Engine heating

hi guys ,
I just bought a Honda civic Dx 1994 having 170,000 k miles on it. 2 days back i found out that when the car is idling the temperature gauge for
engine heat rises above the half way going towards hot, when i start driving again the temperature gauge returns back to below halfway mark. Also turning the A/c aggrevates the above problem. I went to the HOnda dealer mechanic, and he is saying the head gasket has a crack and needs to be fixed, he is charging 1000 dollars for it. I want to check with u guys if any of u had problem like this before. Also i dont think head gasket is cracked because it would cause the temp to rise even when i am driving.
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Jay_hawks wrote:

check for the simple stuff first - dead insects in the radiator have the exact same symptoms. also check the fan still operates, the coolant level, replace the thermostat with a new honda one if it's never been done before, check the timing... if it still does it after that, have a leak-down test done by a competent mechanic. the one you spoke with before sounds suspect.
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Thanks for ur suggestions i will check those things u have stated, do u think it can be really the head gasket.
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Jay_hawks wrote:

Check the compression (or have it checked).
If you have good compression then the odds are *very* good that you have a good head gasket.
If you have bad compression it might mean a problem with one or more of the following:
head gasket valves rings
I'd expect a bad head gasket to also cause one or more of the following:
water in the oil oil in the water exhaust gas forcing the coolant to leak out of the coolant overflow
Overheating at idle could simply be a cooling system issue:
fan not working reduced radiador function (ie: bugs in radiator)
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Possible, but I doubt it. Head gasket problems, especially those related to overheating, tend to get a lot worse when the engine is under load - that is, when driving. The higher combustion chamber pressures force more combustion gasses into the coolant. If you want to do a quick test, remove the radiator cap when the engine is cool. Start the engine, pinch closed the tube that goes to the coolant reservoir, and put the palm of your hand over the radiator cap opening. If you feel either a pulsation or a steady rise in pressure on your palm immediately, that's bad news. If not, you can bet the head gasket (or a cracked head) is not causing your overheating.
My main thoughts are just the sort of things Jim mentioned - things related to either coolant flow or air flow.
Mike
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hi, Thanks for ur responses, i would take the car to a different mechanic and check for the thermostat and radiator.
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hi guys , I filled the coolant today morning untill the radiator was filled completely, and i think the car is not showing any of the above problems.I will still keep a watch for day or two.
I am really thankful to all the members who gave me suggestions yesterday , it really helped me to know a lot about my car.
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I'd suspect head gasket issues. My '93 did this too, the only way to help alleviate it was to drive with the heat full on. Luckily mine occured when it was still fairly cold outside. check the colour of your rad fluid too. if it looks sludgy or off colour in the resevoir tank, suspect that oil is leaking through the gasket.

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Without checking,that mechanic is telling you a bunch of BS;it could be only a bad thermostat. That is what happened with my 94 Integra(same symptoms),and a new TS fixed it.
I would not go back to that mechanic.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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