Honda civic cooling system?????

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Hey wats going on HONDA EXperts. IM a girl looking for answers!
Well i have a Honda civic 1997 DX. I recently replaced the radiator because my old on cracked due to overheating issues and it was old. So:
-i went ahead and replaced the thermostat because it continued overheating. it kept overheadig until the waterhoses busted. -i replaced the waterhoses. it seemed like the car was building up excessive pressure. i noticed everytime i would take off the cap of the radiator. - the problem continued. so i replaced the water pump thinking maybe it was the problem - it continued with the excessive amount of preassure, i will notice because the hoses will get real swollen -at this point i left it alone i had ran out of ideas!!!
Quick facts... the radiator fan is rig because i wouldnt turn ON on its own so it always turns on as soon as i turn on the key ! i tought maybe the sensor is out. AND my biggest problem for now and i REALLY want to fix if possible, the temperature GAUGE on the dash doesnt work at all it has been on cool the whole time its like it doesnt read it.
PLEASE HELP!! wat do i replace? MY motor is fine AUTOZONE test it with that computer they have. they say it is the coolant system ... so wat else do i do? ???
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Cessi wrote:

head gasket's gone.
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jim beam wrote:

Okay, so you think that is the reason why it keeps making that excessive air/preassure? and you know what else i noticedm, only the top water hose from the radiator to the head gets hot and the bottom one close to the thermostat stays cooled? what does that mean?
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It means the thermostat hasn't opened yet. If the engine has been driven sufficient to warm it up all the way and the lower hose is still cold, the thermostat is not open, which is very bad and will cause overheating.
Are you using an aftermarket thermostat? If so, that's bad too. Aftermarket thermostats are notoriously horrible, often defective right out of the box.
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Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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Cessi wrote:

yes.
it means the thermostat's not opening. that may be normal - it's hard to get the motor hot enough, especially this time of year, for that to happen if it's just sitting in your driveway. that said, tegger's right, aftermarket thermostats and radiator caps tend to be awful and very unreliable - genuine honda are your best bet. tegger.com is the place to go for a list of online retailers we've all used and have good experience with.
getting back to your car, the definitive way to say for sure about the head gasket is to do a chemical test of the coolant to see if there are exhaust hydrocarbons present. but that's usually best in the early stages. by the sound of things, your head gasket problem is getting quite advanced - if so, you'll usually get symptoms of excess pressure, and bubbling in the expansion bottle, assuming the radiator cap is opening correctly, and no chemical test will be necessary.
head gasket is unfortunately quite expensive if done by a shop. if you have the skills, and the workshop manual, you can do this job yourself, but it will take the better part of a day and you need to know what you're doing. [don't use any abrasives!!!] if having the job done by someone else, do your math homework first. most shops charge a lot in labor, and routinely do work not always necessary or recommended, namely, skimming the head. otoh, a jdm import for your non-performance replacement is available for $400-$500, so price out the labor of buying and fitting that vs. the many hours necessary to clean and prep a head, maybe skim, ready for re-fitting.
and for the future, the probable cause is the cracked radiator allowing the motor to overheat. once that happens, it breaks the seal on the head, and it will slowly start to leak. it may take a year or more, but from that point, the gasket will inevitably get to the replacement point. for the sake of a hundred or so bucks, replacing the radiator every 10 years is great preventive maintenance.
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Is the thermostat a genuine Honda one? Is the radiator cap a genuine Honda one? If not, then these parts will set you back maybe $35 total.
Genuine Honda parts (also known as "OEM" for "original equipment manufacturer") are strongly recommended for these.

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Elle wrote:

Well, no, the Radiator i purchased was online. Its for a HONDA but its those alluminum ones. I thought maybe these where better, maybe they wouldnt crack and last longer, and it actually already came with a cap, and the thermostat i just bought it at CHECKERS or AutoZONE i dont even remember.
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Aftermarket rads are often pretty good quality and cost way less than OEM ones.

Get rid of that aftermarket thermostat and rad cap. Those have probably been your problem all along.
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Tegger wrote:

my gauge? i cant even tell by looking at it while i am driving if its overheating? how do i fix that problem?
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Tegger wrote:

where do i get a the correct rad cap and thermostat? and anyways... what about my gauge? i cant even tell by looking at it while i am driving if its overheating? how do i fix that problem?
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The correct thermostat and rad cap are only available at your local Honda dealer.
Get those replaced first, then see if the gauge starts working again. I suspect it will.
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or an online Honda parts dealer.

Shouldn't the temp guage work(indicate engine temp) regardless of the condition of the thermostat and radiator cap? He could have a bad temp sensor or have a broken wire (or they left off the connector when installing the radiator?)
He might test the temp guage and sensor before he restarts the engine.(doing more damage) pull the sensor,heat it and see if the temp guage works.
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To back up Tegger's points, over the years this newsgroup's posts have mostly or entirely given their blessing to aftermarket radiators. Aftermarket radiators are much cheaper and apparently work as well.
But aftermarket thermostats and radiator caps are a no-no. Get OEM. If you want, tell us the city or nearest cities to where you are, and we might be able to help you find a Honda dealer near you that sells parts at discounted online prices. Dealers selling online are the latest trend in Honda parts.
Or just call your nearest Honda dealer and ask the price of these parts. You want the prices to be close to the following, from the online dealer slhondaparts.com
thermostat = $13.26 thermostat gasket = $2.51 (required!) radiator cap = $10.61 UPS ground shipping and handling figure $8 (the price to my western state) Total = about $35
And yes, replace these first, then see how your dashboard temperature gage works. (Jim Yanik's point is well taken. But I take the view of troubleshooting one step at a time, in particular establishing a "benchmark" of parts that are known to work, in this case an OEM thermostat and rad cap. Whereas the non-OEM versions of these are frequently suspect.)
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Elle wrote:

Everyone is so helpful. Well I am in TUCSON AZ. I do know where the honda dealership is located. Thanks. Anywho the tempeture guage on my cluster NEVER worked, the previous owner said one day it went out and never fixed it. I would like to know where the sensor is located so i can replace it or test it out see if it works, better yet what is the proper name for it. I just have this thing that i really want to fix it, its bothering me.
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The gauge sensor is usually located at the rear (passenger side) of the head, just forward of the thermostat housing. These do not usually go bad at all. I suspect the original owner unplugged it so as to cover up the overheating, so look for disconnected wires/connectors in that location.
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Tegger wrote:

okay, so i notice when i took of the thermostat the housing part that comes of (like the other half, there is a switch/sensor which sticks out from it.) from what i thought this switch/sensor is for the radiator fan, it tells it when to turn on. IS this the same sensor for the temperature guage?
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The illustrations and tests at the following site may help: http://media.honda.co.uk/car/owner/media/manuals/CivicManual/pdf/23-a123.pdf
The Factory Service manual for your 97 Civic DX is available at http://www.honda.co.uk/car/owner/workshop.html
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Even better illustration:
http://media.honda.co.uk/car/owner/media/manuals/CivicManual/pdf/10-9.pdf
and OEM part #s and prices may be had at
http://www.bkhondaparts.com/ , under "Water Pump-Sensor"
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Hey, that shows the thermostat for the B16 (1995 del sol vtec) and the d16 (92 civic ex) as the same part number! last place like this i looked at (see boring thread a few weeks ago) the automated web page claimed to have the d16 stat in stock and the b16 not available?
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Sue 'em.
Seriously, these online parts stores are often run by expert part guys who are amateur web people. Calling the store up usually yields a good explanation.
On Jan 5, 9:00 am, "Elle"
Hey, that shows the thermostat for the B16 (1995 del sol vtec) and the d16 (92 civic ex) as the same part number! last place like this i looked at (see boring thread a few weeks ago) the automated web page claimed to have the d16 stat in stock and the b16 not available?
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