Question about 1990 Honda Civic

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I HAVE A 91 HONDA CIVIC AND HAVE HAD SOME OVERHEATING PROBLEMS. I HAVE CHANGED THE RADIATOR AND LEAKING HOSES. NOW TH PROBLEM IS WHEN COLD THE CAR WILL START NORMAL BUT AFTER I DRIVE IT A WHILE IT AND STOP, AND RESTART IT WILL HAVE A RUFF IDLE AND SOME WHITE SMOKE COMES OUT THE EXHAUST. IF I DRIVE IT THE SMOKE WILL STOP. I CHECKED AND THERE IS NO WATER IN THE OIL.(NOT MILKY). IT DOES SEEM IF THE CAR IS OVERHEATING BUT THE TEMP GAUGE READ NORMAL.

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  • fern460 Jul 12, 2010

    Could this be caused by a stuck thermostat or faulty temp relay?

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  • Honda Master
  • 2,002 Answers

White smoke is burnt coolant. Take the car in and have a pressure test done on the rad. It's probably going to lose pressure slowly so get a compression test done on the engine. This will most likely show a leaky head gasket. That is the most common cause of white smoke out the tail pipe and could also cause your other symptoms. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

  • cy schousboe Jul 13, 2010

    Indirectly. They may have been part of the original overheating problem and should be checked to be sure they are working properly, if you haven't already done so. When an engine overheats too much there is a possibility that you can warp and/or crack the head. You can also ruin the head gasket. That is the most common problem. If the head gasket is the problem you should take the head to a reputable machine shop or engine rebuilder and have it checked before you put it back on. A warped head can be planed and put back on but a cracked one has to be replaced. Hope this helps.

  • fern460 Jul 13, 2010

    Thank you

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