Coolant leak - and need to get home

Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
2
Location
CA
The leak is on a 98 civic the radiator system has iirc 4.1q or about a gallon - i drove from LA to PHX and about 260 mark car started to over heat pulled over no coolant in expansion tank car was towed for 100 miles thanks to AAA then got my hands on some distilled water poured about half a gallon in and drove the rest of the way to PHX for 25 miles no overheating problems or observable leaks i am positive the [censored] thing is leaking and i need to get back home this weekend - currently i am assuming it is a slow leak - my plan jack up the car run it get on the gas to see if i can see the leak - if i can i will do a patch job with duct tape for the hose and jb weld for the core but........... if i am unable to determine the leak my plan is to use bar's tablet (the ones that come in a roll) did some searching found out that is what people are happy with and fill the rest with water since i am burning it anyways and going to head out after 6 so ambient air temps would be 80 and under and will keep on dropping till i get home - it is about a 5 hour drive and have plenty of distilled water with me, and my AAA card any modifications or suggestions is much appreciated
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
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715
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Ks
This weekend meaning today, or in a week? If you've got a week, then top it up, and drive it during during the week. Try to get 50-100 miles on it during the week. If its not going down, its probably slow enough you're fine for the weekend. Another thought - once you run out of coolant the ambient temp isn't going to change much. You might be better off going during the daylight & business hours.
 

thewatcher101

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
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2
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CA
i mean sunday, not too worried about daylight since AAA is 24 hours and i just need gas stations along the way
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
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707
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Southwest Michigan
I've seen stop leaks that are ginger root based. Some people recommend them as less fouling to the heat transfer surfaces. I did some searching, but couldn't find a brand name.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
23,124
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Apple Valley, California
Why don't you fix the problem before you leave PHX? Go to Autozone and borrow the pressure tester and pump it up, see whats leaking and go from there. If you get that all aluminum Honda engine even slightly hot you will ruin it.
 
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Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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36,713
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ME
Antifreeze leaks that evaporate off leave a crusty white deposit. Before you head out, fill the overflow to 1/2 inch from the top, if some burps out, oh well. If the leak is bad enough it won't make vacuum to suck from the overflow, so it might be a good idea to stop for dinner and check the actual radiator after it cools down.
 

Kestas

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Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
14,022
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The Motor City
If it's leaking and you have to drive it, loosen the radiator cap so there is no pressure in the system. Ditto to pressure testing to diagnose where the leak is coming from.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
9,366
Location
USA
I wouldn't risk it. if you have a sudden overheat while driving back, you could blow a headgasket that's if the leak is coming from the radiator. I think someone else mentioned about Honda's aluminum engines are sensitive to overheats. I was in a similar situation over Memorial Day weekend a few months ago. I drove my 96 Sunfire from Nashville to Memphis to visit my folks. I heard a loud shrieking sound. I pulled off at the next exit and found part of the serpentine belt ribs came off. I had another 160 miles to drive, but I was 60 miles away from my house. I took the risk and made it to Memphis at 9pm. I changed the belt the next morning when I got up. I thought of driving back the 3.5 hour drive without changing it, but didn't want to risk it snapping, and overheating.
 
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