Question about 1998 Honda Civic

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Missing coolant this pertains to a 1998 Honda Civic LX, a/t, a/c, 230,000 miles Over the last 6 or 7 months i find that every 3 or 4 weeks i have to add 1 or 2 cups of coolant to the overflow container in order to bring it up to the MAX level. Several thorough visual inspections of the engine and of the engine compartment have failed to locate any leaks, and there are never any puddles or even drips of the stuff on my garage floor. Where can the coolant be disappearing to? Could it be leaking head gasket? and if so, are there any specific tests i can perform to confirm that diagnosis, rather than just replace the gasket and hope that that will fix the problem? What else might account for the missing coolant? (The engine on this car never runs hot.) Thanks in advance

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  • rolling thunder Jul 28, 2009

    ah, can you explain for my knowledge what the pressure test consists of and the function of ultra-violet dye? before i walk into a garage at random and ask for this, i'd like to know what i'm supposed to get. thanks.

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Chances are the coolant is leaking into the intake/cylinder head and being burned in your exhaust. An easy test for leaks involves a pressure test of the system via the radiator cap at your local garage with an ultra violet dye in the coolant .

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

  • Michael Canto
    Michael Canto Jul 28, 2009

    Applying air pressure to the radiator will force the coolant to leak at the weakest place, the dye makes it visable under ultraviolet light.

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You're in for an interesting challenge. The trick is to familiarise yourself with the whole path the coolant flows - radiator, all hoses, water pump, thermostat and gasket on its housing, engine unit. Check for water marks - water is leaving remarkable traces when it is being lost as vapour. Check the water pump - this may be failing every now and then and losing drops of water through the safety expansion holes that are on its housing. I wouldn't touch the cyclinder block until now. You simply have to run the car to its normal temperature until the cooling fan kicks off. This is the time where you should try to spot any water being lost as vapour. Git it a shot and keep me posted on the outcome. Take good care of your hands and keep away from hot parts as much as possible.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009

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