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Discussion Starter #1
1) 1998 Honda CRV overheated; blown headgasket. 198000 miles. Replaced headgasket, Inside engine looks like new, (I take good care of my car). Over the last 6 months I have replaced; Radiator, thermostat, Radiator cap, coolant recovery jar Temp sending unit. Fan switch, Cooling fan itself, all coolant, all coolant hoses, Timing belt, Water pump and only run Honda coolant.

2) If car stops at red light for any length of time car will heat up. Or if I am pulling a load car will heat up. Or if I am pulling a hill car will heat up. Not overheat now, but heat up; past the 3/4 way on temp gauge. I at that time will turn the heater on and the heater fan on full at which time the car will immediately cool down to normal. Sometimes when driving in town I will run with the heater and fan on just to be safe, which keeps the car running at normal temp.

3) My cooling fans, (cooling and A/C), both come on. However, they do not come on until the temp is at or above 3/4 the way up on the gauge or close to hot...Is this normal? Seems too hot for me.?

4) would a restriction in the A/C condenser fins be causing the radiator not to run cool? I ask this since running the heater cools the temp.

Might anyone have any suggestions or maybe you have run into this before.

Please provide me with info here. I am dumbfounded now.....

Thank you. Your input is greatly appreciated. I mean that......
 

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Since you have covered the bases, my honest opinion is the radiator. Most people don't know that running the heater helps, because the coolant is cooled in another area, the heater core, which is a small radiator. The circulation for some reason in the radiator is not working. I would use only OEM Honda radiator, there are just too many a/m out there. Let me know about the radiator !!! I've been through this with my V in the past, she just turned 219,000 and going strong. Good luck.
David g. :cool:
 

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I think you should look at the condenser. If it is obstructed by bugs, debris or other things, it would keep air from circulating through the radiator. You seem to have already covered most other potential problems. The only other thing I can think of is you may have gotten a defective or wrong fan switch.
 

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Both fans should come on when you turn on the AC, regardless of the engine temp.
The fan switch near the thermostat will turn on the radiator fan at around 190-194F. It is probably bad or has a bad connection.
The second fan switch (not sure where it is located) will turn on both fans at around 204F. It sounds like that switch is working.
To check the fan switch near the thermostat housing, you should be able to disconnect the connector and jumper the two wires in the connector together and, with the ignition in the ON position or the engine running, the radiator fan should come on. If it does, then that switch is probably bad. If it doesn't come on, then there is a problem downstream from there. That would indicate a bad relay (I think two of those relays in the fuse/relay box are the same, so you could just switch them) or a broken wire, etc.
Readup on how to get rid of all the air (burping the system) in the cooling system also.
I am willing to bet that the radiator fan is not coming on at 194F like it is supposed to.
I don't have a wiring diagram on this laptop I am using so I am not sure of how the circuit goes from the initial 194 turn on and the 204F turn on, which may even increase the fan speed.
Checking for an abundance of bugs, etc or even a plastic bag stuck to the radiator or condenser or grill opening could possibly cause insufficient airflow.
Start with:
1) Check that both fans come on when you turn on the AC , regardless of engine temp.
2) Jumper that fan switch near the thermostat to see if the radiator fan runs fast with the ignition ON and the engine fairly cold.
3)Swap similar relays in the same fuse/relay box and see if that works.
4)Burp the air out of the cooling system

BTW, did the head gasket blow due to overheating? Just curious.

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1) yes the radiator is new. (Denso).
2) The headgasket blew due to overheating. I did not not notice when driving until it was too late. the inside of the engine is spotless and no ridges on cylinder walls. the machine shop milled and checked for further damage. They said head was very nice. Gasket went between 3 and 4 cylinders.
3) Yes, the system was cleared of air. the coolant was added under vacuum and then burped also.
4) "Both" fans come on at same time; the radiator cooling fan does not come on by itself. It appears they both come on at the 200 range, not before and that really is the problem. If they came on at 190 or so it would be fine. I will check the relays and the switch. The switch at thermostat housing is new. I will check further.
5) I will pull bumper cover then clean and comb condenser fins also.

I will then let you know here.
I do appreciate all of you very much. Thank you for your reply; they are very helpful..
 

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Sounds like both fans work.
Do they both come on when you turn the AC on? If so, until you get it solved, turn the AC on when it is getting hot and that should have both fans running. You can set the AC temp to whatever you want also, and as long as the AC is on, both fans should be running and keeping your engine cooler.
Perhaps a rodent chewed through the wire going to that fan switch near the thermostat.
Try jumpering that connector and see if the radiator fan comes on (regardless of the engine temp and while the ignition is in the Run position or the engine is running).
If so, than that switch is bad or the connector is not making good contact with the switch.
Only the radiator fan comes on when the temp is 190-194F and both should come on after around 204F or whenever the AC is turned to ON.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE:
Thank you all very much for your valuable input. You are a big help to those of us who do not have your information.

I replaced the Relays, cooling fan and a/c fan.

I ran the engine and watched as the fans came on. the fans appear to be coming on at the correct time now. I am still watching multiple times to be sure the cooling fan comes on at about 190-194 degrees then the a/c fan comes on also at about 204. Being cautious.

I removed the grille and bumper then drove to the car wash and pressure washed the a/c condenser clean. Yes, it was dirty and appeared to be plugged in areas.

the car appears to be running cooler; although I have only driven it a couple of days since this work was completed. I am still nervous and watching closely. I live in Las Vegas so you know that this time of year it is hot. In addition, the traffic signals here absolutely are the worst I have ever experienced. It can be 114 out and you sit still at a signal for minutes sometimes 5 before it will change. This does not help when there is a cooling situation. I will be leaving her the first of the year. One year here is enough.

Thank you for your help.

I will update you all in a week; whether it is good news or bad news.

Vincent
 

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Thanks for the update, and certainly you've solved your problem. That could have been the original cause for the head gasket problem. That's some kind of hot weather, good luck and update again soon.
David g. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK..Let me update you on my problem.

I have gone through everything regarding the cooling system. as I have stated in my posts here. I reside, (currently that is), in Las Vegas NV where it is quite hot during the summer. The signal lights here are quite a mess, long waits for a green, very long. My car does operate now in the normal range. However, when pulling a hill or sitting at a long light the gauge will raise to about 200 or 204; it does not get into or near the red anymore. I get real nervous when it gets this warm. Some areas around here like up the mountains I do not go because I know it will get hot immediately just starting to climb.

When the gauge starts to rise, the cooling fans do operate and may slowly cool the car. However, I immediately run the heater and fan which usually will cool it. However, pulling mountains it will only cool the car so much. Again, it no longer gets into the red.

I took car to two radiator shops who both told me that the radiator is only one tube and the car should have a two tube radiator in it due to it having A/C; this because of the flow restriction on the condenser.

NO, the radiator is a Denso not an OEM Honda radiator. I called the shop who installed it and asked them to locate me a two row and when I get back there to exchange it.

I will be traveling from Las Vegas to San Francisco in a week and am hustling to find a solution to my delima this week now.

It appears my problem is the radiator now.

I am now also going to check the ignition timing so see if in fact it is right on and no advanced. what I have read tells me that this can be a problem also. My timing belt and head gasket replaced when the radiator was replaced. Perhaps the belt is off a tooth and the timing was set incorrectly. ???? something to check on here.

Thank you for all of your input....

Vincent
 

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Even if your CRV gets up to running at 220-230F, it is still fine as long as you have the proper amount of antifreeze in it. That antifreeze will keep it from boiling at those temps. Still, keeping it below 212 is more normal.

Both fans come on at around 204-210F and that is normal.

That Denso radiator should be just fine and I don't believe you need a double tube type radiator.
A double tube (core) radiator is said to be better, but unless your temps are going way above 220F you're wasting your money, IMO.

When you had the radiator replaced, did you get a Honda OEM thermostat installed?
A thermostat that is not opening wide enough will also cause high heat problems due to restricted flow. I found that out when I used a non-OEM thermostat on my Odyssey. Others using that same stat had no problems.
What gauge are you using to monitor the coolant temp? Hopefully it is accurate.

An Ultra-Gauge ( http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/ ) is a good thing to have as it reads out many different parameters and also alerts you to Engine Codes and will reset them, etc. It is pretty accurate in engine temp, etc. Around $70 or so.
Very helpful thing to have.
They also have OBD2 readers that will work with your laptop or smartphone for around $20-25 on ebay etc that provide a lot of info.
Also, it is said that a full synthetic engine oil is better at high engine temps.
Don't just replace parts as that can get expensive.
Did you ever find the cause of the severe overheating that caused the head gasket to leak?

Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wish to update all of my responders with this information:

As I previously indicated I had my 1998 CRV checked and worked over; (stated previously). I had the timing belt position checked. I replaced, again, the thermostat, replaced the temp switch, checked the fans, the circuit breakers and fuses. I drove car after and it did not overheat; (in pretty normal temperatures, (not Las Vegas Nevada).

When I got back to Las Vegas (desert country), I found the temperature gauge to move up some while stopped at the lights, (they are long here). However, other than that the gauge appeared to be staying in the normal range.

I still believed that it could be running normal all the time unless I was putting a load on the engine. therefore, I broke down and purchased an all aluminum 2 row radiator online through ebay for $130.00 and installed it with all new coolant and again checked everything over.

"My CRV has not had an overheating problem since".:cool: For that matter, the gauge has not moved at all since. I have, (out of my own concerns), checked the coolant level and system daily for the last month; all is ok!!!!!!!!

I have spoken to other 1998 - 2001 CRV owners I have come across here in Las Vegas regarding their cars overheating and have found that their gauges do move some at stop lights here and under loads when it is so hot. However, they have not had their cars overheat. I suspect now that my gauge moving while sitting at the very long red lights may be normal then. But, I now feel much better knowing that my decision to install a 2 row radiator is a great benefit to my engine's health. I might add that the radiator I installed is "all" aluminum with NO plastic tanks, ( I like that).

Anyway, I am up and running nicely now.

Thank YOU!!! for all of your input and help!!
 

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Happy that you posted back with what you did and your new 2-row radiator.
I just looked at the shop manual again and the radiator fan should come on between 196F and 203F (says 199F overall).
I am unable to find at what temp both fans are supposed to come on at. I would imagine it is between 204F and 210F.
As you know, both fans should run full with the AC on (and fast) regardless of the temperature.
When you replaced the engine thermostat, did you use a Honda OEM?
As a sidenote, full synthetic motor oils provide better protection during initial startup AND at high oil temps than regular Dino oils.
Sounds like you are set. :)
Buffalo4
PS: Installing something like an Ultra-gauge will give you accurate temp readouts plus much more.
 

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08/28th "Since you have covered the bases, my honest opinion is the radiator"


I'm so glad you let us know about the cause of your problem. All of the aluminum head/cast iron block engines (not just Honda) are prone to the overheating problem without proper circulation. It's a proven fact, all radiators may look alike but it's the inside that counts.
Could you give everyone the link to the ALUMINUM RADIATOR you found ? It will be helpful to those who own the CRV. Again, thanks.
David g................:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To Southwind:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/182289852895?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT


2 Rows 1997-2001 HONDA CR-V CRV 2.0L AT/ MT Aluminum Radiator 2051
ebay seller: autoparts-great, price $132.00. free shipping. I received it very fast FED EX and it was easy install myself; again NO plastic tanks on this one
(note: the bolt holes for the fan shrouds was found to be a little off so I just bent the top tabs on the AC shroud a little. Otherwise it was a perfect fit. 2 rows is great.) Autoparts-Great is located in San Leandro California and the Radiator is shipped from there.


To Buffalo:

The thermostat is OEM
The switch is from IMC (not OEM) but good quality.

the engine temperature was tested with a separate meter to insure temp when fans came on. they come on at 203 degrees. Both fans come on at same time. I printed out the electrical diagram on this CRV and saw that the fans were factory wired and designed to come on together no matter what. My experience has always been that the AC fan comes on separately but the wiring diagram shows that is not the case on my CRV. Go figure. But, they are working as they should.

I might note that I drove the last couple of days from Las Vegas to Reno, which includes some hills. The vehicle handled lovely.
 

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hebhere,
The radiator fan switch is supposed to close between 196F-203F and open again 5F-14F degrees lower than when it closes.
I finally found an electrical diagram and it does show that both fans will come on when the fan switch is activated, so yours is acting properly, as you already determined.
Some are different with just the rad fan coming on at a temp below 200F and both fans coming on at approx 208F.
Some even increase the fan speeds when the temp gets +208F.
Sounds like your new radiator is doing the trick.
Two things:
1)synthetic engine oil protects better at higher engine temps
2)an OBDII reader, such as an Ultra-gauge can be very informative, and also useful for troubleshooting and clearing trouble codes.

At least now you have more peace of mind and can enjoy your CRV to the fullest. (keep the condenser fins unclogged).

Again, thanks for posting back.
Buffalo4
 

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In my wife's 1999 CRV, with 400 000 km, the temp gauge has been rock solid.

It climbs as the engine warms, then just holds steady, regardless of the season.

I've probably done 4 coolant changes over the life of this car, and always with distilled water as the antifreeze diluent. Looks real clean inside, and the overflow has only ever gathered a few specks of sediment.

Never changed a thermostat.
 
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