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How to check for blown head gasket

6th Generation Honda Civic (1996-2000)


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Old 03-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
mikeyisfresh
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Default How to check for blown head gasket

well, my EM1 has been overheating a bit lately and seems to be leaking a small amount of coolant after I drive it aggressively. I've noticed the radiator fan is not turning itself on as well. however, I have tested the fan and it works fine.

I've already purchased a new thermostat, although it isn't installed. my next move, after installing the thermostat, is a new radiator fan switch. but, one thing keeps lurking in the back of my mind: blown head gasket?

what are some ways I can check for this without actually removing any parts?

thanks clubcivy!
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Where is the leak?

Have you topped off the radiator and reservoir and then bled the cooling system?
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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i recently had to replace the radiator, thermostat and fan switch. bottomed out so hard that it bent the lower core support and smashed the plastic oem radiator into the upper one. it cracked so started leaking a bit. put in an all aluminum one and the stat and fan switch. I thought the fan was broken too, however since i didn't bleed the system properly it overheated like ALOT so i pulled over and popped the hood and sure enough the fan was on. the funny thing was i was just about to buy a new fan because i thought it was broken. got back flushed the system and have been enjoying my $100 radiator that is twice as thick as the oem one and 1/3 the price.

so point being do all the coolant system check first before you go pulling your engine apart.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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no, I haven't bled the cooling system at all. not sure on how to do it, honestly. people have been telling me different ways. :/
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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Bleeding the cooling system may take 20-30 minutes.

1) Park the car on an inclined driveway with the front end higher than the rear.

2) Push/turn the dash heater lever/knob to MAX heat. Fan need not be on.

3) Follow the directions in the diagram below


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Old 03-26-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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What about the bleeder valve at the end of the top radiator hose close to the block? Do bseries not have these?
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Unlike 5th gen Civics, 6th gen Civics lack bleeder valves.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
Bleeding the cooling system may take 20-30 minutes.

1) Park the car on an inclined driveway with the front end higher than the rear.

2) Push/turn the dash heater lever/knob to MAX heat. Fan need not be on.

3) Follow the directions in the diagram below


well, I just did this after checking the thermostat (which does work), and I can't really tell if there is a leak or not. I filled my rad and my reserve up... later on, I'm gonna go drive a bit and see what happens.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
Unlike 5th gen Civics, 6th gen Civics lack bleeder valves.
Thank you for clarifying that for me
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Make sure you squeeze the hoses to loosen up any air, the keep filling it up until it literally overflows.
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