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1985 Honda Accord Troubleshoot Overheating

Most older cars are prone to overheating as hoses, thermostats, water pumps and other components of the cooling system wear down. The 1985 Honda Accord is no exception. Once you start to notice the signs, it is time to take action and get to the root of the problem. However, before spending money at an auto service center, you may want to diagnosis the problem yourself with some relatively simple troubleshooting.

This process does not require tools.

Troubleshoot Overheating

Check your radiator cap. In some instances, the root of your Accord's overheating problems could be due to a damaged seal in the radiator cap. If the cap is cool, remove it and inspect it for signs of damage. If you observe damage to the seal, it would be best to purchase a new cap rather than attempt to replace it.

Inspect your lower radiator hose. A leaky lower radiator hose is a common culprit of overheating. The first thing you want to do is check for any obvious leaks that may be present. Because not all leaks are obvious, you should check the hose for signs of wear and tear, any noticeable discoloration or unusual bending. If the hose is bent, for example, it is very likely that your Accord is overheating because coolant is not flowing freely to the cooling system.

Examine your coolant level. This can be done by taking a look at the reserve coolant tank under the hood of your Accord. If the tank is completely empty or below the indicated minimal level, refer to the manual that came with the vehicle and then add the correct type of coolant. When adding coolant to the tank, be very cautious not to overfill as this will cause the liquid to spill out and falsely indicate signs of leakage, which could be alarming if you are already concerned about overheating.

Check your water pump. You can find the water pump on a 1985 Honda Accord at the front of the engine. What you want to do here is look for signs of leakage as the water pump may actually leak coolant due to a worn out gasket or mechanical failure. In either case, this is usually a sign that the water pump needs to be replaced. If you recently had a new water pump installed, you may be able to get away with just replacing the gasket.

Start the engine on your Accord, and let it run for a couple of minutes to see if it overheats. If it does so after replacing the radiator cap, changing the radiator hose, filling the reserve tank, changing the water pump gasket or replacing the pump entirely, the root of the problem is likely due to a failed radiator, thermostat or blown head gasket.

Tips & Warnings

If you notice that your Accord is smoking from underneath the hood, wait until the smoke has cleared and preferably the car is cool before opening it and troubleshooting.

Never open the cap on the radiator or reserve coolant tank while it is hot.

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