1989 Honda Accord LXi with 110,000 miles and I am at the end of my rope - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-12-2008, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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1989 Honda Accord LXi with 110,000 miles and I am at the end of my rope

Have 1989 Honda Accord LXi with 110,000 miles and I am at the end of my rope so to speak.

Something going screwy with cooling system. Can be driving long just fine then all of the sudden the temperature gage starts climbing. Sometimes it goes all the way to hot and stays there, sometimes it goes us then stops before it gets to hot …goes down .. then back up ..stays a while then “may” go back down tc. etc. etc.

Also, the fan doesn’t turn on when this happens .. it only turns on when I have the AC on and even when I turn the AC on (to get the fan working) the Temp still climes … may go down and may not.

Any suggestions? And yes .. the thermostat was rep[laced by professionals (who thought that was the problem). I’m out Over $150 dollars, still have the same problem but do have a new thermostat.

On a side note .. I figure it might be the temperature sensor (i.e. the car not really running hot enough for the fan to come on) … but can’t figure out what part to order.

I have 2 “sensors?” with wires attached to my thermostat housing .. I believe one if the temperature sensor and the other the fan switch … problem is I can’t find the right parts (or should I say not sure the parts I found are right) nor do I know what to order.

I have found parts under Coolant Temperature Sensor, 1989 Honda Accord, Temperature Sending Gauge Switch (for light instead of gage maybe?, 1989 Honda Accord Water Temp. Sensor, and Water Temperature Sender". HELP !!!!!!!!!!

Any and all advice/assistance on the problem and/or parts will be GREATLY appreciated ..



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post #2 of 10 Old 08-12-2008, 08:29 PM
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OK. first off start with what you know is not working, and go from there. Fix the radiator / fan issue.

Can you describe under what speed and coniditions you see the spike? Does stopping help it, what about heat?

I would check the relays. they tend to go bad over time - the solder joints crack and go bad. If you handy you can re-solder them for $0

Was the coolant Flushed? Was the radiator flow tested?


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post #3 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 05:17 AM
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If the fan is not coming on, it's probably the switch or the fan motor itself. My recently retired '89 did the same thing. The fan motor went out first followed by the switch a few weeks later. Hope this helps narrow this issue down for you.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 07:02 AM
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It could be several things....but yeah, start with what you know. Fan isn't working, they should be on at running temp. If not, the car will get hot. Especially at an idle or in town driving. If the radiator needs to be flushed, do it!

I doubt if it's just a sensor. It would either work or not.

It could be a head gasket too. Have someone start it while you're looking for bubbles in the coolant reservoir. You can also pull spark plugs & see if they are wet. Look for milky color in the oil.....

A thermostat is something like 6 bucks & has 2 bolts holding it in. If they charged for diagnostic time, you need to take it back. They missed the problem!!
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Since the fans work when I have the AC on I know it is not the fans or fan motors (which is about all I really KNOW) AND the thermostat was changed by the mechanic with no change in the temperature gauge running hot.

I would love to replace the fan temperature senor but not sure where it is located. To be honest I’m not even sure it is running hot … all I know is after a couple minutes of driving when the temp starts moving off of cold it keeps climbing (sometimes).

It may run a couple miles and then start climbing to HOT or it might run 15 miles before it does this. It also “may” stay on hot or it might come all the way back down to the normal range (and stay there) or just part way and back up again. When the gauge shows HOT or climbing to hot if I cut the AC on *so the fans work) it doesn’t seem to make one bit of difference.

This is what I men when I say I’m not sure it is running HOT …All I know is the gauge says it is. I have a hard time believing (although I know it is possible) the Fan sensor/switch/relay went out at the same time some other problem started causing the car to run HOT.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 11:33 AM
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Listen to princess she knows what she's talking about!

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaviota View Post
I had this problem in my Hyundai and it was the cylinder head, but this was with a diesel engine. With gasoline engines, it's most likely just the head gasket, like Princess mentioned. Do you have to fill up your coolant reservoir more frequently now? Take the engine oil cap off and check for drops of water or any sign of humidity in the cap. If there's humidity there, then it's the head gasket.
OK .. why would that effect the fan? Do you think BOTH problems are conmpletely seperate and have nothing to do with each other?

Asking .. not telling or argueing (don't know enough to argue)
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 01:19 PM
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OK, let's what we can do here....

First, thermostats get put in backwards all the time.... so don't assume it was done right. It didn't fix the problem you took it in for, so it should go back in. Especially being charged so much for it!

Second, the temp sensor either works or doesn't. Kinda like a switch. So if you want to know if your car is actually overheating you need to either ask the shop to figure it out.... or buy a thermometer you can put in the radiator & see at what temp the fans come on. The only thing that would make a temp sensor read false hot is possibly a loose connection. But I think that would make it drop to less than cold, not up to hot.

Fans coming on, doesn't mean they are coming on when they're supposed to. Again, a thermometer would give you that. I think it's 240, but I'm not sure. I can find out if you need it. When fans come on too soon, they are being told the coolant/engine is hot enough.

If you see bubbles in the overflow when cranking to a start it means there's no longer the proper seal in the head gasket. More often than not odd overheating or phantom gauges are head issues.

So 1. check for the bubbles.
2. take it back to who "fixed" it & tell them they didn't.
3. buy a thermometer to try to figure it out yourself.

Another possibility is a clog in the cooling system. A car that hasn't had coolant in it or not changed often enough gets electrolysis in the different metals. Coolant prevents that. So if it's brown in the radiator, it's been neglected. If there's crusty white along with the brown it's been VERY neglected. Those tiny passages inside the engine can get clogged. Then at certain circumstances, whether temp, rpm, etc. some aren't working....making the gauge fluctuate as it goes through another passage.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone… especially Princess. I will see what I can do to troubleshoot it based on everyone’s input (at least what I can). I was told (someone please verify if you can) that I can tale the connector off the fan sensor switch (or whatever it is called) on the thermostat housing and short the wires. If the fan comes on then it is probably the fan sensor switch (or whatever it is called).

I had checked the fluid I the radiator and it looked clean but I will also check again as well as get a thermometer to what see the water temp is when the gauge starts showing above normal.

After that, Sunday night if I still don’t know I will either drop it back off at the mechanic or shoot it … depends on my mood.

I am hesitant to send it back to the mechanic since he charged me $187 to “fix” the problem (ended up changing the thermostat) and rotate the tires … after working on it off and on for 4 days.

Again thanks.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adams135 View Post
I am hesitant to send it back to the mechanic since he charged me $187 to “fix” the problem (ended up changing the thermostat) and rotate the tires … after working on it off and on for 4 days.
I'd go back to the guy asap. Be nice about it but firm. If he's at all legit he will make sure the t-stat was put in correctly and try to make things right. Maybe you can hang out with the car while its being worked on. Tell him you can't get a ride and need to wait for it. If you get a bad vibe from him then leave. Good luck!
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