97 Accord SE problems


#1

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this.

I’m driving a 97 Accord SE and it’s suffering from a few issues that have me worried to say the least. For one, when I filled the radiator with water I noticed that it was cloudy/oily. Something was definitely in there with the water.

Two, I foolishly drove it thinking it would be fine. After 50 feet or so however problems started happening. I couldn’t accelerate past 20mph. If I tried by putting my foot down on the gas nothing would happen but the RPMs going up. Each time I started the car I could go a little ways before pushing on the gas did nothing. Then I would have to restart the car in order to get anywhere with it.

Some background, I got my oil changed today after going about 1000 miles over when it should have been changed. Also, when it was scanned in the past the error code 0420 showed up. That has something to do with either the catalytic converter running rich or the O2 sensors above and below it might be broken. Who knows.

Anyways, thank you again for reading this.


#2

It sounds like you have a broken transmission cooler line in your radiator, which means your transmission is full of water/coolant and your radiator is full of ATF. Pull your transmission dipstick to verify.

You will need to have the vehicle towed to a Honda dealer to get the transmission on a fluid exchange machine after the transmission drain plug is pulled. It must be drained before putting it on the fluid exchange machine. Then you will need a new radiator and it must be filled with coolant (antifreeze/distilled water at a 50-70% concentration of antifreeze).


#3

When I pull the transmission dipstick what should I look for?


#4

It should be a bright red oil, like hydraulic fluid. If it is foamy like a milkshake, then you have water/coolant in it. Do not try to drive it as it will tear up the transmission if it hasn’t already.


#5

Checked my transmission fluid, it’s pink

Thank you for responding btw


#6

The reason why automatic xmission fluid can get into the coolant is b/c the coolant in the radiator is used to cool the xmission fluid. There’s two transmission fluid lines that connect to the bottom of the radiator. If those spring a leak inside the radiator, you wind up with xmission fluid contaminating the coolant.

There’s tests mechanics can do to tell if xmission fluid is getting into the coolant. Just b/c the xmission fluid looks ok doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t leaking into the coolant. If there’s a big enough leak, the xmission fluid would be low. Was it? With newer cars is can be very difficult for the car owner to tell if the level of the xmission fluid is correct or not without having the proper test equipment. On a 1997 you should be able to probably. Look in the owner’s manual.

Engine oil can mix with the coolant also. Usually that is caused by a compromised head gasket. That would result in coolant getting into the oil, and/or oil getting into the coolant. So the oil you are seeing in the coolant may be engine oil, not transmission fluid.

Edit: The rpms going up but the car not moving is often an automatic transmission related problem.


#7

Is it clear pink or cloudy pink?


#8

"when I filled the radiator with water I noticed that it was cloudy/oily. Something was definitely in there with the water."
You probably have tranny fluid in the coolant, but it’s also true that you should not be just using straight water and that antifreeze also is oily, as it also lubricates the water pump and contains anticorrosive additives

"After 50 feet or so however problems started happening. I couldn’t accelerate past 20mph. If I tried by putting my foot down on the gas nothing would happen but the RPMs going up"
This sounds like the tranny is slipping.

"Each time I started the car I could go a little ways before pushing on the gas did nothing. Then I would have to restart the car in order to get anywhere with it. "
This sounds like the engine keeps dying.

“Also, when it was scanned in the past the error code 0420 showed up. That has something to do with either the catalytic converter running rich or the O2 sensors above and below it might be broken. Who knows.
This sounds like you have totally unrelated problems that need to be addressed.

I’m getting a really sinking feeling here. I think the best recommendation I can offer is to have the car towed to a reputable independently owned and operated shop. Print your post to bring with you. And when you do discover a problem, bring it to him immediately to look at. And please, read through your owner’s manual (get one if you have none) and learn some basics about your car. Failure to do so will be very costly.