Honda Civic Performance - JDM Discussion Engine tech, forced induction, springs, shocks, brakes, tires, etc.

Headgasket leaking... :(

Old 22-May-2007, 10:58 AM
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Headgasket leaking... :(

Driving home on Mother's day in traffic I noticed the temp started getting very high. It was bad traffic and when we started to move again the temp would drop. I figured it was the t-stat and I'd replace it another day.
Got home, car drove fine, and I have been driving it since with no problems.
Last week on my way home from work the car started to overheat again, only this time traffic was ok. I turned the heat on and was only getting cold air through the vents (Top rad hose very hot, bottom hose cold).
I stopped and let it cool a bit. I took it home, limping and with a lot of "coasting" with the engine off so it could get some cool air. I finally got home and bought a t-stat and gasket. Went to the car the next morning to replace it and everything was seized. I took it to the shop and they replaced it for me for $70.
I drove the car for 10 minutes after I picked it up and it looked like all was ok. Drove to work the next day, and about 1/2 way there it overheated again. This time, again no heat from the vents etc. I got it to work and let it sit for the day. After work I remembered the rad fan never turned on, so I wired it up for the drive home. Again about 1/2 way home it started up again. Got it home and it's been sitting since.
When it got very hot the car would chug, and drove very badly. That's when I noticed the thick white smoke from the exhaust and the terrible smell of the burning coolant.

I guess my main question is: why would it run "ok" for 20 minutes then act up? If there is a "small" leak in the gasget, why isn't hot coolant getting to the t-stat? It's not all going in the engine for the car would hydro-lock and die. I should be getting *some* heat...

It's been driven hot a considerable amount of time. What are the odds that the engine is fubared?

Anyone know an approximate cost of getting the headgasket replaced? I've heard anywhere from $500-$1000? Anyone with some tools in Mississauga wanna help me for dinner at my place and beers? My girlfriend is a great cook! I have tools, but no compressor or air tools.

I hate taking the bus, and I'm a big baby about it... Help! :P
Thanks
Dennis
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Old 22-May-2007, 11:40 AM
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please dont pay that much...
for max 800 you could get a good engine and for max 600 someone would install if for you.
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Old 22-May-2007, 11:47 AM
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Well before I got the car this engine was rebuilt. It ran perfect before all this happened. No smoke, no leaks (except the pan that rotted out and I replaced) and no knocking!! If the engine isn't fu(ked I would like to not have to replace it. I don't want to pay a lot because I'm broke right now, hence it's not fixed already. I Just need the car to get to work and get groceries!
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Old 22-May-2007, 02:13 PM
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the overheating may have caused the headgasket to blow. originally the overheating may have just been low coolant or something, but now it seems you have other issues. check the coolant and oil for mixing (look at the dipstick, does it look like it came out of a chocolate milkshake? do a compression test as well before you throw money at it. headgasket job, minimum $500 to do it right (you should have the head checked for warpage, same with the block with a dial gauge indicator). you must replace the headgasket and all the head bolts/studs. should take about.... I dunno hand tools only, maybe 8 hours if nothing is seized up, taking your time.
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Old 22-May-2007, 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by bbarbulo
the overheating may have caused the headgasket to blow. originally the overheating may have just been low coolant or something, but now it seems you have other issues. check the coolant and oil for mixing (look at the dipstick, does it look like it came out of a chocolate milkshake? do a compression test as well before you throw money at it. headgasket job, minimum $500 to do it right (you should have the head checked for warpage, same with the block with a dial gauge indicator). you must replace the headgasket and all the head bolts/studs. should take about.... I dunno hand tools only, maybe 8 hours if nothing is seized up, taking your time.


ya man
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Old 22-May-2007, 06:54 PM
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as well as B's diagnosis' tips. i would open the rad cap.. give it a little revv see if you see any air bubbles,foaming or exhaust gases, if you do, most likely the HG. If you see exhaust gases it is definately the HG.

If you take it on yourself and are near oakville, I can assist you.. or possibly do it as a sidejob, but you may have to wait awhile for the machine shop to re-surface your head.

Either way, coolant in your crankcase is a BAD thing. Coolant is acidic and is NOT a lubricate, I would recommend doing an oil change if you havent in awhile before you drive it anywhere (if you gotta go to work and shyt)
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Old 22-May-2007, 06:56 PM
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actually coolant lubricates the water pump, pos man.

But what machine shop are you going to that makes you wait a while for a head resurface....take it to my machine shop, it'll be done same day.
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Old 22-May-2007, 06:57 PM
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lol.. you know what i meant when i said that.

And sometimes my machine shop gets backed up. pos pos pos
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Old 22-May-2007, 06:58 PM
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ya, i just like being a jackass....lol.
here a pos, there a pos
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Old 23-May-2007, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the advice!
I had the cap off to check the coolant level which seemed a little low, despite the resivoir having some coolant in there, so I put some coolant in there and revved the engine a bit and it started to spill out. It's almost as though it isn't circulating through the system. I was tempted to take the t-stat out and see if that would help. But I figured that'd be a bad idea. I've yet to decide if I want to do it myself. It seems that every time I try to do something the bolts are seized and I end up taking it to a shop anyway. I'd hate to get the valve cover off and 3 headstuds just to find the rest are stuck.... I don't have a compressor or a torque wrench either.
I dunno... I guess I'll have to take her to a shop... I just hope I remain in a standing position when I hear the total...
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Old 23-May-2007, 09:37 AM
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i wouldn't just take the t-stat out, thats a half-*** bandaid solution that usually doesn't work anyways. My buddy took his thermostat out on his turbo car, thinking it would help, but all it did was NOT let his car get to operating temp....ever.
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Old 23-May-2007, 01:47 PM
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That's EXACTLY what I need! LOL
I doubt it would solve anything anyway... I was considering doing it so I could get it home from work. But I got it home anyway.
The inlet to the t-stat housing stays cold. It's almost like the coolant enters the block and doesn't move from there. When I depress the clutch the engine rev's up and down repeatedly until I start moving again. Almost like the temperature sensor isn't picking up how hot the engine already is. I guess fix 1 thing at a time. It might all be related anyway. But while the head is off and the coolant is drained I would do a flush of the system too. Probably needs it.
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Old 23-May-2007, 07:04 PM
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if your near oakville, ill diagnosis it at my house (or atleast try, i dont have any speciality tools here anymore), but i can clearly tell if its a HG issue or not.

Your coolant was overflowing because your heat wasnt on at full.
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Old 24-May-2007, 10:34 AM
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The heater is on, in the HOT position and fan blasting (one of the first things I was told to do when I got my first car). There was no heat coming out of the vents, it was cool air. The hot coolant isn't getting to the heater core. That's what one of my questions was. Why isn't the coolant passing the engine?
I live at Royal Windsor and Southdown (Clarkson).

Also.... Does Honda make the spark plug holes so tight so you need a specialty plug remover to get them out? I have 2 spark plug tools, neither fit in that hole!
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Old 24-May-2007, 11:02 AM
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you need the smaller of the two spark plug sockets (not sure wha the size is off the top of my head). Theres no special tool or anything, just a regular spark plug socket.
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Old 24-May-2007, 03:50 PM
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Most shops usually charge 275-400 just to pull your head.
HG will cost you 60-80 bucks from honda ( im assuming its bseiries engine)

edit* i didnt realize bruno summed this up already... posbryce
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Old 24-May-2007, 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by username
The heater is on, in the HOT position and fan blasting (one of the first things I was told to do when I got my first car). There was no heat coming out of the vents, it was cool air. The hot coolant isn't getting to the heater core. That's what one of my questions was. Why isn't the coolant passing the engine?
I live at Royal Windsor and Southdown (Clarkson).

Also.... Does Honda make the spark plug holes so tight so you need a specialty plug remover to get them out? I have 2 spark plug tools, neither fit in that hole!
cause theres either air bubbles in the coolant or your heater core is all gummed up

you need a 5/8" plug socket. Atleast I think its 5/8s..
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Old 28-May-2007, 12:27 PM
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Straight up...more then likely ur water pump seized.

This would be why ur top hose was hot and ur bottom was cool....no coolant flow...it would also explain why you weren't getting any hot air from the heater...the coolant in the heater core wasn't moving so it wasn't getting hot.

The reason for the burning coolant is simple. The cooolant is sitting in ur block with no where to go cause ur water pump is seized. So now when ur car starts to get hotthe coolant heats up, expands, and forces its way thru ur head gasket cause it has no where else to go. There is a possibility ur head and gasket may still be good.

What ever you decide to do make sure that in the process you change ur timing belt and water pump.
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Old 29-May-2007, 06:52 PM
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If the pump siezed the belt would snap genious. If you mean missing fins thats a different story. Theres and easy test, take a coolant hose out and start the engine if it comes out, the pump still has fins.

Comming from a liscenced tech you have a headgasket problem, nothing else. While you in there change the tstat, tbelt, and waterpump.

A good shop doing it right will charge proabably around the 1200 dollar range to do the headgasket if its a b-series. Thats sending the head out, resurfacing it and pressure check
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Old 29-May-2007, 06:58 PM
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You'd hear the bearing going before it would seize anyways. I've never seen a honda pump actually seize..
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