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Engine not warming up

Old 02-Dec-2005, 09:31 PM
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Engine not warming up

I'm having a problem with my car not warming up. The needle moves upto the lowest point on the thermometor and sometimes moves close to the centre, but then I look again and its back to the bottom. Basically until I dont get on the highway and drive at a constant highspeed, it doesnt fully warm up.

Just an example for those familiar with Toronto (sure all are). I'll leave from York University, drive down Keele st, get onto 401, and after about 5 minutes of driving on 401, then the needle is actually in the centre. This only recently started in the cold. Coolant was changed 1 1/2 years ago, but I'm thinking I'll change it again for the hell of it cause it was changed after I got into an accident, I dont know if the f**ken bodyshop put the right mix in there, cause they did a **** job with everything else. Is there anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks a lot


PS - THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A BODYSHOP FOR ANY REASON DO NOT GO TO 3R COLLISION CENTERE ON MORRISH ROAD, IN THE OLD KINSTON AREA IN SCARBOROUGH. THEY SUCK, DID A VERY ****Y PAINT JOB.
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Old 02-Dec-2005, 09:43 PM
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It's not uncommon for the car to take 5 min to warm up, but if your worried you can check thermostat, coolant temp sensor, or even change your coolant. good luck
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Old 02-Dec-2005, 10:14 PM
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Sorry, I wasnt too clear, I warm the car up for about 3 minutes, then drive on the roads down to the 401 for about 10 minutes, then I get on the 401 AND DRIVE FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES then it fully warms up. Basically doesnt fully warm up until I get on the 401 where I'm constantly driving at high speeds.
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Old 03-Dec-2005, 01:33 AM
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Your thermostat might be stuck in the open position. Normally, the thermostat stays closed until the engine gets warm. After the coolant in the engine gets hot, the thermostat will open up and circulate coolant to the radiator.

It's around $10 for the part, try replacing it, might help.
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Old 03-Dec-2005, 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by pwllam
Your thermostat might be stuck in the open position. Normally, the thermostat stays closed until the engine gets warm. After the coolant in the engine gets hot, the thermostat will open up and circulate coolant to the radiator.

It's around $10 for the part, try replacing it, might help.
Is it easy to replace, any quck tips like where its located. Thanks for your help
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Old 03-Dec-2005, 03:50 PM
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Should be located above the starter, the lower rad hose is connected to the housing. When installing the thermostat be sure to silicone the housings back together.

By the way you will need to bleed out your coolant after.
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Old 03-Dec-2005, 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by whitesi


Is it easy to replace, any quck tips like where its located. Thanks for your help
There are two large hoses that connect the radiator to the engine block. The thermostat should be located at the end of one of the hoses (on the engine side, not radiator). It's usually the lower hose on civics, but just to be sure...make sure you remove the hose that has a slightly larger connection housing, the thermostat is inside.

It's relatively simple to replace, but coolant will spill out for sure. If you haven't changed your coolant in a while, might want to do that too. In addition to the new thermostat, make sure u get a new gasket and some silicone. I think the RED permatex stuff (from cdn tire) is good for this particular application. I used it when I changed a water pump.

And when you're done, open up the rad cap, run the engine+ blast the heater for like 10 mins to circulate the coolant and to get rid of air bubbles. Check for leaks around the thermostat area and put the rad cap back on. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-Dec-2005, 03:40 AM
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Originally posted by pwllam

There are two large hoses that connect the radiator to the engine block. The thermostat should be located at the end of one of the hoses (on the engine side, not radiator). It's usually the lower hose on civics, but just to be sure...make sure you remove the hose that has a slightly larger connection housing, the thermostat is inside.

It's relatively simple to replace, but coolant will spill out for sure. If you haven't changed your coolant in a while, might want to do that too. In addition to the new thermostat, make sure u get a new gasket and some silicone. I think the RED permatex stuff (from cdn tire) is good for this particular application. I used it when I changed a water pump.

And when you're done, open up the rad cap, run the engine+ blast the heater for like 10 mins to circulate the coolant and to get rid of air bubbles. Check for leaks around the thermostat area and put the rad cap back on. Hope that helps.

Thanks a lot for the detailed steps, I'll give it a shot. In terms of the silicone and gasket, what do I need that for. Is that where I disconnect the hose from the engine block, like am I going to be opening a seal which I will have to reseal? Thanks
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Old 04-Dec-2005, 04:47 AM
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Originally posted by whitesi



Thanks a lot for the detailed steps, I'll give it a shot. In terms of the silicone and gasket, what do I need that for. Is that where I disconnect the hose from the engine block, like am I going to be opening a seal which I will have to reseal? Thanks
Yeah, more a less! You can't just yank off the hose, it connects to the thermostat housing. Whenever you remove the thermo, you are breaking the seal between the thermo housing and the engine block. When you put everything back together, you want to make sure everything is sealed up good. Apply a thin layer of red silicone to both sides of the gasket and to the metal parts.

Cdn tire has a section dedicated to thermostats and gaskets. There should be a book where u can look up your car and it'll tell u which exact thermostat and gasket to get for the original engine. If you don't want to get the cdn tire stuff, you can get the OEM version from a honda dealer. I don't think it makes too much of a difference...but it's up to you.
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Old 04-Dec-2005, 04:51 AM
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i hear a quick trick is to cover like 1/3 of your rad with card board and your car will heat up quicker.
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Old 05-Dec-2005, 12:37 PM
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Kind of an old school trick, but it works!!! Just watch out for over heating during traffic LOL
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Old 17-Dec-2005, 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by pwllam

Yeah, more a less! You can't just yank off the hose, it connects to the thermostat housing. Whenever you remove the thermo, you are breaking the seal between the thermo housing and the engine block. When you put everything back together, you want to make sure everything is sealed up good. Apply a thin layer of red silicone to both sides of the gasket and to the metal parts.

Cdn tire has a section dedicated to thermostats and gaskets. There should be a book where u can look up your car and it'll tell u which exact thermostat and gasket to get for the original engine. If you don't want to get the cdn tire stuff, you can get the OEM version from a honda dealer. I don't think it makes too much of a difference...but it's up to you.
I did it man, problem solved! I first bought the Prestone antifreeze then read around on the net that for HOnda's you should only use the Honda antifreeze, cause the other brands contain an ingredient that can cause damage to the Honda water pump or something like that.

One problem I had was getting to the 2nd screw of the thermostat housing...That was a B*itch. Finally I got it, but when putting it back togehter I couldnt get that second screw back in. Tried for like an hour, there was no way, I just couldnt get enough force to screw it back in cause of the odd location, and wires all over the place. So I didnt put the second screw, but I did use the sealant and the first screw is very tight. It seems extremely tights and secure, do you think it should be okay?
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Old 18-Dec-2005, 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by whitesi


I did it man, problem solved! I first bought the Prestone antifreeze then read around on the net that for HOnda's you should only use the Honda antifreeze, cause the other brands contain an ingredient that can cause damage to the Honda water pump or something like that.

One problem I had was getting to the 2nd screw of the thermostat housing...That was a B*itch. Finally I got it, but when putting it back togehter I couldnt get that second screw back in. Tried for like an hour, there was no way, I just couldnt get enough force to screw it back in cause of the odd location, and wires all over the place. So I didnt put the second screw, but I did use the sealant and the first screw is very tight. It seems extremely tights and secure, do you think it should be okay?
congrats! Yeah, with the exception of engine oil and washer fluid, try to stick with honda branded stuff.

Unless the threads on either the screw or the hole is damanged....I think you should really try to get the screw back in. U don't want too much stress on a single screw...the point in having more screws is not only to make sure it's tight...but also to distribute pressure evenly.
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Old 18-Dec-2005, 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by pwllam

congrats! Yeah, with the exception of engine oil and washer fluid, try to stick with honda branded stuff.

Unless the threads on either the screw or the hole is damanged....I think you should really try to get the screw back in. U don't want too much stress on a single screw...the point in having more screws is not only to make sure it's tight...but also to distribute pressure evenly.

yeah, there is no damage to either.......I understand what you're saying with the screw. I think I'll have to take out my cold air possibly to give me more room to work with.........should have done that anyways for the winter...just a pain, but I'll probably try again to get the second screw back in

The Honda stuff wasnt even that much more...well it was 14.98, I checked my receipt after, they charged me 16.98...whatever, point being that it didnt cost too much more...the extra couple of bucks is worth it, peace of mind!

Thanks buddy.
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