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What’s Going On With My Cooling System? Do I Have a Blown Headgasket?

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here What’s Going On With My Cooling System? Do I Have a Blown Headgasket?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Nightflyr * Richard Kirshy 1 year ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #894577
    Hometheaterman
    Hometheaterman
    Participant

    This is on a 2000 Honda Accord EX V6. It’s been running great for quite a while. I had no issues, no noticeable loss of coolant, etc. While doing some preventative maintenance I decided it was probably a good idea to change the coolant, since I hadn’t done it since owning it, and I have no idea when the previous owner last changed it. Well, I did a 3 drain refills over about a week. To be honest, I didn’t pay that much attention to bleeding the system the first 2 times. I just let it bleed while I did other things. I came back to it, made sure I didn’t see any bubbles, and finished up. On the 3rd fill is when I noticed the problems. (Or hopefully not a problem.) Even after running for an hour or so, if I revved the engine to 2,500 rpm or so until the fans kicked on, then let off the throttle so it it would return to idle, there would be a few bubbles popping up when the fans kicked off. I couldn’t get it to stop doing this, so I figured I must have a leak somewhere. I put the pressure tester on it and found a small leak at the lower radiator hose. So I replaced the lower hose, and while doing it I replaced the upper hose as well just since it’s old.

    We’ll, I got back to bleeding the system and I’m still having problems. If I’m still getting bubbles occasionally, although not that often. Last night I spent about an hour bleeding it and thought I got most of the air out, but I was still getting a few bubbles. So I came back to it tonight. I pressure tested it first and couldn’t find any leaks and it didn’t lost pressure for the 15 minutes or so I watched it. However, when trying to bleed it again I was getting even more air. I’ve posted a few videos to show what I’m dealing with.

    Here’s what it’s looking like while idling. Notice that there aren’t a lot of bubbles, but they just keep randomly appearing:

    About 50 minutes in I did have this happen at idle after revving it, squeezing hoses, etc. However, the video above was more what it was normally like at idle.

    If I rev it, and keep it revved up, there don’t seem to be any bubbles as you can see here:

    However, if I rev it up until the fans kick on, then let off the throttle so it returns to idle, once the fans kick off I get several bubbles. As you can see here:

    I’ve honestly never paid this much attention when bleeding coolant on other cars. Is this normal, or do I have a blown head gasket? All searches online tend to point to a blown head gasket being the cause of bubbles like this, but the videos I’m seeing of blown head gaskets also tend to have much more bubbling. What do I have going on? Is this normal, or do I have major issues? Any help would be appreciated.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #894580
    college man
    college man
    Moderator

    If your not seeing coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant its just air. Which on the asian cars are hard to bleed. I would have
    Recommended replacing the thermostat with a new cap when the coolant was done. Button it up and see if it overheats?
    I believe its just air. Keep an eye on the overflow.

    #894581
    Hometheaterman
    Hometheaterman
    Participant

    Thanks. I’m not seeing any coolant in the oil, nor am I seeing any oil in the coolant. I’m also not seeing any white smoke. The car doesn’t overheat. I drove it about 150 miles today and the temperature stays right around where it should be. The heat also works great, unlike some experiences I’ve had with trapped air in the past. I’m just going to keep an eye on the coolant level I guess and not worry about it unless you guys think differently.

    #894583
    Nightflyr *
    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    JMHO….
    It appears you still have some small amount of air entrapment with in the cooling system.
    If this is the case and you really want to clear the system of all air, you can invest in a vacuum fill system.
    https://www.amazon.com/FJC-43610-Radiator-Coolant-Vacuum/dp/B00804HWOU

    If you are concerned about a possible head gasket issue.
    You can do a combustion gas test :

    #894585
    Hometheaterman
    Hometheaterman
    Participant

    Thanks, I’ve been thinking about investing in one of the vacuum pumps, but it’s hard to justify the cost since I don’t do this that often.

    How long should it take to bleed the air? I’ve been at this for about 2 hours. An hour each night for 2 nights.

    As for the combustion test, I did one and it didn’t show any signs of detecting exhaust gases. However I’m wondering if my fluid has been contaminated. I loaned my kit to a friend a while back and have no idea what he did with it. I decided to test this by sniffing the fumes at the muffler. It changed colors, but just kind of turned green there instead of yellow like it should. I’ve ordered more fluid, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

    #894589
    college man
    college man
    Moderator

    If your not overheating, the air is minimal and will come out on its own. Just check the overflow in the morning when the
    car is cold.

    #894590
    Nightflyr *
    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    +1 Agree.
    Driving the vehicle, you’ll have a better chance to shaking loose any minimal trapped air with in the system.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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