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How to fix the seventh generation of Honda's compact car.

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Why does the car’s temperature gauge rise after an hour and half trip?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have 2004 Honda Civic LX with 179,000 miles. I drove to Lexington, which is an 88 mile trip. As soon as I arrived at my destination, I noticed my temp gauge steadily rising. Before I could even find a parking spot, I had to turn off my car due to the gauge reading too high. I waited for about 30 mins to let it cool off and drove the car to a garage, which was 0.5 miles away, which the temp was fine for that quick trip. The mechanic told me that he was not sure why it overheated. I was thinking maybe it was just a fluke because it never has done before. Driving back home (88 miles), approx. 1 mile away from my house, I had to to pull over and shut my car off because the gauge was rising again. That night, I replaced the thermostat and bleed and burped the radiator with brand new coolant. The following day, I made a trip to Louisville (40 miles) and this happened again when I was just a few miles away from home to conclude the trip. Any thoughts or ideas please and thank you.

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At 179k miles, aging parts rear their heads without notice. One of them may be a worn out or dead cooling fan. In general, the easiest way to test for an operating cooling fan would be IF the ac system still works. Ac cooling requires the cooling fan to run because two radiators are heating up. The cooling system radiator and ac condenser coil in front of the radiator heats up from the ac compressor operating; compressing refrigerant gas resulting in hot compressed refrigerant fed into the condenser coil. The cooling fan either pulls or pushes air thru a hot condenser coil and hot radiator. If the fan doesn't run with ac turned on, the fan or fuse is blown. Another way to test the fan is directly wiring it to the battery. When driving, forced airflow cools the radiator until slowing down and moving in stop and go traffic when airflow isn't enough. The coolant sensor detects climbing coolant temps and lets the engine computer cycle the cooling on and off as needed to maintain coolant temps from overheating unless the cooling fan is worn out or fuse blown.

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I appreciate your input. As for the fans that you were speaking about… I noticed that they run if the AC is on, but I have not seen them work otherwise. I was thinking about replacing the coolant sensor switch tomorrow, but I know that is a long shot.

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@caeseradam could be the radiator failing. Just a thought.

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Absolutely, thank you. That’s definitely a possibility

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If you have two cooling fans, they may be wired to run in series (low speed), parallel with a resistor in each fan for medium speed and high speed without resistors. You'd need service manuals or a subscription to alldata.diy or Mitchell data if a member here doesn't have exact info of your cooling fan circuitry. Descriptions are a guess but one GM model uses this circuit. Another way would be connecting a reader capable of displaying live data like the coolant temperatures (from cold engine startup reflecting outside temps to fully warmed up). You'd have to know the t-stat operating temperature as a guide. When displayed temps exceed t-stat rating (by approximately 10+ degrees, the engine computer should cycle the cooling fan(s) on then off when temps drop back down.

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My wife's car did something similar; it would run fine for quite a while but then start overheating until I let it cool down completely.

Turned out to be a blocked radiator. Once I had time to look into it, I ran my hands all over the surface of the radiator when it was warmed up but not too hot. From feeling it, there was a large area that was obviously much colder than the rest of the radiator, telling me the water wasn't circulating there.

Ultimately the solution was to replace the radiator, which fixed the problem. Don't know if that's your problem, but it's worth checking.

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Any radiator shroud damage? This can impact temperature range especially at low speed.

What did the old coolant look like? If it was rusty and dirty a good flush might solve the problem.

Have you noticed any coolant loss whatsoever? Possible head gasket issue.

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I have not noticed any leaks. When I drained the previous coolant, it looked dirty and old for sure.

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Adam zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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