Honda accord radiator troubleshooting

Written by vern hee
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Honda accord radiator troubleshooting
Avoid the shop and learn how to solve common radiator problems. (radiator humour image by John Sfondilias from

The Honda Accord comes to America from Japan and first appeared during America's Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. Honda made the Accord slightly larger than the Civic, allowing for more breathing space and cargo while still saving the consumer on gas. The Honda Accord cooling system consists of a pressurised engine cooling system with thermostatically controlled coolant circulation. It employs an impeller type water pump which pumps fluids throughout the engine, controlled by a thermostat and cooled by the radiator. The Honda Accord has two cooling fans, a condenser fan and a radiator fan.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Towel
  • Flashlight

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Inspect the coolant level at first sign of overheated radiator. Add more coolant if needed. Use a dry towel over the cap to prevent burns after the engine has cooled, to open the radiator cap. If the car has a radiator overflow then open this cap instead to replace lost fluids.

  2. 2

    Place your hand on the cap and wiggle it for tightness. Screw the cap tighter or replace the cap. A loose cap can cause leakage and overheating.

  3. 3

    Use the back of your hand to check heat emanating from the lower radiator hose if the radiator is overheating. If no heat exists but the engine is hot this indicates the thermostat is stuck closed. Replace the thermostat.

  4. 4

    Examine the car engine to see if the engine warms up in a reasonable time. If not, the thermostat is stuck open and needs replacement.

  5. 5

    Look at the coolant fan of the radiator to see if it has motion. If the fan does not operate this could indicate a faulty fan motor. Attach fan directly to the battery to test fan motor. If motor does not kick in, install a new fan motor.

  6. 6

    Inspect the radiator grille with a flashlight if there is overheating. Any dirt on the grille will affect performance of the radiator. Clean the grille.

  7. 7

    Feel the radiator for circulation. Bend the hose with your hands slightly while the engine is operating and then let the hose go. You should feel a surge of coolant. Bad circulation indicates a blocked core. If the radiator core is blocked flush out the radiator and fill with coolant. Remove the radiator and reverse flush for severe blockage. Poor circulation could also indicate a bad water pump.

  8. 8

    Inspect the radiator for leaks with a good flashlight. If any fluids flow from the radiator the leaks can be stopped temporarily with products from your local automotive store but the radiator should be replaced right away.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wait for the engine to cool before you check coolant levels in the engine.

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