1998 Honda Civic Overheating...then back to normal!! - HondaCivicForum.com

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Old 03-10-2011, 07:26 AM
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Default 1998 Honda Civic Overheating...then back to normal!!


I am looking for some advice on my 1998 Honda Civic EX. This has been a great car and have got a ton of good miles on it. The problem that I am having now is with the temperature gauge. The measurement is completely all over the place while driving. While moving around town, the gauge shows the temperature VERY hot. As soon as I reach a consistent speed, the temperature drops back to normal (moves very erratically!). The gauge seems to get even hotter while idling.

Another issue (may or may not be related) is the heat coming out of the vents is only working while the car is in motion. While stopped, it pumps out cold air. The temperature immediately changes when I get going again.

Both problems seem to be getting worse.

The car has coolant, and all other levels of fluids are normal.

Any ideas??

Thanks for the time!

Eric T
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:04 AM
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Not sure about the temp needle jumping around while driving, unless it could be the temp sensor malfunctioning, or there is a serious air bubble in the system. Has the coolant system been tampered with recently? Can you see any leaking? Is the smoke coming from the exhaust whiteish?

Do you know if there is any oil in the coolant (you should be able to see the oil sitting on top of the coolant I believe), or coolant in the oil (milky brown oil)?

When idling, does your fan come on? If you are unsure, locate the thermostat housing (follow the lower to the back of the motor) and unplug the switch on that housing. Stick ends of a paperclip in the holes and then turn your key in the car. The fan should come on. If not, the fan is dead, or there is a wiring issue. If it does come on, there is a problem with the fan switch most likely.

I am sure there will be other members chiming in soon to help as well. Just make sure you do not drive your vehicle while overheating, or you risk blowing the HG and possibly warping the head.
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:01 AM
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I am having a very similar issue.
I have same year but it is an LX.
around a month ago, my temp spiked but came back down if I drove it. I pulled into an auto parts store where we noticed some kind of fluid that had leaked over a part lower on the engine. We filled up the coolant as it was low and I figured I had a leak. When I took it for my oil change they said there was a loose hose and it seemed to be running fine since then. (and no white exhaust, no appearance of coolant in oil etc..)

Fast forward.
This past Monday my gear shift stopped working (I don't know if this is somehow related but I am putting it here just in case). My clutch pedal is fine.. just the gear shift was unmovable. So pulled into another service station where they put in some brake fluid and pumped the clutch and it apparently cleared up that issue. I think that may be a leak (although reservoir is still full) we think there may be some gunk in the line.

So anyway YESTERDAY .. car running fine.. gear shift working but I had turned the engine off... and did smell something "burning".. didn't think much at the time but started car up a few minutes after that and noticed my temp gauge needle going up again (again sort of all over the place) it would run hot (but not totally spike) and then come down to normal. Pulled back into that autoparts store. The coolant reservoir was actually empty.. so we filled it up and I drove the rest of the way home. BUT it still was up and down. It would be normal temperature when I would drive.. even if I was idle at a light BUT when I started to accelerate THAT Is when the needle would go back up again and then fluctuate until it came back down...

So this morning.. I checked all my levels.. everything normal.. fine.. no leaks. and I drove it all the way in (34 miles) with NO Problem. But I put in less than a gallon of gas (as it was super low and couldn't get to a cheaper gas station to fill it all the way up) and when I started it up.. It ran hot again (before going down but it was fluctuating).

So.. sorry, that was long winded.. I don't know if anyone will respond or not..

but hopefully I will find an answer.

OH and another thing I JUST also got my AC Compressor replaced... ?? I just read something about possibility of a fan possibly going out?

I don't know if there is a clutch fan in my Civic? Could that be related to my clutch issue?

Last edited by Caelidh; 06-29-2016 at 06:08 AM.
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