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Car overheated, please help

Old 20-Apr-2007, 04:40 PM
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Car overheated, please help

Hi guys,

I overheated my car today.

Basically it goes like this. I live west of downtown and I went to see my friend in scarborough. Note that, my windows don't roll down. So I was using AC. Now, on the way back, the 401 was slow as hell. Stop and go. So, I kinda noticed my car was driving like ****... basically, you know how when you have a car FULL of poeple, and tons of **** in the trunk... the revs go up slower, clutching out of first is harder, etc. The thing is, I just put a rather big box of things in my trunk earlier todya so I thought it was just that. I thought the almighty Civic was just struggling with that.

But then I noticed my temp guage was way past red. I immediately pulled over. I waited 10 minutes, I turned it back on and it was only at half temp isntead of in red. Still a tad higher than regular though, its usually below half. So I just drove and I had the heat blasting on 4, and she drove like a charm and everything was good, she was at the normal temp. THen I started sweating like I was in a sauna (remember windows don't roll down). So I put it to off. And after liek 5 minutes temp started to go up again to like half so I started blasting heat again.

Then like 10 minutes later I was my exit, and I was dying of heat again so I turned it off again but the temp never went back up the rest of the way home. It is worth noting that after I got off at my exit traffic WAS better, so maybe with the car moving and all it got a chance to get some air and stuff.

So, what do I do now? I feel like a comlete idiot because I probalby drove with it on red for a while, 10 minutes or something.... because I didn't think of that AT ALL. I just thought she was driving like that because the car was full. SO how do I tell if I did any permenant damage or if I'm okay? Is it kind of like once you overheat it once its more likely to overheat or no?

I checked the rad hoses and they were hot, and my rad seems new, so I'm not sure what hte problem is. Any ideas ?

Do you think it's still okay for me to drive it? Other than the time ont he highway when it was stop and go hardcore it seems fine. I'm not damaging it as long as its at operating temp right?

I'm really worried, any advice is appreciated.
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Old 20-Apr-2007, 06:01 PM
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i would make sure that the rad fan works and that there is indeed coolant in the rad/engine.
If you don't hear it coming on while the car is running, try jumping the fan switch with a peice of wire (just like jumping the service connector to read the CEL codes), if it comes on, then you know the fan works, and that the problem could be the fan switch itself. If it still doesn't come on, then give the fan 12v straight from the battery, if it still doesn't work, then you know it needs to be replaced.
Unfortunately, driving with the car on "H" can result in a blown headgasket/warped head, but it doesn't mean that it WILL result in that.
If the coolant overflow resivoir is boiling over and coolant is pouring out of the closed resivoir, then thats a pretty good sign that the headgasket is pooched.
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Old 20-Apr-2007, 06:34 PM
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Check the coolant level.
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Old 20-Apr-2007, 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by zeeman
i would make sure that the rad fan works and that there is indeed coolant in the rad/engine.
If you don't hear it coming on while the car is running, try jumping the fan switch with a peice of wire (just like jumping the service connector to read the CEL codes), if it comes on, then you know the fan works, and that the problem could be the fan switch itself. If it still doesn't come on, then give the fan 12v straight from the battery, if it still doesn't work, then you know it needs to be replaced.
Unfortunately, driving with the car on "H" can result in a blown headgasket/warped head, but it doesn't mean that it WILL result in that.
If the coolant overflow resivoir is boiling over and coolant is pouring out of the closed resivoir, then thats a pretty good sign that the headgasket is pooched.
Hey, THanks for hte reply.

I will check the rad fan ASAP.

Is there any way I can check whether or not the car has a blown headgasket or warped head? IE, will it be something obviously wrong with the car immediatly or will it just slowly get screwed up over a period of like a month and then die? Would a compression test determine anything? Is it necessary?

When it was overheated, the coolant level was pretty normal, it was just a tad over max... it was definately not pouring out or boiling.

I drove the car for work today (I deliver pizza with it), and it drove 100% normal, and the heat never went above normal at all.

Thanks for taking the time to help
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Old 21-Apr-2007, 12:17 AM
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Perhaps your thermostat just stuck shut by fluke?
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Old 22-Apr-2007, 02:57 PM
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Well if you notice no change in how the car performs esp. at start up and don't notice any bubbles or smell any combustion gases in the coolant then chances are your HG is fine. Oldspower may have a good point there.. besides that the things to check are fan and coolant level.
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Old 22-Apr-2007, 06:33 PM
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something like this happened to me during the winter and then again today. but i know its because my rad fan likes to come on when it wants to come on. so i think im going to wire it so its always on. i over heated a tad nothing in the red.. but im **** about my car and im always looking at the temp gauge. so when i see it i turn the heat on. goes down right away. but when im moving its fine. as long as theres air moving across the rad you should be fine.. im with betsy , it probably a faulty t-stat. or your rad fan is like mine. take her to a mechanic. since i can tell you dont know alot about cars. im not making fun of you at all. so dont take it that way.
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Old 22-Apr-2007, 08:21 PM
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making it so your rad fan is always on is pretty stupid and a hack way of doing things.
To the original poster, i dont recommend you doing this whatsoever
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Old 23-Apr-2007, 07:29 AM
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ok then what do you think i should do about it? this started when i took my ac fan out because i dont have ac anymore.. iv heard this will make the other fan not work but iv heard the fan come on once and a wile. im stumped. and i never actually told him to wire it so its always on
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Old 24-Apr-2007, 05:49 PM
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headgasket???
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Old 24-Apr-2007, 05:50 PM
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definately the o2 sensor
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Old 24-Apr-2007, 10:10 PM
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head gasket

the same thing was happening to my car for quite a while now. it would get hot, so i would turn the heat on then it would go back down, some times it would do it others times it wouldnt. well guess what, warped head and blown headgasket, cost about $220.00 to fix if you do it yourself.
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Old 24-Apr-2007, 10:39 PM
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if you wired your rad fan to always be on your problem would of never happened.
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