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Edward
Edward, Auto Service Technician
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 2868
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in the automotive service industry.
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Civic: I have a 1998 Honda Civic that just started to make

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I have a 1998 Honda Civic that just started to make a weird grinding noise when running. The noise occurs as soon as I turn on the engine. It seems to be coming from the right side, near the belts. I also checked underneath the car and saw fluid coming out in a pretty steady stream from the same area. The fluid was a pale yellow when I place a white sheet of paper underneath it.
I have a manual transmission and had to get the distributor replaced 2 weeks ago, if that helps with troubleshooting. Any ideas?

Edward :

Hello and thanks for your question. My name is Eddie, and I will do all I can to help.

Edward :

This problem is most likely the Water Pump. When the water pump fails, it will begin to leak, and what the leak is, is probably anti-freeze.

Edward :

The timing belt drives the water pump. So it would be a good idea while your getting the water pump replaced, to do the timing belt as well.

Edward :

Parts and labor total on this job shouldn't be much more than 500$ at an independent shop, perhaps less if their labor rate is lower than the average.

Customer:

Is it okay to drive, or should i have it towed straight to a mechanic?

Edward :

If the noise is bad, and it is leaking in a steady stream, then I would suggest towing it, If you have to drive it, leave the radiator cap OFF, this will keep pressure off the system and it won't leak as bad.

Edward :

I would only drive it if I had to, and if the mechanics shop was close by.

Edward :

Also, if you drive it, keep a close watch on the temp gauge. make sure it doesn't get out of the normal range.

Edward :

I would recommend towing however.

Customer:

Would any mechanic be able to fix this issue, or should i try to find a specialized one?

Edward :

Most professional shops can handle that job.

Edward :

A reputable repair facility should be able to handle it, it's not a technical job.

Customer:

OK. Thanks so much

Edward :

Most shops are familiar with your model Honda as their are a lot of them out there.

Edward :

Thank you. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Edward and 3 other Honda Specialists are ready to help you