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Discussion Starter #1
- '99 2wd automatic...187,000 on chassis.....around 90,000 on drive train.
- All new OEM Honda seals, oil/water pumps, gaskets, etc. less than 10,000 miles ago when "new" drive train was put in.
- It's my Wife's daily and she works less than 3 miles away. Other than that, we only use it when the whole family goes somewhere and once a year from Atlanta to Tampa for vacations.

A little over 1,000 miles ago, the temp gauge started telling me it was overheating, but very irregularly. Then, I started noticing the gauge would jerk up and down slightly when a blinker was on, move up slightly when the head lights were turned on and jerked up when you operated a window switch, then drop back down when you stopped pressing the window switch.
I replaced the thermostat, coolant temp sensor, fan switch, rad cap, coolant and hoses and thought it was fixed. We drove from Atlanta to Tampa for over a week, then back, and didn't have a single problem.

Then, about a week or two after we got back, it started again! Now, it's to the point where it moves when you turn on or off the heat or a/c and sometimes, even when you press the gas or brake pedal. It can be almost all the way "hot" and you can give it more gas, or tap the brake, or put it in P or N and rev it, or turn the heat or a/c on or off and it won't just slowly fall, but drop all the way back to normal, instantly.

There's no oil in the coolant or vise versa. There's no loss of coolant. Heat and a/c work fine and it runs/drives fine, without any loss of power or any other problems. Fuses are good. Grounds at transmission, thermostat housing, battery and front of engine are all good

HELP!
 

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Was anything done before this happened? It looks like a bad alternator. Do you have a multimeter? Last year I believe we have a CRV that has the same symptom as yours & we found the fix. While you have the meter probe on the battery ask someone to press the brake pedal while the engine is running. See if the voltage goes up or down. Also try this after driving with the engine at normal operating temperature with the engine off & key on depress the brake pedal see if the temperature gauge moves up or down. Let me know.
 

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Sounds like an electrical problem. I agree, look at the alternator, battery and voltage regulator first. These can all be tested for next to nothing at a Batteries Plus or most automotive supply houses. Get one of those voltage gauges that plugs into one of the 12v power sockets and see if the voltage is fluctuating when the problems occur.
 

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We drove from Atlanta to Tampa for over a week, then back, and didn't have a single problem.

That's really strange. I would go to WalMart auto service, they have a TESTER and can check your battery and charging system @ NO CHARGE. If you aren't able to go there, take ottomans advise, he is on the money, good advise.
 

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Check the battery cable connections,the bonding connections ( one from the battery neg to the frame and the other one goes from the frame to the engine, near the upper radiator area, I believe), and remove and then re-connect the wire connector at the coolant sensor just to get off any oxidation and make a better connection.
It could also be an alternator or battery problem, as otto888man suggests.
Yes, it really sounds like an electrical problem and not an actual overheat problem.
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Was anything done before this happened? It looks like a bad alternator. Do you have a multimeter? Last year I believe we have a CRV that has the same symptom as yours & we found the fix. While you have the meter probe on the battery ask someone to press the brake pedal while the engine is running. See if the voltage goes up or down. Also try this after driving with the engine at normal operating temperature with the engine off & key on depress the brake pedal see if the temperature gauge moves up or down. Let me know.
Absolutely nothing. We put the "new" drive train in less than 10,000 miles ago and it was PERFECT, without a single hint of any problems. The gauge acting crazy just started out of nowhere and keeps getting worse.
I do have a meter. I'll check the alternator out as soon as I get a chance and comment back.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I went out and unplugged the alternator to check the plug...all good.
Disconnected the grounds from transmission to frame, core support to valve cover, battery negative to frame and a "multi ground" by the passenger head light. I sanded all the terminals til shiny and about a nickle sized bare metal spot at each grounding point, then bolted them all back down.
I let it sit and run til temp gauge showed normal operating temp and got in and started doing all the things that have made the temp needle move. Left blinker, right blinker, windows up and down, a/c on and off, heat on and off, wipers on and off, tapped the brake, revved the gas, shifted to drive, reverse and back to park.....
NOT A SINGLE MOVEMENT of the needle!
Drove it around the neighborhood for about 10 minutes and did all those things, again.....STILL, not a single movement of the needle!
Wish me luck, folks!
I'll update in a few days, after I see what it does.
THANKS!
 

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Thanks for the info. You might want to spray all those paint free area (where you sanded) with a protective coating of WD40 or similar type stuff to keep it from rusting.
Hopefully your CRV will stay good.
By turning on different electrical items (blinkers, etc) you provide another return path (although a higher resistance one) for other things, so I think it was a grounding or return path issue.
Buffalo4
 

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Good LUCK!

I wouldn't use WD-40 to keep it from rusting. Maybe put some dielectric grease on those connections instead. WD-40 will evaporate and the remaining residue won't be of much help.
 

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We are talking about preventing or slowing down the oxidation of the sanded spots. Any good waterproof or water resistant type grease will work, as will a good dielectric grease.
Since it is just there to prevent oxidation, it doesn't need to be dielectric and there are no other circuits to contaminate with voltage leakage.
Buffalo4
 

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I agree with 20CRVEX13. Use dielectric grease will be much better in preventing corrosion.
Been a few days and still absolutely no problems. Whew!
As for the bare metal, I taped off the area around each grounding point, leaving about a silver dollar sized area with the bolt/ground in the middle and sprayed a coat of rubberized undercoating over each spot.
I figure that should keep the bare metal from rusting AND kinda protect each ground point from future corrosion.
Thanks, so much for all the advice, folks!
 

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Nice job!! :D
Buffalo4
PS: On most bonding straps, the electrical connection is made through the bolt threads in the frame and the bolt head connection on the strap.
 

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Been a few days and still absolutely no problems. Whew!
As for the bare metal, I taped off the area around each grounding point, leaving about a silver dollar sized area with the bolt/ground in the middle and sprayed a coat of rubberized undercoating over each spot.
I figure that should keep the bare metal from rusting AND kinda protect each ground point from future corrosion.
Thanks, so much for all the advice, folks!

No problem. Thanks for letting us know the fix. Another way to prevent corrosion on the threads is to use anti-size on the threads where the bolts go through the ground cable. One of the our best experts here is Buffalo4. He helped a lot of members here.
 
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