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Car keeps over heating - 1987 Honda Civic

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Honda's rarely overheat even when the coolant levels are low. Start by checking the coolant level in the radiator. The most effective procedure to check for leaks is to pressure test the radiator cap and the entire system. Also make sure the fans are working properly. One fan will kick on when the coolant temperature reaches a set degree and the other will only kick on when the a/c compressor is on. This type of system actually will cool the engine down better with the a/c on. Start the car cold and turn on the a/c. One fan should engage. As the engine warms up near 190 to 200 degrees the other fan should engage. While it is warming up, monitor the upper radiator hose. The thermostat should open around 180 - 190 degrees and you will be able to tell when the hose feels solid and very warm if you carefully grab it momentarily. If no problem is found, check for coolant in the oil and/or oil in the coolant as well as white smoke from the exhaust pipe which are signs of a bad head gasket.

Posted on Apr 30, 2010

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