CRV and strange noise

Today I was at a light, stopped with brakes on. Heard weird loud flapping noise like when you put a playing card against spokes of a bicycle. Smoke appeared. No warning lights so I thought it was the car ahead of me - especially since the noise stopped when I pressed the gas. Drove 11 miles home, 9 of them uphill. No problems. Parked for about an hour. Then drove about 4 miles and was again stopped, again the noise (not so loud this time) and some smoke from under the hood. I was right next to a gas station, pulled in and very nice attendant checked fluids, etc. No problems found. He spilled a bit of antifreeze when checking the radiator level. I then drove straight to a Honda dealer. They have proclaimed it a broken radiator on the basis of a brief exam and a sighting of a bit of antifreeze. No leaks anyplace, car was no overheating, the vehicle has less than 50 thousand miles and is regularly maintained. Any thoughts on what else might have caused this?

Get a second opinion. Leaking radiators do not make a flapping noise. Leaking radiators usually make no noise at all.

It’s hard to imagine what might make such a noise on a Honda CR-V with less than 50K miles, but you didn’t tell us the age of your vehicle. We need to know the year it was built.

Without such critical information we can only guess. Believe it or not, not all CR-Vs are the same.

What year is your CR-V?

If radiator mounts are broken, I suppose that it might be possible for the radiator to make contact with the cooling fan. And, contact from the cooling fan would definitely cause damage to the radiator. Rather than smoke, it is possible that the OP was seeing steam escaping from a damaged radiator.

While the above scenario is unlikely unless the front of the car sustained impact damage from a collision, it is still possible. I agree that a second opinion is needed, but I would not delay. If the radiator is damaged and is leaking coolant, that could easily lead to an overheated engine that becomes “fried” to the point of severe damage.

Has the front of the car sustained any impact damage?
Even if it has not, I suggest having this problem checked out a.s.a.p., before expensive engine damage takes place.

Has anyone examined the accessory belts? Just wondering if a belt could be starting to disentegrate as that could cause a flapping sound and smoke.

I’m in agreement with mcparadise and VDCdriver’s comments. You certainly don’t want to take a chance on something very minor turning into a destroyed engine.

How did we get on the topic of a Radiator when we were looking for the source of a flapping noise…

Now I was thinking that it could be a loose heat shield vibrating while at a stop… Or now with the Radiator thrown in for good measure… It could have been that the RAd fluid was “surging” when hot… Like the fluid escaping past the pressurized rad cap…and into the overflow tank… That noise sounds like flapping and is usually accompanied by steam…or what looks like smoke.

You may be encountering the first tell tale signs of a blown head gasket… When the gaskets go bad one of their failure modes is to leak cylinder compression into the cooling system…thus overpressurizing the system and forcing it to overflow. Then when you go to add more coolant…YO MUST BURP THE SYSTEM…HOnda CRV’s have a coolant system bleed nipple near the thermostay housing.

Once this happens you need to repair the head gasket the proper way…OR you can buy a $60 Bottle of Blue Devil and follow the “install” instructions… The stuff works wonders I must say. Its either that or you pay to get the cylinder head milled and a new Head Gasket…and also a new water pump…front main seal and new T-belt…New idler pulleys…The whole T-belt shebang…

You will need to do the T-belt soon anywho…so its up to you whether you Blue Dev it or do the entire teardown.

Not very good news for you I suppose. See if my theory holds water… I was hoping you had a loose heat shield…But it looks more likely to be a head gasket… Sorry man.

I’d bet on VDC’s scenario. Fan blades hitting radiator. The smoke was actually coolant steam escaping the radiator.

The car is a 2008. Last night the service folks called and said that my AC compressor was “out.” So then they also told me that a new compressor is over 1000K when a radiator is only 800.00. I am not sure how much I trust this particular dealership - we are new to the area and miss our old dealership where service was outstanding.

well I have a new compressor. Saw the online CRV Owners Assoc had lots of complaints re: CRV’s and compressors. Any experience or knowledge about them being a problem?

2008 Honda CR-V With Less Than 50,000 Miles:

Radiator replacement ? Only $800 ?
Compressor replacement ? Over $1000.00 ?

That’s unbelievable, durability-wise and certainly cost-wise !
Where does all this come from ?


MY GOD…I REALLY dont charge enough for my services. People must nearly fall over when I give them a price quote and they compare it against a dealer estimate. Those prices are OBSCENE