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Anyone have a diagnosis for my car troubles?

I have a 95 Honda Civic DX with about 100,000 miles on it. Recently, when driving home on the interstate I noticed that the car wasn’t accelerating very well. As I exited to city streets near my home, I noticed that the heat gauge had begun to climb (up to ~3/4 height), and that my heater was blowing cold instead of warm air (it was ~40F outside). The car was running really rough and when I stopped at a stop light at idle, it was making sort of a sputtering/revving sound in ~3 second cycles.

I made it home, and when I turned on my car the next day the car was no longer making the sound (though I definitely saw smoke coming from around the dipstick for the first few seconds the car was on). I haven’t dared to take it out on the road though, and will be taking it to the shop soon.

Any ideas on what the troubles might be?


P.S. Oil is on the low side and rather dark, but the car is ~500 miles shy of the next scheduled change.

When was the last time you changed the oil? Was it low when you checked it when you got home?

How’s the coolant level? Head gasket problem perhaps?

How low is “the low side” of your oil level?

We have a car with no heat, higher than normal temp reading,poor acceleration, and smoke out the dipstick and people are asking about when was your last oil change???

Have you never watched an episode of Columbo?

We haven’t gotten to this yet…

Uh… one more thing…

Re: the Oil level

The dipstick has two “holes” marking low/high oil level. The oil is about 20% of the distance between holes above the lower hole.

Re: Coolant level

Haven’t checked… will do so when I get home.

Thanks everyone

It has nothing to do with the oil. If your not getting heat from the heater the first thing you check is the coolant level. Im guessing the surge is a sensor ect.

fuel filter?

Amen !

I just checked, and the coolant level is indeed very low (almost none left). I must confess that I have not been checking the coolant, and naively assumed it was being done when I got “full service” oil changes. So… now I wonder whether I shouldn’t just fill up the coolant and see if the problem recurs. Sound reasonable, or should I definitely take it to the shop ASAP?

Thanks for the advice!

Fill it up with 50/50 mix and find your leak. You will not loose fluid unless you have a leak or a blown head gasket.