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Loosing coolant, need advice please

 
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:14 PM
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Loosing coolant, need advice please

Hey everyone. I bought a 97 Base Prelude a few months back. I had extensive service done by a local independent Honda mech w/25+ years of experience. Timing belt, balancer/tensioner belts, multiple seals replaced such as Dist O-ring, all the seals in the vicinity of the timing belt, and of course the water pump was replaced. He also replaced fuel filter and all accesible hoses with brand new radiator and the coolant sys was flushed. I haven't bleed the system. Because everyday it requires a decent amount of coolant mix to be added. The cars smokes a whitish smoke on start-up and then will intermittently afterwards. The mechanic didn't think that it was a head gasket because of the normal appearance of the oil and coolant mix, and due to the fact that I purchased the car 700miles from home and drove it straight back home with no problem. The car doesn't overheat. I did the EGR valve/IAC cleaning myself and all fluids looked normal then as they do now. There has been absolutely no visible coolant leaks anywhere that I can find. My question is to you who have had similar experience as the next wisest course of action? Should I check the head gasket? Take it back to an unsure mechanic? Or..?
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:42 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

maybe, just goin on a limb, but maybe when you did the iac cleaning you messed up the coolant lines some how? like put them back on incorrectly

otherwise my big suspect would be ya the head gasket..
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:44 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

well there is nothing normal about coolant being in the oil, that is a head gasket in my experience. Take out your dip stick if it is at all milky greyish looking and or water beads on the dip stick its your head gasket. You don't need a mechanic to tell you that.

p.s. white smoke is coolant or water burning off, grey or black smoke is blow by the rings or valve guide seals.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:51 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

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well there is nothing normal about coolant being in the oil, that is a head gasket in my experience. Take out your dip stick if it is at all milky greyish looking and or water beads on the dip stick its your head gasket. You don't need a mechanic to tell you that.

p.s. white smoke is coolant or water burning off, grey or black smoke is blow by the rings or valve guide seals.
ya thats what i was thinking, just seems weird with the way he was describing it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:57 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

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Originally Posted by Rebel_Luder98 View Post
ya thats what i was thinking, just seems weird with the way he was describing it.
Yeah don't think he or his mechanic really knows much about Hondas. I've owned them all my life. White smoke is not good and to have a normal amount of coolant mixed in the oil. I don't think so, I'd be firing my mechanic if he told me that.

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Old 03-14-2010, 01:10 AM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

Haha. Don't know much about Hondas. Well, I know you are right concerning myself as I don't. Thought that is why I was on here trying to get some help. Instead I get you two guys trying to put someone else down. As to the IAC cleaning I photographed everything from multiple angles and everything was put back together the same as was taken apart. Pictures were in case I F'ed up and forgot how everything was supposed to be hooked up. The problem was there before I ever purchased the car. The mechanic who had worked on it said and I quote "Someone had butchered the car." He also said it took a l press just to be able to get a thermostat in the car which was not previously there. So, I don't want to take it back to him. There aren't any other supposed Honda mechanics around here, that is of course not counting the dealership.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:36 AM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

i would do a leak down test and a compression check... its a sure way to tell if your headgasket is popped. ... bty it sounds like a bad headgasket to me.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:24 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

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Haha. Don't know much about Hondas. Well, I know you are right concerning myself as I don't. Thought that is why I was on here trying to get some help. Instead I get you two guys trying to put someone else down. As to the IAC cleaning I photographed everything from multiple angles and everything was put back together the same as was taken apart. Pictures were in case I F'ed up and forgot how everything was supposed to be hooked up. The problem was there before I ever purchased the car. The mechanic who had worked on it said and I quote "Someone had butchered the car." He also said it took a l press just to be able to get a thermostat in the car which was not previously there. So, I don't want to take it back to him. There aren't any other supposed Honda mechanics around here, that is of course not counting the dealership.
Just saying there should not be any coolant in the oil pan if so you have a head gasket leak, that is all. Do you know if the head was removed before to do any head work like after this previous owner might have thrown a timing belt and bent some valves? If it was I'd say the head was not installed properly and you are experincing a head gasket leak. That is my best guess without seeing the car.

Not trying to put anyone down if nothing else helping you to be able to offer feedback to a mechanic that it is telling you its normal to have a little coolant mixed in the oil.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:12 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

Leak down and compression, will do. Thanks Bustr.

Rob, there is absolutely no coolant in the oil or vice versa. I check them both on a daily basis. No milky appearance to the oil. Coolant looks nice and green as well. The PO knew or claimed to know next to nothing about the car (long story). I hate to say it but I am considering the dealership for this issue. Don't know though..
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:05 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

start the car and remove the radiator cap while it's still cold. do you see bubbles in the rad?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:51 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

i just realized that i'm loosing a bit of coolant as well, so i'll be paying attention to this thread, and hopefully giving advice/helping if i find the solution.

but via compression test and the looks of my oil/coolant, i know my headgasket is fine.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:42 AM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

Though I've only owned a Honda for a while i have had a lot of experience with other previous cars having this problem...check the oil and make sure there is no coolant in the oil, the white smokes is when coolant is mixed in with the oil and coolant makes white smoke when burned...sounds a lot like a head gasket to me I've had a blown head gasket and also a cracked head gasket...not a good thing cost me a lot of money so i would check the oil and if there is coolant in the oil GET IT FIXED not worth waiting it will cost a lot of money if it completely blows..when my head gasket was cracked the oil and coolant both looked fine but the car would over heat so its best to get the head gasket checked anyway...hope this helps

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Old 03-16-2010, 01:06 PM
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Re: Loosing coolant, need advice please

Wow! Still folks that can't get it. Reading skills and or retention must be shot. I check the Oil and H20/AF mixture on a daily basis. They have yet to look anything but normal. I am not trying to say that the head gasket, seal, head itself, etc. is not or could not be the issue. Just saying that looking at the empirical data that fluid deviance has not been observed. Neither has the temperature been out of the normal range. Again, that is not to say that the gasket isn't the culprit. Also, no bubbles were observed in cold radiator with car idling. Seems like the only next logical step would be the leak down and compression tests as was suggested.
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