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Problems with heating and starting

 
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:54 PM
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Problems with heating and starting

Well, I bought a 1992 4th gen automatic Prelude the other day. It was a bit of a bad deal, a few things wrong with it. But only 2 things are a real problem right now, and I thought I'd ask some advice about what the problem could be.

Note that I know very little about cars. I want to learn, and is in the process, but I am not far beyond changing oil and water. Any information is useful though.


1) My car seems to be overheating. The temp gauge jumps to the middle within 1-2 minutes of normal driving.(Is that normal operating temperature?) The radiator has water. It seems to have air bubbles in it though, because when they fill it up, it would bubble up, and then suddenly disappear again. So far I can see on stuff I read on this forum, there is various things that can be wrong with the radiator. So should I just take it in and have the whole radiator checked, or is there a few small things I can try to see if I can find the problem?

2) I suspect its heat-related, but when I stop my car for a few hours (at the place I work), and come back to it, it won't start. The engine would turn over a few times, sputter, and then die. If I press the gas pedal at the point it starts to sputter (though I am told that is a bad thing to do), I can sometimes ref it up, and stop it from dying. If I am unable to get it to start, it eventually simply stops starting at all, and just turns the engine.
Leaving it for 5 minutes, makes it start again.

Is it possible that it could be heat related, or should I take it to a mechanic and have him run a diagnostic? (By the way, 10-20min driving causes the engine check light to come on. I am unsure how to do the jump wire thing to see what the actual problem is, and I have no manual)

Any random help is appreciated. I just want a general idea of what could be wrong, so that I can see how much it might cost to repair.

Sorry for so much text. @_@
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:37 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

2 bars on the temp is normal. you need to check what code the CEL is throwing and move from there
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Okay, that helps. I found the guide on how to check the CEL on here, so I'll do that and see where the problem lies.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

An easy way to cure air in the coolant:

Fill your overflow tank to the marked line.

Pour coolant/water (coolant is preferred) into the radiator until it gets to the top.

Squeeze the bottom rad hose (massage it) and watch the air come bubbling up.

Repeat the filling and massaging until you see no more bubbles.

Try squeezing the top a little too sometimes.

This will get most of the air out and the system will suck it whatever else it needs through the overflow.

Good luck.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:34 AM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Thanks. I'll try that, and see if it helps!
By the way, couldn't get the CEL check thing to work yet. Thanks for the tips so far.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:33 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Look at our DIY thread we have a thread with step by step instructions for your check engine light

Also over heating problems are caused by lack of coolant
Calapsed hoses, thermostat sticking, radiator fans not kicking on

Problem two
Sounds fuel related

Fuel filter or bad fuel regulator
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:17 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Well, after browsing and searching the forums, I have found an interesting thing. Ironically its not really related to the above mentioned problems, but useful nonetheless. My speedo doesn't work, but with it, my check engine light comes on after a few minutes of driving, and the car's idle swings high and low, from 500-1500 rpm, and sometimes dies.
As far as I can tell (by doing a test given in the workshop manual I downloaded), my VSS is a problem.

Could this also be related to the trouble starting the car? Maybe the automatic doesn't idle high enough because it can't detect speed or something? (I sound like a real beginner in cars, lol)

Quote:
Problem two
Sounds fuel related

Fuel filter or bad fuel regulator
Hmm, I'll look into that. Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:17 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

A bad vss would not cause the problem your having just either goes crazy or doesn't tell you how fast your going, replace it an check your tranny fluid level
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:24 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by abelsgotspeed View Post
A bad vss would not cause the problem your having just either goes crazy or doesn't tell you how fast your going, replace it an check your tranny fluid level
2x. . you might have a vac leak
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:58 AM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Well, yesterday, my Prelude refused to start. It would turn over the engine, as always, but it didn't start. Eventually, a friend of friend looked at the engine. Now, I was kinda in a hurry, so not sure exactly what he said, but he seemed to imply a cable related to my gas pedal was wrong with in some way. The moment he changed something, my car started immediately, and has done so ever since. I am confused to say the least. @_@ I will ask him exactly what the problem was.

But yeah, so this car is so random. So far it seems that nothing serious is wrong yet.

Thanks for all the help so far. I asked the mechanic to look into the speedometer.
The thing is, it doesn't jump so much, as it freezes in a specific speed.
For instance, if I start it, it jumps to 35kph. It'll stay there for a while, then suddenly jump around, and stop on 0. Later it will go up to about 5kph, and freeze there again.
As I type this, it does seem more related to the speedo itself. xD

I'll check the transmission fluid, thanks for the suggestion.

And sorry, very new to cars, a vac refers to?
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:45 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

A "vac" refers to a "vacuum". In this case you have vacuum lines that run throughout your air intake, valve cover, brake booster and so on. You may have a leak in one of them, just a tiny amount of air leaking and destroying the negative pressure zone can have ill effects on many parts, and subsequently your precious idle. Check them out, look for dryness, cracks, connection points especially, whistles and use your fingers to find leaks. If you find something you suspect to be a leak, cover it up with you finger or pinch on it a little to see if things even out, just be patient, it will work out. After you have checked those things, you can start to think about gaskets. But taking care of air in your fluid is a big one.
I'm guessing your TPS should be fine, whatever your friend played with sounds like your throttle cable, or he plugged your TPS back in... I highly don't recommend driving around with an overtightened throttle cable being what keeps your engine from dying.

Does the CEL still come on after your friend fixed the cable issue ?
What does it adle at now ?

Last edited by static420; 10-15-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:58 PM
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Re: Problems with heating and starting

Well, it idles at 1k rpm about now. But, after a while of driving, it drops down again to very low idles (too low, almost dying) when I stand still.

I am kinda fed up with the car now though. The stupid (now replaced) radiator cap fell off while I was driving. All the radiator fluid seemed to have leaked out, and my car suddenly started to overheat like crazy. A day and refilled radiator later, it runs normal again.

Then, after prolonged driving today, I started to hear a very loud hissing sound. Eventually what looked like steam came out of my bonnet. The temp gauge was still normal at that point. I stopped, checked the engine, but couldn't see the source. Doesn't sound like a good thing. Hopefully just a line or something that ruptured.

I think I'll take the info I got here from you guys so far, and go see my mechanic tomorrow. Ask him about the sound, and about the vacuum lines. Because I'm almost afraid to drive with it now, in case I cause more damage to the car.

Will keep updating with info. Thanks for all the help so far. o/
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