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HELP!!! Can't Detect Reservoir Issue

 
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:48 AM
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Icon9 HELP!!! Can't Detect Reservoir Issue

Hello Everyone,

I first am happy to say that my 1991 Honda Prelude ALB Si 2.1 has hit almost 184,000 miles (purchased with 99,000).
At 101,000 miles 8 years ago I changed out myself the upper/lower radiator hose and replaced the radiator. In 2015 was the first time I saw an issue with my thermostat gauge when their was no heat coming out of my vents and the car was overheating thus I changed out the thermostat and housing with Honda OEM parts. Vehicle wasn't driven much from 2015 - 2016.
2017- Present
Vehicle has had no issues whatever so ever. One month ago I had major work done on it thru a trusted friend that works at a dealership. The timing belt was redone since the previous mechanic Fu** it up I guess. New belt and new timing belt guides placed on including my cam seals which stopped my major oil leak. I then changed out myself while their at the dealership the plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor.
When I left the dealership that night not even 30 minutes on the road the car overheated. I thought maybe I didn't check my fluid levels so I stopped at a gas station and filled it up with antifreeze. Everything was fine...
Last 7 days the gauges goes up and down and I see fluid by the reservoir area leaking.
Yesterday on 6/18/18 jacked the car up and disassembled the antifreeze reservoir assembly..I found a lot of slug and dirt on the bottom of it so I cleaned it so it sparkled. Then I checked the hoses and cleaned them on the outside to remove any debris or filth and reassembled everything. I also made sure to bleed the system per the Honda prelude maintenance booklet.
6/19/18 Drove it 40 miles to my work and sure enough when I got to work though the thermostat gauge didn't move I saw smoke coming from the hood around the reservoir area and I mean a lot?

Someone please explain to me what the issue could be???
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:48 PM
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Re: HELP!!! Can't Detect Reservoir Issue

Have you let the car idle to hot and watched it from the outside? How old is the radiator? As they age, the plastic radiator heads are subject to hairline cracks -- they won't leak when cold, but under heat and pressure, they'll open let fluid out. Not a certain diagnosis, but worth checking.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:00 PM
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Re: HELP!!! Can't Detect Reservoir Issue

I responded to this question over on the other forum. I'll paste that response here instead of providing a link...

Could be a simple coolant leak. Check all your hoses for leaks, not just the upper and lower radiator hoses. There are several other smaller coolant hoses on our engines. Check them all. Also check the coolant pipe and water pump for leakage.

Your problem could also be something more serious, such as a bad head gasket. Anytime an engine overheats the head gasket is at risk of being damaged. It seems to be quite common on our engines. And it's also common on our engines for the head gasket to leak between a cylinder and the water jacket. So even if your oil looks fine you can still have a head gasket issue. There are a few different tests you can do to check for a bad head gasket. I would start with a compression test. Most home mechanics have a compression tester, and they are not expensive if not. Another test would be a leak-down test. Or there is a test kit available which tests the coolant for compression gasses. There should normally be no compression gasses in the coolant.
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