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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
This is my first post on the forum and I'm not a car guy...so go easy on me :) Anyway, we've got a 2014 CR-V AWD and have a really frustrating problem. We took the car to an oil change place and decided to have them flush the radiator since it was due. (Had never had any issues prior to this) Within a few days the top hose popped off dumping fluid everywhere. I took it back to the oil place and they "burped" the system again and replaced the clamp. We drove it about a week and it happened again!! Also, my wife had noticed a water sound on the lower passenger side when she turned left and saw a small amount of water on the floor a couple of times. So, we now took it to a mechanic who did another flush and checked the heater core, which they said may need to be replaced. Other than that, they said everything seemed fine. About a week and a half later it happened again! Now we took it to a different shop who checked it out again and used CLR to clean out the system and put on a new radiator hose and clamp. They also did a block fluid test, which showed 0 part/million in the exhaust..so they didn't think it was a head gasket issue. Although, they did say that the CR-V has had head gasket issues showing hardly anything on the block test. What additional tests do you think would help prove or disprove a head gasket problem on a CR-V? We have a hard time believing it's a head gasket issue when we never had any problems with the car prior to flushing the radiator. We've been keeping a close eye on it and the hose is still slowly slipping back. SO Frustrating!! I think I've heard that water noise as well but haven't seen any water on the floor since they burped it. The engine temp has been fine but the driver side vents are blowing cool air at idle. I'm pretty sure we need a new heater core or water pump but I don't think that would explain the hose keeps coming off. It's so frustrating because we never had a problem until we took it in to get the radiator flushed. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
 

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Everything in Moderation
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Its good that you are observant!

FIRST: I'd replace the hose clamp again with a different kind (the ones made for silicone coolant hoses are extra robust) at the attachment point that won't stay secure. A second clamp may help, if there is room, as well. A non-hardening sealant such as Permatex/Hylomar Blue would add some security if the fitting is a bit damaged or corroded.

Low heat on the drivers side can indicate low coolant. So can the gurgling water sound.

Keep checking the overflow bottle when cold...it takes 5 to 10 warm drives to stabilize. Add some blue Honda coolant (I hope that is what has been used) if you can tell the level has dropped.

Did the engine overheat when the hose came off? If you shut the engine down promptly (when the 'gusher' happened) its probably OK. If you ran it with the temp gauge pegged HOT then keep monitoring block coolant gases. (Head gasket issues on the K engines are not common, unlike some Civic engines)

I can't see these issues damaging the heater core. The radiator cap is designed to release pressure if the coolant gets too hot. The shop that did the CLR purge was grasping at straws. :mad:

Post back with the continuing story...
 

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Well all kinds of things could have gone wrong here. First you don't flush a Honda coolant system. You just drain and fill, no hoses get disconnected to be hook up to a flushing machine.
Your heater core may very well be clogged, This is a known issue with the 4th gen CRV. Honda has a TSB on this, TSB 14-063
Now for some questions:
1. Did they also put a new radiator cap on? May have installed the wrong cap preventing air in the system from automatically burping air out of the system and causing excessive pressure in the system.
2. Did they replace the hose clamps. The clamps should be a spring type not the strap with a screw to tighten it type.
3. With the engine cold, If you remove the radiator cap is the coolant at the top of radiator neck, it should be. There should be no air in the top of the radiator.
4. The water your wife found did it smell like coolant?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well all kinds of things could have gone wrong here. First you don't flush a Honda coolant system. You just drain and fill, no hoses get disconnected to be hook up to a flushing machine.
Your heater core may very well be clogged, This is a known issue with the 4th gen CRV. Honda has a TSB on this, TSB 14-063
Now for some questions:
1. Did they also put a new radiator cap on? May have installed the wrong cap preventing air in the system from automatically burping air out of the system and causing excessive pressure in the system.
2. Did they replace the hose clamps. The clamps should be a spring type not the strap with a screw to tighten it type.
3. With the engine cold, If you remove the radiator cap is the coolant at the top of radiator neck, it should be. There should be no air in the top of the radiator.
4. The water your wife found did it smell like coolant?
I just used the term flush but I'm assuming they must have done a drain and fill. I'm definitely going to check on that though.
I do think the heater core is plugged. Could that in any way contribute to the hose popping off?
How would I know if the water pump may be the problem?
1. That's a good point about the cap. I don't think they replaced it.. only marking on the cap is 1.1. don't know what that means.
2. They did replace the hose clamps twice. have used both screw and strap and spring type.
3. I did remove the cap when it was cold and the coolant is pretty much at the top of the radiator neck.
4. My wife said she didn't think the water on the floor smelled like coolant.

Seems like mechanics have been leaning toward more serious issues like the head gasket. I just can't believe that to be the case based on the history with the car.

Thanks again for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1.Thanks for the info about the hose clamps. As far as the history of the clamps, it originally had a spring type clamp that had worked fine for 100,000 miles. I did actually put two clamps on it the first time (one spring and one screw and strap) and it popped off again. I'll look for the ones made for silicone.
2. The hose fitting looks just fine.
3. I checked the overflow bottle just now when cold and it was 1/2 way between full and fill. I think it was full about 2 weeks ago when we had it at the shop? That may indicate a problem?
4. the 3rd time when it came off, my wife was driving on the interstate and by the time she noticed and stopped the temp gauge was in the red. From engine start to pulling off the road it was probably 2-3 miles. I will definitely keep an eye on the head gasket. From your post, are you saying this engine usually doesn't have head gasket issues? Are there additional tests you recommend to check for problems?
5. Heater Core: I think it had a plugged heater core problem prior to this issue with the hose coming off because I was noticing that the drivers side are was definitely not as hot as the passenger side.
6. Radiator cap: I just removed it. coolant looks to be at top of neck. Cap does look pretty new and says 1.1 on it. Does anyone now what the significance of that is?
A little about the car, we bought it with 20K miles on it and now it has 121K. So for 100000 miles we've had zero mechanical issues with the car. Then we decide to do some preventative maintenance with the radiator and now we're in this situation. I think something was done incorrectly with that initial radiator service and now no one can get it back to the way it was.
 

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Head gasket because it's the most expensive thing they could think. It's just hard to imagine what those oil change guys might have done. They might have dumped some product in there thinking you were having a problem or maybe they pressurized the system to flush, just no idea.
The above comments are better, right on the issue. Next time the mm calls for coolant, just do it yourself, no tools, it's almost as easy as the cabin air filter.
 

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The CLR website says DO NOT USE in a automotive radiator (cooling system). Replace the bottle cap or radiator cap, as the old cap may not be releasing pressure properly. Hoses won't pop off unless cooling system pressure gets too high. A properly functioning rad/bottle cap will release pressure well before a hose will pop off.


If the drivers side has cool air and the passenger side has warm air, that sounds like the drivers side blend door is malfunctioning. There's only one heater core, but there are two blend doors, one left, one right. If one side has heat, that means hot coolant is flowing thru the heater core. A faulty blend door can prevent heated air from being sent to the cabin vent(s).....air flow, yes, but not heated air flow. Hope you get things sorted out.
 

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I am not criticizing your decision to go to an oil change place here. I have learned the hard way too. After my experience with oil change businesses, I would not allow them to do anything other than an oil & filter change and maybe not even that.

I once went to a Goodyear Tire Store for an oil change. This was back in the early 1970's and what the heck, they advertised nationally that they did more than just replace tires. They must be good, right? Well, the one I went to spotted a leaking rear seal in my axle and like an idiot, I ok'd the work. They changed the seal by prying the old one out with a screw driver. It ruined the entire rear axle because they had scored the seat. I eventually traded in that car which I loved for another because from that point forward I had to periodically have a new seal put in and sealed with some kind of sealant. I was subsequently told by a dealership I should just replace the axle at which point I discovered they had ruined a very expensive and rare axle. They told me I would never find it in a wrecking yard because of that. It wasn't the age of the car, but it had a high performance positraction rear axle, which was part and parcel with the high performance pony car I owned.

I was once a field tech and drove company cars which, when needing service, my company required me to go to one of the oil change places. They overfilled or under filled my crank case by at least a half a quart every time and sometimes by a full quart. I got to the point after an oil change I would drive a short distance away from them, check what they had done then bring the car back for them to fix. They would often come in to the waiting room carrying a perfectly clean air filter and stating it looked like it needed replacement, etc, etc.

My advice is when you find a reliable, reasonable mechanic, stick with them. It could be a dealership or it could be a family run outfit near you, but if they are good, they are worth their weight in gold, especially if you can't do the work yourself. The problem you are having right now sounds like you need to go to a dealership for a proper diagnosis, since you have already tried local shops.
 

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Take the radiator cap off and pull the hose out of the overflow bottle. Can you blow through it? If not, the hose between the overflow and radiator is plugged.

Use only spring clamps on plastic fittings. Worm-gear clamps can't expand/contract with changes in temperature. Cracked fittings or leaks are the result.
 

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I don’t understand that TSB. Since there is only 1 heater core, but there are two (left/right) actuators/blend doors, it seems the problem would be the actuators/blend doors. If the one heater core was partially plugged, it seems like heat would be weak at both sides.?‍♂
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks so much for all of the useful information and products. I'm going to look through the TSB's and get those clamps and cap replaced. I have the gear band clamp on there right now. Anyway, I'm really kicking myself for allowing that oil place to service the car :( I'll update with progress. Thanks again for the help.
 

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Do not kick your self for allowing that oil place to service your car. Crap happens. I think some of your issues will disappear once the new rad/bottle cap is installed. always check the level in the bottle when the motor is cold. Since CLR was used, you might want to do several more drain and fills with distilled water, then final fill with 50/50 mix antifreeze/distilled water. Lots of nooks and crannies for the CLR to settle so do simple drain/refills ever so often.
 

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Products like CLR will not cause any damage to aluminum in an automotive cooling system AS LONG AS DIRECTIONS ARE FOLLOWED. This means letting the CLR/water mix circulate only until the flow is acceptable, and rinsing/purging the CLR totally before returning the car to service.

I agree, CLR does not recommend using on auto radiators or heaters.

BUT, I have done the 'CLR Flush' on several cars over the years with no aftereffects.

Here are some other's experiences.

 

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If there are directions to follow at the CLR website, regarding CLR usage in a automotive radiator, then by all means follow the CLR directions. I just didn't see any directions.....but I may have missed them.

I did see at the CLR website.......
CLR can not only remove the finish off of brass, aluminum and copper, but can also pit certain grades of brass, copper and aluminum.
CLR should not be used in or on a car radiator. CLR may not be compatible with the materials associated with a radiator and it could have adverse effects if the CLR is not rinsed out completely.

I'm just thinking.....how does one know, be absolutely 100% positive, that CLR is rinsed out completely, from who knows how many nooks and crannies in aluminum blocks, heads, radiators and heater cores. Those 2 statements above, from the CLR website, just puts doubt in my mind, so I'm just going to pass on using CLR in anything automotive.:geek:
 

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Update. It happened again. This time it was not the upper radiator hose and we couldn't see where the leak was coming from. We were within 1 mile of a Honda dealer and decided to limp it there. Wife thought if anyone can figure this out its got to be Honda...they deal with these cars all day every day. Well, just got a call and they said the "coolant line at the throttle body was leaking" and needed to be replaced ($350) :/ Really? OK that's where the failure happened but what in the heck is causing all of the hoses and lines to pop off!! They said they pressure checked it and it seemed fine and also said put coolant in it...(the notes about CLR were provided) I didn't have a chance to ask if they mixed the two? I hope not. We sent them all previous service details on the vehicle. Really, is it that hard to figure out what the underlying problem is with the coolant system? I'm at my whits end with this issue. So, now we have new cap, new hoses and clamps. A block fluid test and several pressure tests and radiator services. Where do I go from here? Note: this vehicle had zero issues prior to taking it in to get the radiator serviced for preventive maintenance.
 

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Did the throttle body line “pop off” or just leaked? Since replacing the radiator cap, have hoses actually “popped” off?
 

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The person I spoke with on the phone said there was a "leak" associated with the coolant line. I don't know if she was just using the term "leak" to identify the fluid loss at the location she read off the notes from the mechanic. I just assumed that it must have come off based on the past history of the vehicle. $350 to fix this hose seems kind of nuts to me. Is it a access issue? No hoses have popped off since the cap replacement. At a point, it looked like the top hose may have slid back slightly. I released the clamp and pushed it up and it seems to have stayed since.
 

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The coolant hoses on the throttle body are easy to get to. You just to remove the air duct between the air filter to the throttle body. If you're curious, the coolant hoses attach to the throttle body at E-15-10 on the attached diagram. Did the invoice list any parts that were replaced?
 

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It sounds to me like that first oil change place actually did do a full "flush" on your car. Some of these shops have fancy flushing systems. They hook them up so that it pumps high pressure through the radiator backwards, or reversed from the normal direction of flow. In radiators suffering from long term neglect, this can but loose flakes and clumps of rust and crud and flush them out, and sometimes will unplug a radiator that is partially locked. But it can also make it worse when that loose detritus lodges itself in another spot and blocks up a major passage. Back in the days of all-metal radiators, you would normally take it to the radiator shop. They would remove the side tanks, and vat the core in an acid bath to clean it out, then flush it under high pressure until it had full flow restored, reassemble it, and it would be like new again and last for years. Nowadays, you pretty much have to replace the radiator. Or the heater core. Or the thermostat. That flushing can really gum up the works. Sounds like you need a real mechanic to find the blockage and fix it right. Today's "technicians" are not real mechanics, even at the dealership, and especially at the oil change shop. YMMV.
 
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