I have a '98 Civic Dx with 217,000+ miles on it. Last year I had the waterpump and timing belt replaced and beginning in February I noticed my antifreeze was disappearing but couldn’t find any leaks. One mechanic said it was the waterpump, so I had it redone under warranty. The antifreeze is still disappearing and now my mechanic tells me it’s the radiator. (Don’t you think he would have said that the first time?) It seems that the transmission is starting to go (see below) so I’m wondering if it’s worth replacing the radiator or trying to patch any leaks I can find. I’ve heard such mixed reviews on patching radiator leaks and this mechanic won’t do it. The part is cheap and I can probably replace or repair it myself. So, repair or replace? Keep in mind the might be on its last legs.
I’ve had a few incidents of my car shuddering after I start driving and losing power around the first turn. Sometimes the shudder is worse if I’ve turned the car on, idled for a few moments and then started driving. The shudder was similar to one time when I had a bad spark plug wire, so thinking it was that I gave my car a tune up-- new plugs, wires, cap, rotor. But two mornings ago it nearly stalled as I was taking the first turn off my street. Then yesterday morning it nearly stalled after I backed out of my parking space and began driving (I’d sat for a few moments with the car idling before backing out). For a while I’ve felt like it wasn’t really getting full power around the first turn. I don’t know how to describe it except that pushing on the accelerator didn’t really do anything until the car had completed the turn and straightened out. I haven’t had any problems throughout the rest of the day-- it drives just fine. It’s only when it’s been sitting at least overnight.
I’m in denial about it being my transmission. It has never liked to start when I’ve down to or below a quarter tank of gas, and someone else who called the show about that was told that the fuel system was probably losing pressure as it sat overnight, which sounds like what happens to mine. Could this be another symptom of that? Or could something in the fuel system be clogged, like the filter? (My Dad had a clogged fuel filter once and his car would lose power on an incline.) Or is this perhaps the beginning of the end for my little friend?
Also, if you’re going to just tell me to get a new car, please be a tad more specific and suggest a good one. I’m at 217k, it’s sadly getting to be time to think about that.
Thanks for your help!