i've got an older civic and today noticed that the engine was heating up
going up to H, got to a gas station and stopped and noticed that there was
no coolant......bought some coolant and this seemed to help. Everytime i am
cruising it is fine it is when i stop at a light it creeps up and when i
accelerate that it creeps up for a bit. Does it take some time for the
coolant to make it everywhere and work? After adding the coolant i have
about a 5 mile ride home and it was still acting funny.
Top up the reservoir to MAX and check it when the engine is cold. Keep
topping it up until it stops 'sipping' from the reservoir when it cools.
It may just be displacing AIR which has gotten in, (unless you've truly
screwed up you engine).
When you added coolant to the radiator did you open the bleeder valve for
the coolant system first? If you did not do this, then there will likely be
trapped air in the system which could be causing your continuing problems.
Wait until the engine is cool, open the bleeder valve, and then top up the
cooling system closing the bleeder valve only after there's nothing but
coolant coming out of it, i.e., no air bubbles.
What that said, the question remains as to why your cooling system was so
low to begin with. Is there a leak? Common problems are a leaking water
pump or a bad connection at a hose fitting. Less common is a bad radiator
but Honda used a rubber o-ring to seal the radiator drain plug and sometimes
these go bad. If the leak isn't obvious and you can't find it, then you may
have to get your system pressure tested.
There should always be coolant in the radiator, all the way to the top. If
there is not, not only does coolant have to be added, but if it is
disappearing every week the leak needs to be found and fixed.
Of course, don't open the radiator when the engine is hot or even very warm.
A couple years ago I did that because the radiator wasn't very warm and
scalded my arm pretty badly. Learn from my stupid mistake.
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