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Questions and Answers

Honda Accord Getting Too Hot Too Soon

Q. Vince, I had an oil leak a few weeks ago and the mechanic forgot to put a cap back on. This was fixed for $12.00 which included new oil. Now, my thermostat is moving to HOT quite quickly, within five miles of starting, but the car does not overheat. The fan has been going on after each use, even if it’s for a ½ mile. Can it just be a sensor or does the thermostat need to be replaced?

  • 1991 Honda Accord EX Sedan
  • 2.2 liter 4 Cylinder
  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,382 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control

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Honda Accord Getting Too Hot Too Soon

A. What we need to do first is find out if it is just reading hot or if it actually is overheating. To determine this remove the radiator cap and put a cooling system thermometer into the radiator. You can use a meat thermometer as well.

Honda Accord Getting Too Hot Too Soon
Typical Cooling System Thermometer

Now start the engine and let it run. The temperature should climb slowly and smoothly until the thermostat opens and then you will see a sharp rise in coolant temperature. The temperature may bounce up and down once or twice but that's okay. Note the temperature that the cooling fan comes on at. It should come on and off around:

  • ON 189° to 199°F
  • OFF 176° to 196°F

If the fan comes on and off within specifications, then it's probably a bad Cooling temperature Sensor or dash gauge.

If it doesn't, then you probably have a bad thermostat and you should replace it.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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