1981 honda civic remember these

I have an 81 honda civic 1300 DX I had the engine overhuld 6 thousand miles ago, since its bin done I have a milky substance on the oil cap, and when I remove the airfilter and disconnect the tube connected to the air filter contaner and the engine the plastic peace and the tube have a milky substance too, I dont seem to have any water in my oil, it looks good, but when I pull the valve cover off and blow throw the spout where that tube connects i have what looks like oily water (just about a tabel spoon) will drip out. The inside of the valve cover is clean except where that tube connects. It cost me a fortune for my engine and Im scared to lose my investment. Please help Girl with old car in Alaska

1981 is memorable for only one thing: The worst cars ever made were made that year…

You have two problems. Alaska weather and poor crankcase ventilation. You can’t do much about the weather but maybe your mechanic can improve the PCV system…

If the car is only driven short distances, the milky substance is just condensation. Replace the PCV valve for a few dollars and try and drive at least 30 minutes at one time once or twice a week.

I had the same symptoms on two of my vehicles. The PCV valve needed replacing on my 1995 Dakota and my wife’s 98 Windstar was only driven short distances. Replacing the PCV and getting 1 or 2 longer trips each week fixed the condensation problem.

Ed B.

I agree that this is a problem of excess moisture in the crankcase.
Step #1 is to replace the PCV valve, which is perhaps the cheapest part to replace on any car.

Just replacing the PCV valve should help, but as others have implied, your driving habits are the other part of the problem. Instead of purely local, short-trip driving, you need to allow the engine to fully warm up to operating temperature, and to remain at full operating temperature for an extended period of time, at least once a week.

So, as edb has suggested, this car needs to be taken out for a highway drive for at least 30 minutes once each week. Besides drastically reducing the amount of condensation in the engine’s crankcase, this practice will extend the life of both the battery and the exhaust system.

I would also suggest that you immediately change the oil that is currently in the crankcase, as it is likely highly diluted with condensation, and the water that is contaminating the oil is not doing anything good for that newly overhauled engine. Even a tablespoon of water is too much of this non-lubricant in the motor oil.

No real advice here, but I do want to know one thing:

How the heck did you get a 1981 civic to last near 30 years in Alaska? A friend bought a Civic of that generation in Illinois, and within 3 years it was so badly rusted out that there were holes in the floorpan and the mechanics refused to put it on a lift citing safety concerns.

It’s so cold, the rust chemical reaction cannot take place :slight_smile:

You might want to invest in a thermostat with a higher temperature rating. I lived in Fairbanks for a couple of years and had to run a 195 degree thermostat just to have heat. It worked well in the summer also.

People in Alaska have learned a shocking truth that has escaped the likes of Illinoisians-- you can actually drive on the snow! I know, I know, it sounds nuts but it is still possible to get around without the city spreading huge amounts of salt on the road when the first flake comes down.

How true. There is a saying in Alaska that states: The first snow of October is the last one you drive on in May.

Don’t Get Me Started Talking About That *%#@(&$ Road Salt !

I live where I have to travel 20 miles over highways with little to no traffic just to get to town, but salt is heaped on if the sky gets cloudy. Waste of cars, Waste of tax dollars, and in many cases makes the roads more dangerous. There are warnings about using salt below a certain temperature, for safety reasons.


Brought it from WA and ya it looks like yard art but i get 45 miles per gallon and i dont care what it cost to fix:)