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post #1 of 22 Old 10-25-2008, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant leaking at radiator cap

1995 EX coupe, 154k mi.
opened the hood today and noticed that coolant was all over the top of the radiator and could see where it had dripped down on the hoses, etc. had been there a while since it was sort of dried up and crusty. overflow tank was empty and radiator was down a little but not much.

what would cause this - bad radiator cap? have not noticed any sign of it running hot and no sign of a leak on my garage floor.

any thoughts? thanks.


1995 Accord EX Coupe (purchased new) - 205K mi
2010 Odyssey EX - 40k mi
1996 Ford Ranger XLT - 118k mi
2007 Nissan Pathfinder SE - 72k mi
2003 Odyssey EX (purchased in 2004 w/ 16k mi) - 160k mi - SOLD
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-25-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocode View Post
1995 EX coupe, 154k mi.
opened the hood today and noticed that coolant was all over the top of the radiator and could see where it had dripped down on the hoses, etc. had been there a while since it was sort of dried up and crusty. overflow tank was empty and radiator was down a little but not much.

what would cause this - bad radiator cap? have not noticed any sign of it running hot and no sign of a leak on my garage floor.

any thoughts? thanks.
If it's the original radiator I'd bet the top plastic tank has a crack in it.

Clean it off, fill it fully, cap it and run it. You should see coolant seeping along that area if it's cracked. It also can leak along the seal between the tank and core.


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Vermilion 1999 SVT F150 Lightning, Sylvania/Visteon Xenarc HID headlamps, '01 L turn/marker lamps, PIAA fogs, '01 up Bilstein shocks, all Pioneer speakers, Clarion subwoofer. All Redline fluids.

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post #3 of 22 Old 10-25-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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yep, it's original. i'll try that and see what happens. thanks for the tip.

1995 Accord EX Coupe (purchased new) - 205K mi
2010 Odyssey EX - 40k mi
1996 Ford Ranger XLT - 118k mi
2007 Nissan Pathfinder SE - 72k mi
2003 Odyssey EX (purchased in 2004 w/ 16k mi) - 160k mi - SOLD
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 12:01 AM
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Yeah, Fred is right.

My 96 had its timing belt replaced when a "faulty radiator cap" was found. Well 10 days later, I found coolant all over the place! And the radiator was totally shot.

I got a new radiator from oriley's for 99.98, and it has been good to me for almost 20k miles now, mine went at 108k.

The Honda radiator is almost $300. Yikes.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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what's the website for oriley's?

is there any info out there on how to replace the radiator? would like to try this myself.

thanks for the info guys.

1995 Accord EX Coupe (purchased new) - 205K mi
2010 Odyssey EX - 40k mi
1996 Ford Ranger XLT - 118k mi
2007 Nissan Pathfinder SE - 72k mi
2003 Odyssey EX (purchased in 2004 w/ 16k mi) - 160k mi - SOLD
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocode View Post
what's the website for oriley's?

is there any info out there on how to replace the radiator? would like to try this myself.

thanks for the info guys.
I did it myself. I have no real instructions but I can tell you what is involved.

1. Drain radiator.

2. Remove the pan underneath the car. It's a big plastic thing with lots of plastic tap screws and what not.

3. Disconnect upper and lower hoses by releasing the clamps on the hoses and twisting off. On the automatic models, there are transmission cooler lines at the bottom. You will have to remove those, and consequently, you will loose a little transmission fluid. Be sure to have Honda ATF on hand for topping off the fluid. If you haven't changed the transmission fluid in the past 30k miles, you might as well take care of that, too. Honda ATF ONLY.

4. On each corner of the radiator from the top. here are brackets that look like half of a square at an angle. undo the bolts, remove the brackets.

5. Remove the bracket on the top middle section of the radiator.

6. Disconnect the fans - follow the wiring until you see a plug that you can un-plug. - EDIT ensure that both fans are working properly before doing this entire procedure. Run the car, turn the A/C on, both fans should come on, no hesitation. They'll pause when the compressor goes off, and come right back on when it comes on. My fans went out one right after the other between 113k and 124k. Then a hose blew. I would have been better off had I just replaced both hoses and my fans when I did the radiator.

7. At this point, I think you just need to lift the radiator out, and if now, you will see what you need to undo to get it to come out when its not. It's a pretty simple process.

You can Private Message Princess, with your year model and trim, along with a link to this thread to see if she could post up official Honda instructions. I might know where some are on here, I'll look around.

BTW - Any autoparts store near you probably has radiators for the same price as the place I went to. They often have lifetime warranties too. So check that out.
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 07:24 AM
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Ah, here we go.

I think I won for the Accord Lemon Prize!

I think I won for the Accord Lemon Prize!

PS - if you replace your hoses too, which I fully recommend, buy them from the honda dealer, and sand off the corrosion on the engine block terminals so they have a good seal. You'll also want to buy new clamps from Honda, too.
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 07:36 AM
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you can definitly pick up a nice koyo radiator off ebay now for like $100

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post #9 of 22 Old 10-26-2008, 05:01 PM
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The shop I work for gets radiators from a place called 1800Radiator (not sure if there's one near you)
Civic OEM replacement (plastic with aluminum cores) go for around $75 and your gen Accord probably wouldn't be all that much more.

Most come with a lifetime replacement warranty too.

Sapphire blue '04 V6 6 speed w/ full HFP, comptech ss, momo shadow, TL-S 27.2h/20 bars, intake spacer, retro chrome MH1 HIR2 highs, hella DE fogs, EBC Ultimax, subwoofer/amp, infinity rears, HD Radio, aux adapter, navi conversion.

Vermilion 1999 SVT F150 Lightning, Sylvania/Visteon Xenarc HID headlamps, '01 L turn/marker lamps, PIAA fogs, '01 up Bilstein shocks, all Pioneer speakers, Clarion subwoofer. All Redline fluids.

Silverstone 2003 Honda S2000, bone stock
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-27-2008, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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awesome. thanks for the info guys.

i may as well change the thermostat while i'm in there. what temp stat should be used?

any hoses need to be changed besides the large upper and lower?

also i see some radiators come with a cap and some don't. if they don't does it matter what type is used?

1995 Accord EX Coupe (purchased new) - 205K mi
2010 Odyssey EX - 40k mi
1996 Ford Ranger XLT - 118k mi
2007 Nissan Pathfinder SE - 72k mi
2003 Odyssey EX (purchased in 2004 w/ 16k mi) - 160k mi - SOLD
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-27-2008, 08:00 AM
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I'd go for the oem stat: give them a call if you can't find the part online. Probably a good place to also get the oem upper and lower hoses and oem c.t. clamps.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-29-2008, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SatinSilver View Post
I'd go for the oem stat: give them a call if you can't find the part online. Probably a good place to also get the oem upper and lower hoses and oem c.t. clamps.
satinsilver, i checked with college hills honda, and while the price on the stat was great ($18 vs $33 at my local dealer), the shipping was $14!

any reason not to go with a Stant brand at advance auto? there are several temp ranges (180deg, 190deg, etc), which is standard?

one other question - c.t. clamps? same as hose clamp?

thanks.

1995 Accord EX Coupe (purchased new) - 205K mi
2010 Odyssey EX - 40k mi
1996 Ford Ranger XLT - 118k mi
2007 Nissan Pathfinder SE - 72k mi
2003 Odyssey EX (purchased in 2004 w/ 16k mi) - 160k mi - SOLD
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-30-2008, 08:08 AM
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Wow on the shipping..was that next hour delivery or something? Hopefully Fredsvt can reply about whether its worth going oem on the stat or getting one from the auto parts store and the correct temperature.

The C.T.(constant tension) clamps are what came with the car and work well on the hoses. The other type are the metal band clamps that need to be periodically tightened or they will leak. The ct's are hard to come by unless you get them online.

Maybe if you get a bulk order together for Collegehills the shipping wont be so bad. Esp if you get hoses, clamps, stat etc. Maybe even a pcv valve if you haven't had that replaced lately.

A guy out in Colorado ordered a bunch of Honda filters and fluids from CollegeHills that ran $100 delivered. His local dealer was charging $150 for the same stuff without delivery.
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-30-2008, 05:52 PM
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I've probably gotten here too late. Anyway, the aftermarket stats don't work as well. They all seem to either open way too early, too fast or open very late.

The car's stock stat starts to open at 176F and is fully open at 194F. Aftermarket stats 'pop' open at the temp you see on them. They cause a much more sudden shift in block temperature.

CT clamps are hose clamps. You squeeze them to release them from the hose. They are designed to maintain Constant Tension on the connection to prevent leaks, as the car cools they contract and as they heat up they expand with the hose/fitting. If you're careful and don't bend the crap out of them you can reuse them.

Regular worm drive (screw type) clamps always loosen in service and start leaking.

Sapphire blue '04 V6 6 speed w/ full HFP, comptech ss, momo shadow, TL-S 27.2h/20 bars, intake spacer, retro chrome MH1 HIR2 highs, hella DE fogs, EBC Ultimax, subwoofer/amp, infinity rears, HD Radio, aux adapter, navi conversion.

Vermilion 1999 SVT F150 Lightning, Sylvania/Visteon Xenarc HID headlamps, '01 L turn/marker lamps, PIAA fogs, '01 up Bilstein shocks, all Pioneer speakers, Clarion subwoofer. All Redline fluids.

Silverstone 2003 Honda S2000, bone stock
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-31-2008, 04:35 AM
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One thing I use to prevent the transmission fluid from leaking all over the place is placing the end of a sharpie marker into it. It may take a plier to get it off.

Also as Fred mentioned, get the T-tstat from Honda. I have heard lots of problems with the aftermarket ones on these newsgroups and they usually don't last very long. Also replace the two hoses. One other thing you may want to replace while you are at it is a gasket that is behind the upper hose that goes to the water pump. This just started leaking on our 95 Accord about 3 years after I replaced the radiator.

I haven't had good luck with aftermarket radiators (performanceradiator.com). While the one on my father's 95 Accord is going great after 3 years, on my Integra it failed just out of the radiators 3 year warranty. I then went to get a lifetime one from Advance Auto parts and one fan wouldn't fit in. So I ended up getting the radiator from the same place as I bought the first one because I was getting rid of the car in the next few months. About a month after I installed that one, it started leaking from the upper plastic tank around the metal clamps. Had to return that luckily under the warranty and got another one which was ok until I sold the car in March.


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