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Honda-Man
Honda-Man, Honda Mechanic
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 3018
Experience:  I have an Associates Degree in Automotive. 10 Years experience on all makes and models. 20 Years Honda only including factory training. Over 30 years total.
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Lx: I have a 2003 Accord lx that has 452000 mi. (I commute).

Customer Question

I have a 2003 Accord lx that has 452000 mi. (I commute). About 2 wk's ago it started drinking coolant. I couldn't see any leak's any where, so I put some bar's radiator stop leak in it-the hose's colapsped (still loosing coolant/from overfill tank also). I drained the radiator and changed the thermostate, added coolant, started car with heater on high. After about 10 min. overfill tank started boiling.
3 day's later (today) I put a bottle of Blue Devil head gasket sealer in the radiator and followed the direction's. 25 min. later the temp gauge started raising and overflow tank started boiling again.
I'm not sure what to do (try and put radiator sealer in again a 2nd time?). The car hasn't overheated, but it drink's anti freeze. Any help would sure be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Honda
Expert:  Honda-Man replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer. It does sound like the head gasket has failed. This would explain the loss of coolant without any visible leaks. The overflow boiling is form the combustion gas being forced into the cooling system. This can also cause problems with the thermostat operation. The combustion gas pocket that forms around the thermostat can cause lack of coolant flow and eventually overheating. Because of the extreme combustion pressure developed during the combustion process sealers usually won't work. Most sealers including ones for head gasket leaks will only work if the leak is small. It sounds like your head gasket leak is pretty bad. There are ways to confirm the head gasket is leaking but I feel there is no need for this based on your detailed description. Unfortunately the only sure repair would be to replace the head gasket. Adding more sealer might work but it usually causes other problems. The radiator, heater core, and thermostat can effected by the sealers. If adding more sealer did work it probably would not hold so you might end up broke down in a bad spot. Head gasket replacement including parts and surfacing the head if it's warped is approx. $1400. I am impressed 452K on your Accord! I should add I have worked part time at O'Reilly auto parts and have first hand experience with the sealers. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Your satisfaction and accepting my service or providing a positive rating is what I work for! If you can't rate in this way please let me know so I can continue to help. A positive rating is the only way the site will compensate me for helping you. You can still ask follow-up questions after the rating.Thanks again! ~Honda-Man