"The Mothership" - 1998 Civic - Maintenance Log

M Perrenoud

Restore It!
5+ Year Member
Great information!
And fixed for under 50 bucks, now that makes me feel good for ya!
Honda Mike
Aka EF ddy
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
A couple updates from the past few weeks:

Last week of January:
  • Found that the coolant was rusty :(
    • Flushed the radiator with water and ran the car (~3 times). The last flush was mostly clean water.
    • Found that the radiator cap was broken with the relief valve missing.
    • Replaced the radiator cap and filled the radiator with concentrated coolant to make a proper mix.
  • For a nice gentle test drive I drove to Atlanta for a wedding the next day. No issues.
Two days ago (Wednesday) I left my keys locked in my car at work... and the car running. It probably sat idling for about 6 hours total before my parents came to the rescue with a spare key.

The brakes still pulse, so yesterday my roommate helped me pull the front brake rotors and turn them on a brake lathe. No more pulsing while braking! At least for now...

And this weekend I'm planning on changing the oil simply due to the whole "left running all day" thing.
 


ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Changed the oil Saturday at odometer 355,000.
3.5 Qt high-mileage Valvoline synthetic mix and new Bosch Premium 3312 filter.

Sunday I noticed coolant leaking out of the upper radiator hose, so that got replaced.

The car's been doing great lately. I actually suspect heat soaking with with the idiotic 5-hour idle session may have freed up some rings? Cleaned out some carbon? Polished some bearings? Warped the freaking longblock? The engine just feels a little more responsive :what:
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Monday I noticed that my tripmeter wasn't ... metering. I bumped the reset button a few times and then it resumed faithfully ticking away the mileage.

At the fill-up today I wrote down the trip meter and compared it to the odometer:
Trip meter402
Odometer355526
Previous odometer355115
Difference in odometer355526 - 355115 = 411

They don't match. 8km sounds about right for the driving I did before noticing that the meter was still at 0. So my odometer is likely still working even though the trip meter is bugging out.

I also want to see if leaving the engine idling had an obvious affect on MPG, since I do have that data and don't really have compression test data to compare. Below are a couple of samples of KMPG before, and the first datapoint afterwards.
Before: 53.3, 49.9, 52.9, 58.4
Tank where car was left idling for ~5 hours: 45.5
After: 57.2

Looks like there wasn't any immediately obvious damage, at least from this metric.
 


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ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
For a couple years now my car's had a belt squeal. It only happens in winter; when the engine is cold it sometimes squeals for about 20 seconds and then the noise goes away.

Yesterday I finally went out and measured the belts. The AC and alternator were loose below spec, so I tightened them to ~100lbs.

Then I unplugged the power steering reservoir and flushed the system with three bottles of Honda PS fluid. It was time.

Hopefully the next few days will confirm that the belt squeal is gone. As an added bonus, I think there was a little squealing during moderate engine load that's also gone now.
 

ctag

fill it with wires!
Registered VIP
5+ Year Member
Today was gorgeous outside, so I went out and washed the Civic. As I stepped back to let it dry, the thought occurred to me that soon there won't be enough clearcoat left to even pretend to wax it, so I dug out some old carnuaba wax and went to town scrubbing it into the chipped paint.



Then I looked up the AC test section of the service manual and decided to give it a try. Before I could begin though, I wanted to investigate why the vent selector no longer worked. It's been broken for years and I just left it because the thought of pulling the dash was overwhelming. Turns out all this time the broken part was just next to my foot, and I quickly found the servo and pulled it out of the car.



I tore it down to find that the DC motor inside had a dead spot, but everything else was fine. I tested the motor a few times, cleaned the gears, added new silicone grease, and put it back together.



For a few beautiful seconds I played with the dash buttons and the servo dutifully switched vents... Until it hit the motor's dead spot again and ceased responding. Oh well, re-winding a motor coil is where I draw the line, so I manually turned the dash vents to the setting for the AC test and proceeded.

... But I didn't have a thermometer... And the local grocery store didn't either! Frustrated with the lost time, I pulled out my trusty AMT1001 and made my own thermometer/hygrometer rig.



I jerry rigged up some old gauges to the AC refrigerant lines and then carried out the 10 minute test. At the conclusion I wrote down the results, and then blindly tried filling out the AC chart to the best of my ability.

High side pressure195 - 220 psi
Low side pressure13 - 39 psi
Ambient Temperature20 C
Vent Temperature8 C
Ambient Humidity20 %
Vent Humidity49 %

I'm not sure how to interpret the results, but was surprised to see the temperature actually drop and stay there. I've suspected something is wrong with the AC for a long time now, because usually it will blow cold for a few minutes and then give up.
 

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