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Discussion Starter #1
So we noticed that we had no heat in the CRV and we decided that spring was near and we would wait. Then about a month later my wife ran the car hot while making some deliveries and when she pulled into our drive the upper radiator hose blew off the radiator. I refilled it(after reattachment) and took it to our guy. He flushed and replaced the coolant and said keep an eye on it. I checked it all week and the coolant level was ok. Then Saturday my wife drove about 20 miles and the hose popped again. My question is...is it the head gasket, thermostat or pump and if its the HG and I have it replaced by Honda, will it be ok? or is it just perpetuating the "time bomb". BTW it runs good still and has 165K miles.
No coffee colored oil either
 

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Maybe the water pump is failing or has. Apparently the cooling fluid is not circulating. Plugged up radiator? Before the engine overheats is it running well?

Without more info I don't believe it is the head gasket. Is there a reason why you would not want to take this to a Honda dealer for diagnosis and repair? If you really like your '04 and most of the vehicle is in good condition it may be worth repairing. 165K miles is most usually not the end of the run for these vehicles. All depends of how it has been taken care of and current condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is running well...no probs there. starts right up. Taking it to Honda tomorrow to see. I'd hate to have to write this one off and start making payments again.
 

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I'm going to agree with Honda4Life. I'd change that thermostat out with a new one...OEM only.
 

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I hope that you're not pouring cold coolant into a hot engine !!! You'll crack the block if you did !! Good luck. Craig

It is possible to pour cold coolant into a hot engine, you have to be sure the engine is running though and do it slowly. The problem arises when you pour in too much, too fast, and that takes too much heat out of the block in a localized fashion.
I had the chance to demonstrate this to my son once when we drove an Alfa Romeo home from Palm Springs when it was 104* out and it was pumping water out the overflow bottle it was so hot. We stopped at every off ramp between PS and Orange County to fill up the radiator and cool it down, NEVER shutting off the engine during the whole process. This was tricky since those engines use liners with o-rings in the block. We didn't blow it up, thankfully, and found out that the car had a key piece of the cooling system missing, besides having an old, unused a/c condenser sitting in front of the radiator!
 

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Keep an eye on it, tell her to turn up the heat and blower to max if it overheat again. I had an issue similar to yours. The top hose wasn't attached correctly and I drove it for a while not noticing until steam started to come out of the engine. I pulled over and left the accessories on to pull the heat out of the engine.

I would change the water pump and thermostat. I just did my thermostat with a gates one. The water pump I did not do because it was on the car for less than 5000 miles. Only honda type 2 coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The radiator cap wasn't even warm to the touch. The amount I drove it was a mile at the most on a 50 degree day and from a cold start to temp gauge pegged in that distance might indicate a stuck thermostat. When I removed the rad cap it phawoooosed like it was pressurized. Thanks all for the comments. Fingers crossed.
 

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^ yeah that should be nothing. I think I drove over 70 miles without knowing until I stopped at a store and the thermo went to red. had no idea when it popped off. Could have been an hour ago or 5 minutes ago. It was raining and about 40-50*F
 

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It is possible to pour cold coolant into a hot engine, you have to be sure the engine is running though and do it slowly. The problem arises when you pour in too much, too fast, and that takes too much heat out of the block in a localized fashion.
I had the chance to demonstrate this to my son once when we drove an Alfa Romeo home from Palm Springs when it was 104* out and it was pumping water out the overflow bottle it was so hot. We stopped at every off ramp between PS and Orange County to fill up the radiator and cool it down, NEVER shutting off the engine during the whole process. This was tricky since those engines use liners with o-rings in the block. We didn't blow it up, thankfully, and found out that the car had a key piece of the cooling system missing, besides having an old, unused a/c condenser sitting in front of the radiator!
Not knowing the poster's level of experience with situations like this, I thought it best to assume the worst and not leave the door open to a possible disaster. Yes, I do know the engine running is a must before adding coolant unless the engine is cold ! Thanks for pointing out the alternative to letting an engine become cold before doing any addition of coolant. Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #14
have you checked your oil to see if it is milky? That would tell you if you have a blown head gasket
Brand new oil. That was the 1st thing I looked at the first time it popped and oil was just as it should be. After the service with the radiator flush and fill the oil was changed and when I looked at it today the oil was nice and oil-like. No coffee. I wonder why the mech never thought of the thermostat and assumed we damaged the Head gasket. When we had no heat, a bad thermostat was the first thing I thought of. Everyone I've spoken to has been doom and gloom with regards to running a gen2 CRV engine very hot. They all say its the HG but you all have given me knowledgeable hope.
Guess I'll find out soon but damn Honda dealer mechs are high dollar.
 

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I would also suggest to check the actual radiator cap if its malfunctioning. When the engine cold when you remove the cap does the upper rad hose collapses?
 

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You can check for a stuck thermostat just by removing the rad cap when it's cold and starting the engine, letting it warm up without the cap on. You should see water circulating in the rad when you look inside after it has warmed up.
 

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Do as some others have suggested.
On a cold engine, remove the radiator cap and run the engine long enough to get the gauge needle moving up and a radiator fan to run. You should be able to see the coolant moving in the radiator before this time.
When the radiator hose blew off, was the coolant tank also empty? Usually the rad cap will let the pressure go to the reservoir and blow some of the coolant out if it is that bad.
With the radiator cap off at a cold startup, look and see if the coolant is flowing and if there are a lot of bubbles showing up. That is one of the indicators of a head gasket problem.
There are also some fairly cheap kits at auto shops that let you test the coolant for combustion gasses.
A failing water pump or a bad thermostat or a defective radiator cap can cause similar problems, as can an air blockage in the cooling system.
Head gasket replacement is pretty expensive, so do good troubleshooting first and maybe even by that coolant test kit for combustion gases to help out if you need to.
Buffalo4
PS: Be sure and post back on what the problem was and what it took to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE....Honda tech used an exhaust gas sensor in the radiator and found none-nil. He said its 99% accurate and it has never let him down. So they guys are perplexed. They feel its some kind of blockage somewhere. Tomorrow they flush and fill, replace thermostat and hoses and we will give er a shot. I told em about not having any heat and he said it was because of calcium/mineral build up in the heater core because I didn't use approved coolant. The coolant that was in there was what I had laying around just so I could get it to the shop. Yikes. what a nightmare. I will update when we find out what the hell is causing this. Feel free to chime in. (shrugged shoulders)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So apparently the barb that holds the top rad hose on the rad has disintegrated. New radiator on way. Question is.....why did it overheat in the first place BEFORE the hose blew off.
 
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