Antifreeze and Engine Coolant
Honda Civic DX
Honda Civic LX

Why does the coolant fill up the reservoir and not return back to the radiator leaving the radiator bone-dry on a 93 Honda Civic DX?

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2011-09-14 00:08:12
2011-09-14 00:08:12

Hey Ken==The radiator cap isn't sealing. Replace it. GoodluckJoe

If replacing the radiator cap is not enough then look at your radiator as the problem. Your radiator when the car is running should be the same temperature top to bottom. Run your hand down the radiator (careful you can burn yourself) and see if it is cool toward the bottom. If it is cool at the bottom but hot at the top your radiator is clogged. Flush does not work so save your money. I would start looking online for a new radiator their cheap enough. Good luck.


If it still vents with a new cap then the excessive pressure could be due to a blown head gasket pushing combustion pressure into the coolant system, if the vehicle has been overheated recently it is a good possibility

I had the same problem. Check your upper and lower radiator hoses. You might also need to replace your thermostat. The thermostat is a spring seal for coolant. These get stuck open and closed often for civics in the 1990's. I had to replace mine 2 times within a month. Part of it was my fault, because i drove it like i stole it. When your engine gets hot, the thermostat opens up and lets coolant in. When it is too cold, it closes and doesn't let coolant into your engine so it will warm up. Your thermostat probably got stuck closed. Also, check the little hose running from the reservoir tank to the radiator, it might be clogged.

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It sounds like you have a blown head gasket. Combustion gases can enter the cooling system through either a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. The gases (under pressure) force coolant out of the reservoir. This also causes a void in the upper part of the cooling system , leaving no coolant at the thermostat and the coolant temperature sending unit. The result is a erroneous temperature Reading and will even prevent the thermostat from opening.

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A cracked radiator would leak the fluid out, leaving no coolant for your engine which would cause your engine to overheat and be destroyed pretty quickly. So the answer is NO.

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Allow the car to cool. Remove radiator cap. Add water or coolant to fill radiator. Start engine leaving cap off. check to see if coolant is circulating in radiator. Locate upper rad hose, and squeeze to move air bubbles out, or to ecourage circulation. If large air bubble works its way out, add coolant to fill. Once coolant starts to expand and spill out, replace cap. Watch temperature gauge to esure the problem has been rectified. You may have to repeat this procedure.

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It could be a damaged or loose radiator hose, a damaged radiator, a faulty radiator cap, blown head gasket. Have a look around all the hoses and see where the water is coming from and then use common sense.

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