2001 Civic heating / radiator problem



Ever since I purchased my car, I’ve noticed that the heater doesn’t react very quickly. In the winter (Colorado), it requires that I drive my car a short distance before even the defrosters work (this caused me to get in an accident once!).

Now, after I had the radiator replaced at 60,000 miles (because my repair guy said the cap got blown when he tried to replace the fluid), everything worked just fine. The heater had absolutely no problems. My car also stopped shocking me every time I touched it.

Now it’s the end of the summer and my car overheated this morning (on a very cool autumn morning). It’s started shocking me again. It’s due for its 90,000 though I’m about 10,000 miles late.

Also, whenever the A/C was turned on, you could hear a somewhat loud whiring sound (I assume this is the fan?).

So now we’re taking it to the shop again. I’m sure this is all related, but I have no idea how the systems are linked together! Help!


Shocking is due to the low humidity. Some fabrics (what you wear and what the car’s seats are made of) can contribute to the problem. This is totally unrelated to any other problem. You may want to try some anti-static spray on the car seats. Also some tires can cause problems.

The AC fan is normal and means it is working as intended.

The overheating sounds like it may be any of many things including, thermostats, radiator fan/switch, air block, etc.

Good Luck.


I guess the real problem I’m trying to understand is the radiator/heating element problem. Not that overheating isn’t an issue, but I’m sure that it’s related to the same problem. The heater is slow to react. I am almost certain that if I get the radiator flushed or replaced again all the problems will go away.


Low coolant in the radiator (and engine) will cause lack of heat in the passenger compartment and (WORST) the engine to overheat. If the coolant is low, it did NOT get “used up”. It, either leaked externally, or internally (where it would be vaporized and exhausted out the tail pipe.


i am assuming (i know never assume…)

that you have actually (when the car is cold) opened the radiator cap and looked in there to make sure there is coolant there??

if the radiator is full, and the overflow tank has collant between the lines, then the first thing i would change is the thermostat.

the thermostat is the cheapest (and probably the most frequent problem) thing to change.


Actually, at the time I was not able to check the radiator fluid because it was still hot. Later that day I took a look and indeed the fluid was low.

However, unless my mechanic really didn’t top off the fluid level last time I had my oil changed, it’s burned a lot of fluid! This might be explained by the hose leading to the reservoir being disconnected. Not sure how the pressure difference might work against me and cause my car to leak/burn fluid that quickly though!