Honda accord 1998

Out of nowhere my check engine light came on bought some oil thought it was low, and i just recently got an oil change. Checked my sparks and it was okay. Couple hours later my car began over heating With engine light still on, and my temperature gauges increased knew something was wrong, filled it with anti freeze to cool it down, continued driving and the issue continued. Bought me a knew sensor, i noticed it helped but did not fix the issue, my car continues to over heat, couple days later without driving it, this morning on my way to work it was really cold so my car did not overheat, but my check engine light began blinking and my vehicle began rattling from my house all the way to work, for about 9 miles. Whats wrong with it? Is it safe to drive back home after work.??

Is your thermostat been replaced? Are the fans running? Does it cool down when you are at hwy speeds and only overheat when stopped?

Thermostat has not been replaced, fans are running, and it gets hot when on hwy speed.

When over heats.

A flashing Check Engine light means the engine has a major misfire.

When the engine is cold remove the radiator cap and start the engine. Watch the coolant in the radiator as the engine is idling. If air bubbles appear in the coolant as the engine idles there’s a breach in the head gasket. This would cause the Check Engine light to flash along with the overheating.


I’ve removed radiator cap while engine running air bubbles do not appear cause its empty but as i go to fill it back up bubbles appear up until its full.

Allow me to see if I understand the events correctly.
A couple of days ago your check engine light (CEL) came on so you added some oil. Did you ever check the level on the diipstick?

After adding the oil, the CEL stayed on and the engine began overheating. You filled the (radiator or reservoir bottle?) with antifreeze and kept driving, but the problems continued.

You changed the temp sensor hoing that would help, but the problems continue. And you continue driving the car. It continues to overheat. And the CEL is now blinking.

I hate to be the one to have to tell you, but this needs to be evaluuated by a qualified mechanic. I suspect that you might have a blown headgasket. Continuous overheating, the loss of coolant, and a cylinder that began misfiring and is apparently now not firing at all combine to make a blown headgasket a very real possibility. At this stage, you’ve probably warped the head, exascerbating the problem.

Dipstick was okay. I filled the radiator. Yeah you hit the nail on the head, now from my job to my home is about 9 to 11 miles, is it safe to drive my vechile back home at slow speed, call my brother in law who has been a mechanic for over 15 yrs to come and check it out…

If it is overheating at road speeds I would suspect the thermostat. As said by others, the head could be warped and the head gasket shot.

When i drive at slow speed it does not overheat. Only when i drive for a long period of time.

Oil level is ok? Coolant level is good? Than it is ok to drive Until temp gauge goes into “hot” zone. U can limp 1-2 miles and keep eye on temp. If cel light flashes as you drive that means u have misfire. Is it due to bad plug which is wet from coolant? None can say go for it. U have to assess cars condition and pull over if it feels bad.

“is it safe to drive my vechile back home at slow speed?”


Why would it be unwise?
Because if you continue to drive with an engine misfire, the next thing that will need to be replaced is the expensive catalytic converter.

At this point you may as well keep nursing it along until it seizes. If my guess is correct, there’s been enough damage already to make the engine a siezure waiting fo a place to happen.

I think a small part of your problem is a worn out radiator cap and had it been replaced several months ago, you would not have the problems you are having today. You may not have noticed but I suspect that the temp gauge would go a little higher at highway speeds than around town, but not yet overheating.

Now that the engine has overheated and you are loosing coolant, the damage has been done. There really is no reason for you to not drive it home as long as you fill the radiator and the overflow tank before you start out. I would also suggest that you put on a new radiator cap, even though its like closing the garage door after the horses got out.

If you decide on repairing the engine, you will need a new cap anyway. If you are approaching 200k miles on this, you really should consider a complete overhaul of the engine, not just a new head gasket. In light of that, any additional damage that you might do will not increase your total repair costs. BTW, you may want to just get a reman engine for it and get back on the road ASAP.

You may also want to consider just junking the car, especially if it has high miles on it. If you decide on doing that, then it wont matter if you drive it home or not, just as long as you make it. Just take it easy and keep the engine as cool as possible.

One more thing, when antifreeze leaks into the combustion chamber, it often blows the tip off the sparkplug so that is why you have a miss. You are not getting the spark you think you are getting. If you feel up to replacing sparkplugs in the parking lot, you could help save that catalytic converter. You may only need one new plug, but you may have to pull out several before finding the one with the tip blown off.

@misterr may I ask why “brother in law who has been a mechanic for over 15 yrs” WASN’T called in several days ago?

A lot of families aren’t even fortunate enough to have an experienced mechanic in the family.

You do, yet you chose to ignore this valuable resource.

I agree with the others. Throw a cap on it. It sounds like damage may have already occurred, however.

@db4690, My brother in law currently had to attend a funeral in saint Louis, and i live in the east bay. Didn’t want to bother him until he got back.

And i already replaced the cap.

I highly appreciate you all for providing me with your info.

Let me add a little here, I am normally the last one here to suggest a blown head gasket. I think that is overused when it can often be a much less expensive problem, like a radiator cap or thermostat, but every thing you have told us screams blown head gasket. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

There are a couple of other issues that could have started this. The seams around the top and bottom tanks of the radiator could start weeping at about this age. The coolant loss would be so low at first that you don’t see it, but it could cause the overheating that led to this.

Also, there is an o-ring on the distributor shaft that is prone to leaking. Unfortunately, the oil leaks onto the heater hose connection just below the distributor, causing the rubber to swell and eventually the coolant to leak form the heater hose.

Both easy to overlook and both can lead to catastrophic results if not detected in time. BTW, you are probably due for another timing belt service if you haven’t had that done recently so that is another factor to throw into all this.

@misterr thanks for the update.

Funerals obviously take priority.