over-heat....I noticed that the A/C would stop blowing cold air also ( could this be a switch problem of some sort, with the A/C fan). Right now I only drive the vehicle short distances, if its a situation where it begins to over-heat, I turn the car off until it's time to go again. Thank you in advace for any help you can provide me.
--Craig
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Also, my car has over 160,000 miles..... And the A/C does blow cold again when I start to drive again.
--Craig
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You probably need a flush.. Maybe even a new radiator.. I would fix that *fast* if you like that car.. Overheating is the fastest way on earth to kill a honda.. :( Make sure the fans are working right.. They probably are.. It's probably new radiator time.. MK
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Top off the coolant in the reservoir using only OEM Honda coolant. Start monitoring the level of coolant in the reservoir: Start of day when cool, then when warmed up. If the level appears to be going down and you have to regularly top off the coolant, then this will be an indication of whether there is a leak somewhere.
It's possible you just have a faulty thermostat, too, especially if the thermostat installed is the original one. It's worth replacing pre-emptively just to see if it fixes this problem. Use only an OEM thermstat.

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celliot75 wrote:

Check that your radiator fan is running when the car is hot. If not, the fan may be dead, or you may have an electrical issue.
Your symptoms are very common in a car whose fan is not running, since at a stop there is no air flowing through the radiator fins.
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You need a new thermostat;use a genuine Honda TS for replacement. They are not expensive.
--
Jim Yanik
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in

Dunno.. I don't think it's the stat. If the stat stuck closed, it would overheat at any speed. The more I think about it, the more it sounds like the fans are not working.. You need the fans for both the engine cooling, and the A/C condensor. Being he's reporting that both are flaking out when still, kinda is making me lean to the fans being out. If you had a bad radiator, that shouldn't effect the heat transfer across the condensor, being they are separate coils. Well, unless the radiator was really clogged.. So anyway, I'm starting to revise my first guess.. I'm starting to lean to the fan/s being out fer some reason.. MK
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snipped-for-privacy@wt.net wrote in

I had the exact same problem symptoms with my 94 Integra GSR,and it was the TS. An OEM Honda TS will fail OPEN,so you don't overheat your motor.
The clue is that the motor cools down when she is moving,radiator problems or low coolant will not do that.
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

But Fan problems will.
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A fan problem would be easy to check.
--
Jim Yanik
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Hi All,
I did notice something else when stopped for an extended period of time. I noticed when stopped and the A/C starts to blow lukewarm air, I can also hear either the A/C compressor or one of the Fans kicking on and off....RPM meter goes up and down during this period, but it eventually goes back to normal. I have now stopped driving the vehicle until I get it fixed, I will be changing the TS (OEM as suggested) and monitoring the radiator fluid levels. On checking the fans, should the radiator fan kick in, when the TS opens? Any suggestions on clues I should look for when checking out the fans? Thanks again for all your help, this string as been very fullfilling with knowledge.
--Craig
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celliot75 wrote:

The radiator fans operate independently of the TS. They should fire up when the Rad is hot. If the temp is going up, the fans should definitely be running.
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Expensive to the Canadian consumer though.Paid $39 for one last week.Major rip-off.
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wrote:

Not really;getting a new head or the old one milled because it warps after your motor overheats because a cheap TS failed -closed- instead of open like an OEM Honda TS wiil,and also you can't depend on the aftermarket TS being the right temp for your motor;the one I checked out at PepBoys said a 180 degF TS was right for my Integra,but the manual says it's a 195degF TS.
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Jim Yanik
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Theres a lot of really good advice here on this NG.I would check the cooling fans first, if they run at a stop then the next thing to check is the radiator and TS
If you have never replaced the cooling liquid its possible you have a plugged rad and it only runs cooler when at speed.
And a faulty TS although Honda Ts`s open on fault , not close.(been there )
One thing nobody has mentiopned is the water pump . This also could be a most likely spot to start looking.
When I had my `86 Accord I had the water pump changed at the same time as the timing belt.
A water pump that has worn impellers will not produce a good flow through the rad at idle but will at speed because it is running a lot faster.+ you have better airflow through the rad.
And yes , the impellers do get worn.
hope this helps
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mred wrote:

how? they don't touch anything.

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They touch WATER.(coolant)
Water wears away rock,changes it to sand. water jets can cut through tough materials very quickly. Plastic is relatively soft,and degrades with age. Also,there's more than just coolant circulating inside a engine's cooling system.(particulates,rust....)
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Jim Yanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

no, particulates wear away rock.

and they're typically used in conjunction with abrasive powder when cutting metals. at 60,000psi.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_jet_cutter
this is not the case with a vehicle impeller.

impellers on a honda are not plastic. nor are the casings.

there can be from time to time, but they don't continually circulate, they settle in places like radiators and the lower channel of the cylinder block.
bottom line, i've seen a whole bunch of honda water pumps, and none evidenced any wear. including the 305k mile one off my old crx. that's 305k miles on the original water pump from new. it died by bearing/seal failure, not impeller wear.
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Hi Guys,
Justed wanted to let everybody know that it was the fans......The radiator fan was just busted (barely turning at all) and the condensor fan would run for a moment then shut off.....if you take your hand and slightly turn the blade, the motor would come on again....I also changed my temperture switch while I was at it......Thank you all for some very good responses....Allot of knowledge in this group.
--Craig
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celliot75 wrote:

excellent that you took the time to follow up. it's a great help for the archives.
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