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Thread: I love my 1998 Honda CR-V but WTF?!???

  1. #1

    Default I love my 1998 Honda CR-V but WTF?!???

    Coolant leaking ON TOP OF THE RADIATOR? And causing the engine to smoke at stop lights? What in the world... Where could it be coming from? Because I don't have a clue.. This has got to be the strangest.. I've checked the rad cap, seems fine.. Is something I am missing..

  2. #2


    When the car is cold.. fill the radiator up with fluid through the cap. Fill the overflow res up.

    Start engine, and follow the hoses to see where its leaking.

    Squeeze hoses, see if liquid comes out anywhere.

    Sometimes the caps leak (pressure caps), if its coming out of your cap, too much pressure is building up which usually means head gasket.

  3. #3


    Ok.. It doesn't overheat though.. At all.. It doesn't drain fluid from the rad, but the reservoir becomes empty after about a week.. so it is eating antifreeze.. I'm going to try to do what you send but Im hoping not head gasket ( wouldn't it overheat?? )

  4. #4


    Pull the radiator cap, if it looks oily or muddy, you're screwed. You might also check the seam between the upper plastic part of the radiator body and the aluminum body. I see older radiators slowly start to leak along the upper and lower end cap seams fairly often. I've not seen many head gasket failures on a stock B20 CRV motor. I have 165,000 miles on my 98 CRV, and the only issues I have out of it are that the valves got too tight from lack of adjustment and its been having phantom misfire issues ever since.

  5. #5


    I had that happen to me once... the coolant hose wasn't clamped on to the block all the way.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by dcviper View Post
    I had that happen to me once... the coolant hose wasn't clamped on to the block all the way.
    Yeah. Check your hoses.

    If it was a head gasket, you'd almost certainly be overheating. Had a head gasket go on my '92 Celica, it was fine if I was moving down the highway and getting air flow through the engine compartment, but if I was idling it or driving in stop-and-go traffic it'd overheat like nobody's business.

  7. #7


    Another thing to consider is that the plastic in the top tank of the radiator has a hairline crack in it. My 89 Civic Si (RIP) developed a small split near the filler neck that wouldn't leak until it had a little pressure on it. The fix was a new radiator. Get a pressure tester, pump up the system and see where the leak is. Another thing, if it is the head gasket, be SURE to replace the timing belt when it goes back together, especially if it has never been done.

  8. #8


    Another thing to check.. Squeeze the hoses, if they feel stiff or soft, and you can feel it cracking when you squeeze. Replace them :-)

  9. #9


    ok just to be perfectly's leaking out of the top of the radiator? Where exactly? Is it around the cap area or somewhere else on top? Need a few more specifics here....

    If the coolant system isn't sealed, pressure can't build up and the coolant will bubble out at the source. Technically speaking, it is overheating already, but not enough to cause the engine major damage. Get it fixed ASAP though otherwise you're beloved car will become beloved scrap.

  10. #10


    Once on my dad's fiero a O ring on the radiator was shot so it was leaking out though the cap itself since I guess it gets pressurized while the car is on.

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