Q: Coolant issue - 2008 Honda Accord

asked by on

Hi, so previously my car overheated and I found out that my reservoir was empty. I filled it up and next day it was empty again so I figured I would just purchase another which I did from auto zone. I switched the reservoirs and then I allowed my car to sit for a few hours.. Then when I came to my car to check.. The new reservoir was empty.. Is there another problem here? I'm really confused

My car has 111091 miles.

Hello. When a car is low on coolant, even if you refill both the radiator and the reservoir, air can still be trapped in the system. After you run the car for a while, the trapped air is expelled and then the resulting "vacuum" causes coolant to be drawn from the recovery reservoir back into the radiator.

That might make it appear as if you are loosing coolant or have a reservoir leak, when in fact all that is happening is the system is just normalizing itself. So the reservoir might not have been leaking in the first instance. At this point, if the level of coolant is still falling in the reservoir top off the coolant as this occurs over several days.

At the end of that period, the level in the reservoir should remain steady (you have to judge the level when the car is either hot or cold; the level will vary significantly depending on temperature, so always check cold, first thing in the morning to be able to really accurately judge what is going on with the level in the reservoir).

The point is after a week of "topping off" and/or monitoring the reservoir level, if the level does not stabilize, then you have a leak. Coolant leaks are of two types: external and internal. External leaks are no problem and YourMechanic can identify those via simple pressure testing. Internal leaks through a head gasket are a mini nightmare though. Hopefully, your past overheating experience did not damage the head gasket on the engine, causing an internal coolant leak. If so, the head has to be removed from the engine, checked to make sure neither it nor the block are warped and a new gasket carefully applied in the auto mechanic’s version of "clean room" conditions. If you cannot get the coolant level to stabilize, YourMechanic will find the leak for you and then explain the least costly and most efficient options to get it resolved.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Coolant issue - 2008 Honda Accord

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: could adding a small amount of non honda antifreeze into overflow reservoir cause check engine light to appear a day later

Although it is not recommended to mix different antifreeze chemistries, that recommendation "usually" has more to do with avoiding negative effects (of mixing) on the service life of the coolant than any possibility for system damage. That is, mixing different...

Q: Front brakes grind after pad and rotor replacement on 2005 Honda Civic VP

You may have a bearing issue or a warped rotor and the pad may even have excessive metallic particles built into the pads that can be noisey at times. I would recommend having the brakes pads replaced with a high...

Q: I have a Honda Accord 2006 . I hear a noise when I turn the wheel n than notice when I open the hood that there was power steering

Hello, thank you for writing in. The low fluid levels are why you are hearing noises and having issues turning (or will be soon). While you can already see there is a leak, we need to find out what exactly...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.