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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I noticed radiator leaks on the ground tonight. Opened the hood and there was dried coolant splash near the alternator. The A/C hose there was still wet. There was dried fluid on both sides. The top joint shows wet and the front looking through the hood latch opening down. On the drivers side, the coolant can be seen settled on the bottom of the radiator and drops still coming from that. Since it was night couldn't see the exhaust but there seems to be some smoke and water drops. Checked the oil dipstick and there were bubbles. Smelled normal though. Overflow was almost empty. When I filled the radiator, it took close to 1/3 jug.

I let the engine idle for some time but the fans did not come on. Temp guage was normal, only 1/3 up. Will check again tomorrow with some daylight.

How to tell if the core is bad and what else can I check? Thanks.

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks OdyVanMan04. I can take off the TB covers and peek. Its been about 2500 since Aisin TB kit change. This morning took it to parents and borrowed their car. On the initial drive, it did not sound as smooth on pickup as it did before. Wife drives it daily but probably sounds normal to her. I gave her mine. Will check around tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The bubbles were clear without white color. After engine warmup today drove it about 4 miles and parked.
 

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Coolant leaks can be a pain because they sometimes don't show up until the unit is hot and the system is at full pressure. The most common things I've seen are loose hose clamp, a hose with a pinhole and bad water pumps (not on an Ody). A bit of oil colored foam on the dipstick right after shutting a car off is not uncommon. Milky bubbles would be bad and hard to mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks OdyinNH. I will check if they have a tool for pressure test at Autozone or Oreillys. Got a jug of coolant from the dealer this evening. Ready to tackle in the morning.
 

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I agree with the guys. It looks like coolant is dripping into the pulley(s) then getting splashed by the belts. If you can get it washed. But be sure its not going to freeze on you. Check the waterpump & remove the TB covers. Let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Inside looks dry. Wonder if its the seams. The spray is all over the front of engine both sides. Taking it to a mech.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Took it to the mech. Looking at it after I got there, it was leaking from the top near the cap and the seams. He said cracked radiator, which is common after long time on plastic+aluminum radiators. I left it there and figured might as well get it replaced there. I drove it 15 mi without overheating and did not want to drive again on a hot day. Did have a jug of coolant in the trunk. The fans will not come on.
 

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That's the bummer about having that black plastic cover on top of the radiator...makes it tough to see stuff like this. My 1998 Accord had the same problem (radiator plastic top tank leak), but it lacks the cover, so visually identifying it was not nearly as tough.

The temp gauge is electronically dampened, as far as some of our sharp folks on the forum have been able to deduce. Engine warms up, passes a threshold temperature, gauge starts to rise off the bottom peg. A few degrees change in temp, and it's square in the usual place for operating temperature.

My ScanGauge shows that when the PCM indicates about 140-150-deg F, the gauge is up where we are used to seeing it on a warmed up engine, and it doesn't move a stitch all the way up to about 204-deg F on a hot day.

I haven't observed coolant temps higher than that, but I'd imagine that if the coolant got hotter than a programmed upper value, the gauge would start to march upward again.

OF
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah. The guage did not move a bit. With just minimal driving after that I guess coolant did not drain too much to change the temp.

Came back from the mech. He showed me the radiator with plastic crack half length. The replacement with labor was $340. I did not want to tackle this one today. It was hot and we have a 6 hr drive coming up this week. Wanted to be ready. If I worked on it for 4 hrs I could have saved some but not much.
 

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For any mechanical work, as long as it will cost me no more than twice at the mechanic, I will gladly let him do it. You did very well. Hopefully, the new radiator is good quality and you will not have to revisit this ever again.
 

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sontakke, you assume he will not have the van in 2028?

That is probably a pretty good bet, but we own one car, several years older than our Ody, that will most likely still be running in 2028 though with a different owner. My wife swears that I will drive my current car for the rest of my life - which would be another 35+ years if I live as long as my father.

Those are not that unrealistic for car lifetimes, either!

$340 for any car repair is pretty good nowadays!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys. This mech was a referral from a friend. Seems to be very reasonable. I had a good one back in Nashville and I think I found a good one in Anaheim now. Wish this place was much closer to my home.
 

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EDIT: (not that it matters, but it might be interesting....).

I took a hard look at the coolant temp gauge on the dash, and the Scangauge this morning. Passes the hash-mark where it says "C" at just over 130-deg F, then as the engine marches up to around 160-deg F, the needle ends up pointing across at the letter "D" on the shift indicator...and stays there as the coolant temp went over 190-deg F this morning.

$340 is good for a real repair with a real result. I've seen people spend more on diagnosis fees with zero results!

OF
 

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Glad to hear it's fixed. That radiator is 160 at Autozone so sounds like a good deal to me. I forgot to add that to my list earlier on, I had something similar happen twice in a Jeep, once in an Altima and the top part separated on my daughter's old civic. Oops. :D

OF, interesting info on the temp gauge. Now you make me wonder if my thermostat is stuck open a bit because my gauge has been on the low side this winter and heat seems to take longer than usual. I'm gonna have to see what the actual temp is on my Scangauge.
 

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This vehicle from which I got the temp data has the 82-deg C Motorad thermostat in it, if that might make a difference.

OF
 
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